Bad, mad and sad: Developing a methodology of inclusion and a pedagogy for researching students with intellectual disabilities

  • Snelgrove S
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A critical question for me as a teacher/researcher in the field of inclusive education is how to repo- sition children with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities as participants rather than subjects in the debate. In this paper, I develop a methodology of inclusion that comprises an ethics of consent and a pedagogy for research participation that is an opportunity not only to teach, but also to create a new discursive space for six children to speak. The discussion explores a range of methodological and interpretive strategies for including children with significant intellectual disabilities in research: issues of informed consent, the negotiation of power relations and the ways in which this innovative pedagogy can be empowering beyond the research situation. The use of this methodology has provocative implications concerning what might be learned about forging a link between the strug- gle for change and educational policy/practice if other researchers worked towards creating spaces for these most marginalized children to speak.

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  • Sue Snelgrove

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