Pre-service Teachers Listen to Families of Students with Disabilities and Learn a Disability Studies Stance
AbstractOne feature of successful education includes valuing families. This paper describes an on-going study of the impact of having pre-service teachers learn about special education from the families of students with disabilities. Using a Disability Studies theoretical framework, we examined pre-service teachers' archival work from an Introduction to Special Education course to learn how they interpreted familiesâ€™ perspectives and experiences. The data was procured from University studentsâ€™ papers based upon informal family interviews and observations. Qualitative analysis revealed three overarching themes: pre-service teachers acknowledged students with disabilities and their families were complex and valuable resources, showed a shift in their views and attitudes such as questioning constructs of normalcy, and gained an understanding that their role included being inclusive advocates.