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Towards a vital pedagogy: Learning from anti-ableist practice in art education

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Art education has the potential to promote inclusive education for all children and young people. However, the pervasive discourse of special education, with an emphasis on individual deficit, support and remediation, can dominate our thinking about the relationship between disability and art education. This article reports on an attempt to resist the limitations of such discourses by introducing anti-ableist, crip theory to art educators (n=48). Visual and textual storyboards enabled practitioners to present, reflect and revise projects from a committed anti-ableist position. Modified projects reflected an awareness of the benefits of multi-sensory approaches, the advantages of interdependency and a greater resonance with contemporary arts practice. Acknowledging the challenges of taking theory to practice, the article suggests that anti-ableist theory can promote a vital pedagogy in art education. It concludes that crip theory can provoke practice-based resistance to deficit-based models of disability.
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Keywords: ableism; art education; crip theory; disability; disability studies; special educational needs

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 000000009506877X Liverpool Hope University, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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