Expanding Preservice Teachers’ Conceptions about Disability Through Young Adult Literature
Keywords:teacher preparation, disability, ableism, young adult literature, disability studies
This article provides information and resources to help special education teacher educators improve preservice teachers’ competence for working with disabled1 students and addressing ableism in their classrooms, by incorporating young adult (YA) literature into special education teacher preparation experiences. Embedding YA literature with representations of disability can address ableism in education by helping preservice special education teachers to conceptualize disabled adolescents differently. Current approaches to teacher education may reinforce dysconscious ableism (Broderick & Lalvani, 2017) and undergird educational segregation on the basis of disability. After reviewing current literature on addressing ableism during teacher preparation and using YA literature in teacher education, this article models how special education teacher educators can critically examine YA texts by providing criteria for evaluating representations of disability and a unit plan with three lessons for use in an introductory special education course. A bibliography of young adult books featuring characters with disabilities is also provided.
Copyright (c) 2022 Lauren Zepp, Carlyn Mueller, Melinda Leko
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.