Graduation Year

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Womens Studies

Major Professor

Diane Price Herndl

Keywords

body politics, education, feminist disability, oral history, regime theory

Abstract

This feminist oral history project located at the intersections of disability, feminist, body politics, and educational theory presents an analysis of three individual student narratives about their experiences with learning disabilities and learning differences (LD/Ds) at the high school and university levels. This thesis introduces students' accounts of their daily lives, pasts, personal views, experiences, and memories about having learning disabilities and learning differences into the existing scholarship on LDs and reveals how students' narrated experiences might shed light on the ways in which education might be reformed to better meet the needs of students like them. In response to these oral histories, I recommend a more distinctively holistic approach to intervention for students with learning disabilities and differences and introduce regime theory as a potential approach to educational reform to improve circumstances for marginalized individuals in the U.S. educational system. Adopting a broader, more universal model would result in more comprehensive and effective training for professionals to prepare them to more quickly and accurately recognize patterns and trends (such as the growing number of LD/D diagnoses over the past decade), and disability in education being reframed, reimagined, and handled as a social issue, a repairable condition in need of attention and resources.

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