Etoys and Disabilities

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The Importance of Constructivism and Constructivist Pedagogy 
For Disability Studies in Education

Deborah J. Gallagher 
University of Northern Iowa 


"If disability is seen as a constructed experience, it would then seem to follow that under this epistemological framework, those with disabilities are afforded a greater autonomy and authority in expressing who they are and what their experiences in the world are all about. Likewise, constructivist pedagogy affords individuals with disabilities greater autonomy and authority in defining and directing their own learning."

"Most contemporary educators are unaware that the standardized tests widely used today, including IQ tests used to identify students as disabled, are predicated on dubious moral goals of the eugenicists movement. Most are also unaware that the construction of the normal curve, which has so permeated our thinking about normalcy and abnormalcy, was conceived by people in a particular historical context with specific ideological and political aspirations. Instead, most educators, and the public as a whole, have been led to believe that the normal curve is a naturally occurring, scientifically objective tool that detects "real" differences. The normal curve, however, was not discovered; rather, it was constructed as a means to interpret difference in ways that fulfilled its creators' wishes to arrange the social fabric of their world."

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