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This paper analyses the descriptions of families of children with disabilities as contained in introductory special education texts over the last 50 years. These text books are typically used in pre-service teacher education courses as surveys of the education of ‘exceptional children’. The textbooks reflect the mainstream professional assumptions of the era about topics such as disability, special education, inclusion, and family/school linkages. However, they also shape the assumptions of the next generation of educators about these same topics. The paper summarises the results of a qualitative document analysis of a sample of these textbooks from two different eras. The paper compares and contrasts how the representations of families by leading scholars in special education have changed over time.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in International Journal of Inclusive Education, volume 17, issue 12, in 2013, available online: DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2013.826293

Peer Reviewed



Taylor & Francis



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