Rethinking the Order of Things: Models, Practices, and Tools to Move Beyond Existing Taxonomies in Early Childhood (Special) Education
Guest Edited by Chelsea L. Waters and Gregory A. Cheatham
Existing models (e.g., self-contained classrooms, reverse mainstreaming), practices (e.g., initial and ongoing assessment), and tools (e.g., assessment tools) that guide the field of early childhood (special) education are largely rooted in the medical model of disability (cf. Skrtic, 1991, 1995). These models, practices, and tools often perpetuate the identification (e.g., atypical development), categorization (e.g., disability label), and treatment (e.g., educational and social experiences) of difference (e.g., disability) in ways that lead to the stigmatization and othering of those labeled as different (Minow, 1990). To reconceptualize the field of early childhood (special) education in a way that fosters a socially just, democratic society (Dewey, 1916), a Foucauldian perspective may encourage stakeholders to rethink the order of things (Foucault, 1966), in terms of which structures and taxonomies can be embodied in models, practices, and tools within early childhood (special) education.