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Artiles, Kozleski to Co-edit Special Education Book Series


September 09, 2008

Arizona State University professors Alfredo J. Artiles and Elizabeth B. Kozleski have been selected by Teachers College Press as co-editors of a new groundbreaking book series that will offer an interdisciplinary approach to disability, culture and equity issues in education.

At the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, Artiles’ research examines the ways ideologies of difference (indexed by race, language background, class) mediate schools’ responses to student needs. He examines disability identification practices as a window into schools’ cultural constructions of difference. His research also focuses on professional learning for social justice. Kozleski’s research focuses on complex systems change in school reform, inclusive education and its impact on students, families, teachers and professional learning for urban education.

The book series, titled Disability, Culture & Equity, explores some of the most pressing challenges in schools today, including how to educate culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Kozleski notes that their work on the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (www.nccrest.org) demonstrates a longstanding U.S. trend to disproportionately identify and place students from culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse backgrounds in special education. The work of the Center has focused on professional learning that foregrounds the importance of culture and language in the ways in which teachers practice to meet the needs of increasingly diverse public school students.

Artiles said the central themes for the book series have been a part of the editors’ emerging conceptualization of special education. When Teachers College Press approached Artiles to develop a series about special education, it created the opportunity to bring these perspectives together. Scholars will submit book proposals for peer review to populate the series, which will target research, policy, and practitioner audiences.

“We have had preliminary discussions with several accomplished scholars doing cutting edge work on the book series themes, and we expect to begin receiving their book proposals in the near future,” Artiles said. “We’re excited about the future contributions of this book series. The interdisciplinary perspective that informs the series will advance the ways in which we understand the intersection of disability and culture in the globalization era.”

According to the call for book proposals from Teachers College Press, Artiles and Kozleski note that the need to achieve educational equity for students considered different—based on culture, language, class and ability—is greater than ever. Policymakers are seeking ways to increase equitable outcomes for all learners as researchers strive to understand how culture and disability intersect and the impact of various forms of difference in educational outcomes.

“We hope to attract researchers and scholars with international perspectives as well as those from the U.S.,” Kozleski said. “Tensions created by multiple forms of difference are emerging throughout the world as the opportunity to be educated is being created for more and more children.”

Policymakers, researchers, and practitioners are challenged by multiple federal and state policies that create tension and conflict as school leaders try to implement equity agendas in school improvement plans. High-stakes tests and assessments, discipline policies and sustainability demands also influence outcomes for all learners, particularly for students from non-dominant groups.

The books are intended to provide educators, researchers and policymakers with research-based knowledge and recommendations on how to educate culturally and linguistically diverse learners and develop an interdisciplinary approach to study the intersections of race, ethnicity, social class, language, gender and disabilities.

Authors interested in submitting proposals for the series can contact Artiles (alfredo.artiles@asu.edu) or Kozleski (elizabeth.kozleski@asu.edu).