Diversity Beyond Disability: The Potential for Peacemaking Pedagogy and Practice

Diversity Beyond Disability: The Potential for Peacemaking Pedagogy and Practice

York Williams (West Chester University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2827-3.ch005


The effective delivery of special education relies heavily upon the type of family collaboration beyond the students' disability, an area that is commonly overlooked in education. Hence, based on the schema presented here, the students' unique cultural and familial needs become paramount in boosting student achievement. The author contends that inclusive practices, coupled with a peacemaking curricula that is culturally responsive, has the potential to provide the ripe amount of programming to enable students to become change agents. Additionally, peacemaking coupled with diversity, tiered interventions, and family collaborations enlarge the floor of opportunity for students with special needs. Students with identified special and other needs and who come from diverse backgrounds benefit not only from rigorous and goal-centered instruction, but also from culturally responsive teaching and pedagogy beyond their disability, embedded with culturally-responsive family collaboration.
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Special Education And Peace Building

According to Kamberidou, Peace Education embodies the very essence of education, giving emphasis to the critical role of our young people to challenge social stereotypes and prejudices. Incontestably transforming cultures of violence into cultures of peace takes time and collaborative-intergenerational efforts, distinctively demonstrated in the ongoing activities and projects. Peace becomes more than just a notion used to energize and invigorate students, staff and faculty to adjoin inclusive activities and events. All students, especially those specialized educational needs must be included in all aspects of peace building, resilience, conflict resolution and more socially based school climate peer mediation programs. Johnson and Jonson (1996) maintain that there are significant negative outcomes associated with only partially integrating peace and conflict skills into the K-12 curricula.

The authors suggest that peace and conflict must be a part of everyday teaching, including all students. When done one-sided, there are potentially numerous negative outcomes of poorly managed conflicts, including lower achievement and detrimental effects on individual students such as stress and challenges to self-esteem and self-efficacy. Partly in response to the increased conflict, there has been an increase in the number of conflict resolution and peer mediation programs in schools. Hart & Banda (2018) suggest that there numerous ways to advance this inclusive peace framework for all students, regardless of their social, emotional and intellectual functioning. One way is through social peer interaction data that impacts programming.

Hart & Banda (2018) suggest that normative peer data can be used to select socially-valid intervention goals (McGee, Feldman, & Morrier, 1997), set target levels for those goals (Tremblay, Strain, Hendrickson, & Shores, 1981), and continue intervention until those levels are reached (Ennis et al., 2013; Rogers, 2000). Educators, inclusive practitioners and special educators can use peer norms from the typically-developing peers to consider appropriate pro-social inclusive and peace making curricula to implement with fidelity for students in special education. These norms can be used to develop and strengthen programming based on data from both atypical and typically developing children (Greenwood, Walker, Todd, & Hops, 1981; Gresham et al., 2010). As such, a peace making curricula is more than possible and has its place alongside the continuum of services and supports provided to students receiving special education.

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