Self-Advocacy and Socially Just Pedagogy

Jenny Slater


Discussions of 'special educational needs' (SEN), 'children with SEN' and 'inclusion' continue to portray disabled learners as problematic 'others' to be tolerated and managed (Allan 2004). The neo-liberal prioritisation of entrepreneurship and autonomy create further problems for disabled learners attempting to negotiate an increasingly market-driven education system. This paper comes about as a result of eight-weeks spent as a volunteer in an organisation offering self-advocacy based projects to young people with the label of ‘learning difficulties’, and considers such projects alongside Deleuzoguatarrian Disability Studies discussions of socially just pedagogy. By drawing on Deleuze and Guattari’s metaphor of the rhizome, and considering desire as productive, it is argued that such projects have the potential to offer an alternative, more engaged and socially-just education to the one currently offered in schools.


self-advocacy, pedagogy, education, Deleuze and Guattari


self-advocacy; pedagogy; education; Deleuze and Guattari

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Copyright (c) 2012 Jenny Slater

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