System of Disability

Aydin Bal


The present article examines an enduring educational inequality- nondominant students’ disproportionate representation in special education programs. From a Marxist historical materialist perspective, racial disproportionality forms a systemic tension that offers a significant opportunity to deeply examine and transform school systems. I first provide a social-historical-spatial examination of racial disproportionality and disability classification process. Then, I detail how formative intervention, an activity theory-based systemic intervention model, can be instrumental in capacity building in local schools to examine and intervene racial disproportionality. The formative intervention methodology that I present in this article aims to re-mediate complex ecologies of school systems by transforming exclusionary processes with local stakeholders who reproduce and are negatively affected by those unjust processes and outcomes.



Racial Disproportionality; Cultural-Historical Activity Theory; Formative Intervention; Expansive Learning; Systemic Transformation; Collective Mapping

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education