Authoring Dis/ability Identities

Mapping the Role of Ableism in Teacher Candidate Identity Construction


  • Molly Baustien Siuty Portland State University
  • Margaret R. Beneke University of Washington-Seattle



Abelism, Critical Inclusive Teacher Education, dis/abled teacher candidates, Critical Disability Studies, Teacher Education


Ableism, or the belief that abled ways of being and knowing are superior, perpetuates deficit views of ability differences, and constructs dis/ability as a problem in need of remediation so that individuals achieve “normalcy.” Ableism’s entrenched pervasiveness in education systems can be a significant barrier in teacher education when preparing critical educators who can work towards radical forms of dis/ability justice. In this paper, we argue that dis/abled teacher candidates can afford particular insight into the ways in which ableism operates in educational institutions and that dis/ability should be considered an asset to inclusive and socially just teacher preparation. Using Critical Conversation Journey Mapping as a methodology, we use sociocultural theory and a critical dis/ability studies framework to explore ways in which dis/abled teacher candidates in teacher preparation programs both experienced ableism throughout their educational trajectories and how these experiences served as cultural resources in their teacher preparation.