Access to inclusion and community through culture: ...

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Paper title Access to inclusion and community through culture: Parents' use of capital to improve their children's education
Paper author(s) Carla DiGiorgio
Proceedings title Proceedings of the Redesigning Pedagogy Conference: Culture, Knowledge and Understanding
Date 2008
Abstract The advent of French minority language schools and an inclusive educational policy in Canada have provided an alternative school option for entitled parents of children with physical and academic disabilities. This has created the potential for community and belonging for students with disabilities and their families who have traditionally been segregated from schools due to their alternative linguistic and/or academic capital (Gay, 2002; Hanson & Gutierrez, 1997). As part of a larger ethnographic case study of inclusion in a minority language school, Bourdieuian notions of capital were used to analyze parent capital, in order to differentiate between parents’ contrasting experiences. The combination of cultural and academic capitals provided new possibilities for students with disabilities. This study points to the role parents have in accessing and involving themselves in their children’s education, and the role that cultural and academic capital have in defining and balancing the identities of schools and the communities they encompass.

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