In/exclusion and (dis)ability : (de)constructions of Education White Paper 6 : special needs education

Van Rooyen, Brenda (2002-03)

Thesis (MEd)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: White Paper 6: Special Needs Education, released in July 2001, is the response ofthe South African government's Department of Education to the inclusion movement. In this (re)search, I (de)construct this text to explore constitutions of (dis)ability and inlexclusion. I do so because I frame (de)construction as 'an aggressive, political mode of critical analysis that strips conventional and assumed truths down to their logically insubstantial bare bones' (Danforth & Rhodes, 1997: 358). I argue that it is necessary to (de)constructively read government policy that proposes a course or policy of action, particularly if, as poststructuralists state, language constitutes reality. In reading White Paper 6, I (de)construct the functionalist grand narrative as hegemonic: discourses constituted by and constituting this metanarrative, including the medical or special needs discourse, the charity discourse, the systems discourse, the business discourse and the pioneering discourse. The radical humanist grand narrative is also read as dominant, formed by and forming the rights discourse and social justice discourse. The social constructionist discourse, constituting and constituted by the intepretivist grand narrative, is (dejconstructed in White Paper 6 as not reflecting upon the social construction of disability itself, but on social constructions related to (dis)ability and inlexclusion. The objects, agents, action and binaries constituted by each of these discourses are also (de)constructed, as are the voices on the margins. The purpose of my (re)search is not to construct conclusions, but rather to (de)construct the polyphony of voices, truths and realities speaking into and out of White Paper 6. In so doing, the 'indecidability' (Silverman, 1989: 4) of the text is (de)constructed. With the indecidable (de)constructed, '... discourses can no longer dominate, judge, decide: between the positive and negative, the good and the bad, the true and the false' (Derrida, 1992: 86). (Dis)ability and inlexclusion tmths are troubled and the text is opened to different readings.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Witskrif 6: Spesialebehoefteonderwys, wat in Julie 2001 beskikbaar gestel is, is die reaksie van die Suid-Afrikaanse regering se Departement van Onderwys op die insluitingsbeweging. In hierdie (onder)soek(e) (de)konstrueer ek genoemde teks om bepalinge van (on)vermoë en inluitsluiting te ondersoek. Ek doen dit omdat ek (de)konstruksie sien as ". .. an aggressive, political mode of critical analysis that strips conventional and assumed truths down to their logically insubstantial bare bones ... " (Danforth & Rhodes, 1997: 358). Myns insiens is dit nodig om regeringsbeleid wat 'n handelswyse ten opsigte van, of beleid vir optrede voorstel, (de)konstruktief te lees, veral indien dit is soos die poststrukturaliste voorstel, naamlik dat taal werklikheid is. Met die lees van Witskrif 6, het ek die funksionalistiese groot narratief as hegemonies geede)konstrueer: diskoerse wat deur hierdie metanarratief gevorm word en dit tegelyk ook vorm, met inbegrip van mediese of spesialebehoeftediskoers, die relaas van naasteliefde, die stelseldiskoers, die sakediskoers en die baanbrekersdiskoers. Die radikaal humanistiese groot narratief, wat die regtediskoers en die diskoers van maatskaplike geregtigheid vorm en daardeur gevorm word, word ook as dominant vertolk. Die diskoers van maatskaplike konstruktivisme, wat die interpretatiewe groot narratief vorm en daardeur gevorm word, word in Witskrif 6 geede)konstrueer, as sou dit nie op die sosiale konstruksie van (on)vermoë self sinspeel nie, maar op sosiale konstruksies wat met (on)vermoë en inluitsluiting verband hou. Die voorwerpe, agente, optrede en binêres wat deur elk van hierdie diskoerse gevorm is, sowel as die stemme op die kantlyn, word ook deur hierdie diskoerse ge(de)konstrueer. Die doel van my (onder)soek(e) is nie om uitsluitings te konstrueer nie, maar eerder om die polifonie van stemme, waarhede en realiteite wat vanuit Witskrif 6 tot ons spreek, maar ook inspraak daarin het, te (de)konstrueer. Deur dit te doen, word die "indecidability" (Silverman, 1989: 4) van die teks ge(de)konstrueer. Met die nie-besluitnemende" ... discourses can no longer dominate, judge, decide: between the positive and negative, the good and the bad, the true and the false" (Derrida, 1992: 86). (On)vermoë en die inluitsluiting van Vt'aafhede is problematies en die teks word oopgemaak vir verskillende interpretasies.

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