Challenging the ideology of normal in schools

Subini A. Annamma, University of Denver
Amy L. Boele, University of Colorado Denver
Brooke A. Moore
Janette Klingner


In this article, we build on Brantlinger's work to critique the binary of normal and abnormal applied in US schools that create inequities in education. Operating from a critical perspective, we draw from Critical Race Theory, Disability Studies in Education, and Cultural/Historical Activity Theory to build a conceptual framework for examining the prevailing ideology of normal found in US schools. We use our conceptual framework todeconstruct the current, westernised, static ideology of normal. Once deconstructed, we explore current iterations of the ideology of normal in schools. Finally, we suggest using the conceptual framework as a tool to reconstruct the ideology of normal as something more dynamic and inclusive.