Dimensions of Ableism: Educational and Developmental Ability-Expectations


  • Julia Biermann


Inclusive Education, Special Education, Special Educational Needs, Development Cooperation, Ableism, Ability-Expectations


This paper offers a reflection on results of a case study on inclusive education conducted in Nigeria. It takes up Gregor Wolbring`s (2008, 257) suggestion to look at ability from a broader perspective and thus focuses on the complex relationship between different dimensions of ableism stemming from the construction of special educational groups and needs as well as developing countries. These constructions entail ability-expectations which will be examined by combining Wolbring`s and Fiona Campbell´s approach to ableism and Jan Weisser`s approach to disability. The analysis reveals striking parallels between educational and developmental ableism, which rest on a dichotomy between students groups and a country in need of specialised support, and those able to deliver this support. As a result, the paper suggests to add developmentalism as another dimension of ableism and to reflect on its effects in comparative education research.


Julia Biermann

Julia Biermann is doctoral student at the University of Bremen (Germany). Her research project assesses the influence of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) on the development of inclusive school systems in Nigeria and Germany. She explores the appropriation of inclusive education to national contexts, as anchored in the UN CRPD, combining approaches from discourse, disability and postcolonial studies. One of her recent publications is “Institutional dimensions of inclusive schooling: comparing the challenge of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Germany, Iceland and Sweden” (co-authored with Justin J.W. Powell, Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft 2014, 17 (4), 679-700). She is member of the Working Group Young UN-Studies in the United Nations Association of Germany (uno-forschung.de).





Biermann, J. (2015). Dimensions of Ableism: Educational and Developmental Ability-Expectations. Zeitschrift für Inklusion, (2). Abgerufen von https://www.inklusion-online.net/index.php/inklusion-online/article/view/271