Citizenship, Disability Discrimination and the Invisible Leaner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter outlines three theoretical lenses (Inclusive Education; the Capability Approach; and Disability Studies) that can be used to think about citizenship, disability discrimination and the invisible learner. Throughout the chapter, the term invisible learner is used in order to emphasize the marginalizing effects of educational systems and the processes of identity formation and societal engagement. The lenses have been selected to represent the ways in which scholars have described the impact of educational systems on learners with disabilities. The first lens, Inclusive Education, will be familiar to most readers in citizenship education and includes debates around the disabling effects of society. The Capability Approach is then outlined as an example of how thinking in other fields - predominantly philosophy and economics - has been adopted and adapted in education. The third theoretical lens, Disability Studies includes: Critical Disability Studies; Dis/ability Studies; and Transnational Models of Disability. The notion of an invisible learner emerges throughout each of the models as a product of blinkered viewpoints that pathologize difference rendering the learner less visible than the perceived disability. The chapter concludes with an outline of arguments that seek to look beyond the global West in theory application and developmen
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Citizenship and Education
EditorsAndrew Peterson, Garth Stahl, Hannah Soong
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
ISBN (Print)103319678299
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 17 Mar 2019


  • Ableism
  • Disability
  • Capability Approach
  • Critical Disability Studies
  • Dis/ablism
  • Inclusive Education
  • Inclusive Pedagogy


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