“Where do we put the body?!” – Seminar with Rehabilitation Scholar Dr. Magda Lejzerowicz from Warsaw

On February 21, 2017, Dr. Magda Lejzerowicz visited the EDiTE students at ULS to talk about her research concerning inclusion and disability in the Polish context. Magda gave us valuable insights into the Polish educational system and discussed with us (among other research) the results of her recent study on teachers’ opinions about students with disabilities in their classrooms. She explained to us that many teachers do not feel prepared to teach children who learn differently from the majority of their students or are not even interested in acquiring these skills. At the core of our discussions that followed, was the question of whether inclusion is so much more beneficent to children with disabilities than special schools considering the fact that in special facilities, teachers usually want to work with their students and are trained to do so professionally.
In our discussions, our colleague Agnieszka kept pushing the question of:  “Where do we put the body?!” which reflects the dilemma we face when discussing inclusion theoretically. After all, declaring disability as a social construct does not offer many options to a teacher who works with a kicking and spitting child that communicates non-verbally. In our discussions we were torn between the wish to overcome a merely biological assessment of children on the one hand, and doing justice to the complex situation of teaching children whose world is not always accessible to the people around them. The seminar with Magda provided great food for thought and left us in the creative space of seeking complex answers to complex questions.