About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 7142 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

STUDENTS THROUGH THE LENS OF ‘DISABILITY IDENTITY’, AT THE UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND

M. Verstichele

Ghent University (BELGIUM)
At Ghent University 3,1% of the students are identified as being a student with a disability. The university sees an augmentation of this number each year. The Policy unit Diversity and Gender, founded in 2008, invests a lot in concrete actions for students with disabilities. Next to that, they also want to know more about how students think about different aspects of the university, for example its accessibility in the broadest sense. Apart from using quantitative (surveys) and qualitative (focus groups) research, the unit also sets up larger qualitative research, using the lens of disability identity. In a first phase of the research, three students participated in three in-depth interviews. Next to that phase, a fourth graduate student, who is also a colleague of the researcher, participated. With her, the researcher also discussed themes, topics, concepts and literature. Because of her influence and position, she can be seen as a co-researcher. She plays an important role in taking in disability identity ‘beyond’ university.
The first thematic analysis brought an initial insight in important topics students addressed, when thinking about disability identity. A large variation of topics were presented: from the importance of having a social network (family, friends, hobbies) and the role of previous educational experiences, to the role of their ‘medical diagnosis’, and the way they deal and cope with difficulties inside and outside the university. Moreover, they often talked about how they see themselves and which influence the label ’disability’ has on their view of self and life in general.
As a next step the researcher will work on a thematic analysis, making use of the grounded theory framework (Glaser & Strauss, 1967), using her Disability Studies lens. The data can be seen as rich or thick descriptions, which lend them very good to do a grounded theory. The researcher uses for example memo-writing as a tool to note suggestions on how codings, categories and concepts relate together (Van Hove & Claes, 2011). Since the co-researcher reads articles and links concepts and ideas to her life, she is of significant importance during this process as well. We also search for how an institution for higher education can improve its policy and practice towards students with disabilities.
Another research method the researcher will use is a theoretical analysis, using the concept of difference and differenciation (Bronwyn, 2009). The students often referred to concepts of being different, equal or ‘normal’, and belonging to a group of other people with disabilities or not. Using the concept of difference/differenciation will highlight and bring together some important themes students brought up in the interviews.
In the paper the researchers will report upon the thematic and theoretical analysis using the concept of difference/differenciation and take you through their process of analyzing using a grounded theory.

References:
Bronwyn & Gannon (ed.)(2009). Pedagogical encounters, Peter Lang, New York.
Glaser & Strauss (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research, , Aldine Publishing Company, Chicago.
Van Hove & Claes (2011). Qualitative Research and Educational Sciences: a Reader about Useful Strategies and Tools, Pearson Education, Harlow.
@InProceedings{VERSTICHELE2012STU,
author = {Verstichele, M.},
title = {STUDENTS THROUGH THE LENS OF ‘DISABILITY IDENTITY’, AT THE UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {7142}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Verstichele
TI - STUDENTS THROUGH THE LENS OF ‘DISABILITY IDENTITY’, AT THE UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 7142
EP - 7142
ER -
M. Verstichele (2012) STUDENTS THROUGH THE LENS OF ‘DISABILITY IDENTITY’, AT THE UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, p. 7142.
User:
Pass: