Siiri and the “Bag Lady”: Analysing the Material Entanglements of Special Needs

  • Riikka Hohti

Abstract

In this article I discuss educational practices and policies relating to special needs, and I also address the assumptions about teacher professionalism in doing so. At the same time I consider the ontological premise of materiality and relationality as something that urges and opens up new possibilities for how qualitative analysis is done. I experiment with feminist posthumanist storytelling to analyse a particularly complex and affective piece of memory data. The empirical materials consist of “memory data” involving a 10-year-old girl, Siiri, myself, then her teacher, and the writing of a teacher’s statement about the student’s behaviour needed to make a special needs decision. The “bag lady” storytelling strategy by Donna Haraway foregrounds material detail and allows various close readings of the complexities of the special needs politics in schools. I propose this approach as a way of enacting critical analysis in an affirmative manner, that is, in a way that resists divisions and binaries and enhances nonreductive movement within the material entanglements of education.
How to Cite
Hohti, R. (1). Siiri and the “Bag Lady”: Analysing the Material Entanglements of Special Needs. Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.7577/rerm.2698