No Stone Left Unturned: Exploring the Convergence of New Capitalism in Inclusive Education in the U.S.


  • Federico R. Waitoller University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Elizabeth B. Kozleski The University of Kansas



inclusive education, New Capitalism, neoliberalism in education, performativity, professional vision, students with disabilities, special education, professional learning communities


This paper examines how inclusive education reform is appropriated when New Capitalism work practices dominate the discourse of school improvement in an urban school. We asked how New Capitalism mediates the formation of a professional vision for inclusive education. Using analytical tools from Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), we analyzed school, district, and university documents and artifacts, interviews, field observations gathered by site professors, videos of teachers’ classroom practices, and video-stimulated interviews. The findings demonstrate how New Capitalism shaped a professional vision (Goodwin, 1994) for inclusive education through the deployment of certain technologies such as performativity and its graphic displays of quality and auditing practices. Performativity shaped relationships among school personnel and their understanding of their work, inclusive education, and students from ethnic minorities struggling to learn. Our discussion of the findings and our recommendations are guided by an inclusive education agenda that addresses issues of misdistribution, misrecognition, and misrepresentation.


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Author Biographies

Federico R. Waitoller, University of Illinois at Chicago

Federico R. Waitoller is an assistant professor in the department of special education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on urban inclusive education. In particular his interests include policies affecting inclusive education reform, teacher learning, school/university partnerships, and racial inequities in special education. Dr. Waitoller has published his work in national and international journals and in edited volumes, and he is the co-editor of Inclusive Education: Examining Equity in Five Continents by Harvard Education Press. Dr. Waitoller was honored with the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Minority Dissertation Fellowship and most recently with a Faculty Fellowship from the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy.

Elizabeth B. Kozleski, The University of Kansas

Professor Elizabeth B. Kozleski chairs the Special Education program at the University of Kansas. Her work theorizing systemic change for equity, inclusive education, and professional learning for urban schools is well recognized nationally and internationally. Her book, Ability, Equity, and Culture: Sustaining Inclusive Urban Education Reform, was published in 2014. Her research interests include the analysis of models of systems change in urban and large school systems, examining how teachers learn in practice in complex, diverse school settings, researching multicultural educational practices that improve student learning and the impact of professional learning schools on student and teacher learning.




How to Cite

Waitoller, F. R., & Kozleski, E. B. (2015). No Stone Left Unturned: Exploring the Convergence of New Capitalism in Inclusive Education in the U.S. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23, 37.