Ability Profiling and School Failure, Second Edition explores the social and contextual forces that shape the appearance of academic ability and disability and how these forces influence the perception of academic underachievement of minority students. At the book’s core is the powerful case study of a competent fifth grader named Jay, an African American boy growing up in a predominantly white, rural community, who was excluded from participating in science and literacy discourses within his classroom community.
In this new edition, researcher and teacher-educator Kathleen Collins situates the story of Jay’s struggle to be seen as competent within current scholarly conversations about the contextualized nature of dis/ability. In particular, she connects her work to recent research into the overrepresentation of minority students in special education, exploring the roles of situated literacies, classroom interactions, and social stereotypes in determining how some students come to be identified as "disabled." Ability Profiling and School Failure, Second Edition comprises a thorough investigation into the socially constructed nature of ability, identity, and achievement, illustrating the role of educational and social exclusion in positioning students within particular identities.