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Education Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2015

Special education

Special Education Administration

Journal of Critical Issues in Educational Practice

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Full-Text Articles in Education

How Foucault’S Panopticon Governs Special Education In California, Gail Angus, John M. Winslade May 2015

How Foucault’S Panopticon Governs Special Education In California, Gail Angus, John M. Winslade

Journal of Critical Issues in Educational Practice

Special education laws in California function to create compliance by creating an environment of constant surveillance and monitoring from a range of perspectives. Even those who do the monitoring are themselves subject to this surveillance. This process is explained with reference to Bentham’s design of the panopticon and analyzed in relation to Foucault’s concept of governmentality. The intent here is to show how professionals’ and laypersons’ actions are governed by seeking to avoid being seen to behave incorrectly or getting caught behaving inappropriately. The governing of people’s lives is thus dispersed through professional decision-making and reporting. The ...