Constructing expertise: reframing intelligence with preservice teachers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We argue that part of inclusive teacher preparation is building a mindset that positions all learners as valuable and capable members of the classroom community. A key piece of developing this mindset is engaging pre-service teachers in authentically rethinking their understanding of intelligence and expertise. This article is a descriptive piece of an inclusive education teacher preparation programme making changes to construct teachers and peers with intellectual disability as experts to help develop future teachers. We describe the programme and two features that position people with intellectual disability as experts: hiring a teaching assistant with an intellectual disability for an introductory special education course and embedding a semester-long experience that pairs pre-service teachers with college students with intellectual disability. We describe these experiences and what preservice teachers shared about them. Implications for teacher education and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Inclusive teacher preparation
  • intellectual disability
  • preservice teachers
  • special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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