Inclusive Education: A Global Agenda

Inclusive Education: A Global Agenda

Inclusive Education: A Global Agenda

Inclusive Education: A Global Agenda

Synopsis

This book is based on the assumption that inclusive education is a necessary part of providing high quality education for all. Using international examples, it clarifies the rationale for inclusion and demonstrates

Excerpt

For decades special schools have been the pivot of the education of pupils with special needs. In quite a number of countries in the Western world, educators and administrators have put a great deal of effort into the development of a thorough and widely accepted system of special schools. In these schools all the available expertise has been concentrated in an attempt to educate pupils with special needs in the best way. Because of the unusual, special instruction provided in these schools many function as separate, independent schools. Since the 1920s the separate system for special education has been enlarged and refined.

The separate system used to be seen as an expression of the care for pupils with special needs. However, this view of special education has gradually changed. Knowledge, expertise and facilities are still of importance to the education of pupils with special needs, but the segregation of these pupils is now perceived as unacceptable. The prevailing view is that they should be educated together with their peers in regular education settings. The consequence is that regular and special education as separate systems disappear and are replaced by a single system that includes a wide range of pupils. In such an ‘inclusive’ system all pupils attend in principle the same school. The term ‘inclusive education’ stands for an educational system that includes a large diversity of pupils and which differentiates education for this diversity.

The term ‘inclusion’ has a wider context than the term ‘integration’. Integration reflects the attempts to place pupils with special needs in the mainstream in regular education. Several authors (Jordan and Powell 1994; Söder 1989, 1991) have pointed out that integration is often seen as re-integration after a period of segregation, or as a

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