ERIC Number: EJ1100893
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 63
Awareness-Raising, Legitimation or Backlash? Effects of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Education Systems in Germany
Powell, Justin J. W.; Edelstein, Benjamin; Blanck, Jonna M.
Globalisation, Societies and Education, v14 n2 p227-250 2016
Global discourse about human rights, education for all, and inclusive education has altered social norms relating to dis/ability and schooling, especially through awareness-raising, by legitimating advocates' positions and by facilitating policy reforms. Affected by societal and educational change, special education systems and their participants have also transformed societies. Widespread recognition of education's impact--and of institutionalised discrimination that disabled pupils face--galvanises contemporary debates. If special education successfully provided learning opportunities to previously excluded pupils, the goal has shifted to inclusive education. In such settings, all children, regardless of their characteristics, attend neighbourhood schools where they are supported to reach their individual learning goals in diverse classrooms. This global ideal has gained legitimacy, as most countries have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN-CRPD), which mandates inclusive education, specifying facilitated access and meaningful educational opportunities. This has considerable implications for all learners. Examining the effects of the UN-CRPD in Germany, one of the most highly stratified and segregated education systems in Europe, provides a hard test case of the (potential) impact of this international charter on national education systems. To meet its mandate, Germany's 16 states ("Bundesländer") would have to radically reform their education systems, whose segregated structures remain antithetical to inclusive education. Examining education policy reform processes since the 1970s, we find contrasting path-dependent reactions: In Schleswig-Holstein, inclusive education has diffused broadly and attained broad legitimacy, but in Bavaria its development has stalled; school segregation remains pervasive. Below national level, the UN-CRPD's potential to affect the pace and scope of change depends considerably on the structures in place at ratification.
Descriptors: Disabilities, Consciousness Raising, Foreign Countries, Children, Childrens Rights, International Law, Treaties, Inclusion, Civil Rights, Educational Policy, Neighborhood Schools, Access to Education, Educational Opportunities, Educational Change, School Segregation, Educational Legislation, Geographic Regions
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany