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ERIC Number: EJ857203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0885-6257
Tocqueville on Democracy and Inclusive Education: A More Ardent and Enduring Love of Equality than of Liberty
Connolley, Steven; Hausstatter, Rune Sarromaa
European Journal of Special Needs Education, v24 n3 p231-243 Aug 2009
Drawing from some of the insights on the democratic condition made by Alexis de Tocqueville, this article examines critically the reasons given for inclusive education and the motives behind its growing popularity in western industrialised countries. In particular, we consider the supposed benefits of democratisation and equality that proponents of inclusive schooling usually claim. After summarising the benefits that advocates of inclusive education have articulated, we give a brief sketch of Tocqueville's analysis of democratic societies. His observations have demonstrated that democratisation and equality are not necessarily healthy impulses in a democratic society because they have the propensity to smother individual freedom and dissent from commonly held opinions. Accordingly, we argue that the very claims of democratisation and equality are inherently problematic and are potentially inimical to individuals' ability to judge independently. In other words, we argue that democratisation and equality are not necessarily compatible with liberty. We conclude, then, that an educational system that does not prioritise and protect intellectual development for sake of inclusion can only exacerbate these deleterious democratic tendencies. We also assert that inclusive policies reflect the relentless pursuit of equality that democratic peoples exhibit to their own disadvantage.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A