ERIC Number: EJ915329
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
Inclusion: By Choice or by Chance?
Armstrong, Derrick; Armstrong, Ann Cheryl; Spandagou, Ilektra
International Journal of Inclusive Education, v15 n1 p29-39 Feb 2011
This paper explores the development internationally of the inclusive education perspective. Inclusive education as a late modernity reform project is exemplified in the call for "Education for All". Despite the simplicity of its message, inclusion is highly contestable. We argue in this paper that the key questions raised by the concept of inclusion are not definitional, despite of, or perhaps because of the difficulties of framing a meaningful definition, but are rather questions of practical political power which can only be meaningfully analysed with reference to the wider social relations of our increasingly globalised world. Inclusion is contested within and across educational systems and its implementation is problematic both in the countries of the North and of the South. Some of these contradictions are discussed in this paper, providing an analysis of national and international policy. In the countries of the North, despite the differences in the ways that inclusion is defined, its effectiveness is closely related to managing students by minimising disruption in regular classrooms and by regulating "failure" within the education systems. In the countries of the South, the meaning of inclusive education is situated by post-colonial social identities and policies for economic development that are frequently generated and financed by international organisations. This paper recognises the contested nature of inclusive education policies and practices in diverse national contexts. It is argued that the meaning of inclusion is significantly framed by different national and international contexts. For this reason the idea of inclusion continues to provide an opportunity in education and society in general, to identify and challenge discrimination and exclusion at an international, national and local level.
Descriptors: Economic Development, Inclusion, Mainstreaming, Educational Change, Classrooms, Political Power, Foreign Policy, Equal Education, Politics of Education, Social Influences, Global Approach, Public Policy, Regular and Special Education Relationship, Educational Finance, Financial Support, Social Justice, Developing Nations, Disabilities
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A