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ERIC Number: EJ970468
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0305-4985
The Irresistible Rise of the SEN Industry
Tomlinson, Sally
Oxford Review of Education, v38 n3 p267-286 2012
This article offers some explanations for the simultaneous expansion of special educational services and personnel, with the increasing inclusion in mainstream education of more young people with disabilities and learning difficulties. Following discussions with some 70 professionals, administrators and others in a study in four countries, it suggests that underpinning mass education systems in developed and developing countries is an expanded and expensive "SEN industry". Governments have acquiesced in the development of this industry, conceding its importance in dealing with groups who may be increasingly surplus to labour requirements in "knowledge economies" and also in need of social control measures. It is unlikely that special education will disappear despite commitments to inclusive education. The article notes that those defined as in need of special educational attention vary at different historical times and between different professions, but a majority of those regarded as having learning and/or behaviour problems were always largely from the lower social classes. Although historically middle-class parents usually denied they had "defective" children, and avoided stigmatised categorisation or schooling, now the middle classes and aspirant parents increasing claim classification, funding and resourcing for children who are unlikely to achieve in competitive market-driven school systems. The needs of parents, for their children to be resourced on the basis of medical or therapeutic "diagnosis", the continuing needs of teachers encouraged or coerced to "raise standards" to be free of troublesome and disruptive pupils, and the needs of an expanding number of professionals and practitioners, including neuroscientists and "brain" experts, to expand their clientele are further explanations offered for the rise of the SEN industry. (Contains 1 table and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany; United Kingdom; United States