ERIC Number: EJ719251
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar
Reinventing "Inclusion": New Labour and the Cultural Politics of Special Education
Oxford Review of Education, v31 n1 p135-151 Mar 2005
New Labour has placed inclusion at the centre of its educational agenda. Its policies have been characterised by an attempt to include disabled children, together with others identified as having "special educational needs", within the ordinary school system and the shifting of responsibility for meeting their needs to teachers in the ordinary classroom. Policy on inclusion has also been formulated under the wider policy goal of improving educational quality as measured by narrowly conceived performance criteria. Yet, New Labour's policies have failed to engage with the issue, identified in particular by the disability movement, of the cultural politics of special education and exclusion. In consequence, New Labour's policy on inclusive education is beset with contradictions and there is little evidence of real change in the system, even in terms of the government's own ambitions. What is distinctive about New Labour policy on inclusive education is how the language of inclusion has been mobilised as a central normalising discourse of governance. State intervention is advanced in pursuit of technical "solutions" to social exclusion as a moral rather than as a political problem.
Descriptors: Politics, Educational Quality, Educational Needs, Special Education, Social Isolation, Inclusive Schools, Educational Policy, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom