Inclusive education: Knowing what we mean
Inclusive education: Knowing what we mean

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Inclusive education: Knowing what we mean


Commentators (e.g. Pijl et al., 1997) have described inclusive education as ‘a global agenda’. The persistence of the forces that marginalise individuals or groups of learners, and also the models that would categorise them in particular ways, makes the struggle for inclusion an ongoing one.

You will see why at the start of this section we felt it important to define what we and others may mean when we use the term ‘inclusion’. This is because understanding what the term means is constantly being redefined. The many different ‘stakeholders’ in education who use the term give it their own meaning, and it is important that you remain alert to changes in emphasis and intent.

Having read this unit you'll see that we are discussing notions of what inclusive education might be. What we haven't done at this point is to consider whether or not inclusive education is actually a ‘good thing’. Segregated and special education has a long history, and exerts a powerful influence on education (Open University, 2003). It is easy to come across arguments against inclusive education either as a concept or in the way that it is being enacted. Over the next few days, when you are looking at newspapers, listening to radio or searching the internet, you may want to note these down.


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