Introduction

Continuing Struggles around Inclusive Education

In: Moving towards Inclusive Education

Abstract

The introduction to this book gives a detailed overview of each chapter in this collection, highlighting the great diversity of approaches to inclusive education being undertaken around the world today. International literature around diversity and inclusive practice in education has been dominated by views from western Europe and the US. Several countries represented in this volume have had little chance to be heard in international literature. While much contemporary debate around inclusive education has seen movement away from the focus on ‘mainstreaming’ of students seen as having ‘special’ needs outside those expected of ‘normal’ students, the distinction between mainstreaming and more inclusive education is not universally embraced. Each country has its own historical experiences of understanding and responding to differences among its people. While there appears to be a broad international consensus, supported by the United Nations, around the notion that education should be inclusive of all students, there are many varying understandings of what this means in practice. Referring to work of commentators such as Roger Slee, this chapter shows ways that the diverse countries in this volume have common goals as well as specific understandings grounded in a variety of cultural understandings that influence policies and their implementation. We discuss the ways that various concerns raised in this volume are positioned in international debates around inclusive education, defined in its broadest sense to include concerns around disability, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion and beyond.

Moving towards Inclusive Education

Diverse National Engagements with Paradoxes of Policy and Practice

Series: