This edited volume discusses UNESCO’s contributions to inclusive education over the past 20 years, the normative and technical leadership roles this organization has been playing together with its peers and competitors in educational development, and the current status of this issue in academic debates, as well as conceptualizations from different cultures. The chapters reflect and critically discuss a range of positions on the relation between inclusive education, education for all, and special needs education and particularly express the role disability plays in these thematic contexts.
The book brings to light that although the term inclusive education is commonly associated with people with disabilities, there are contexts – e.g., research strands on school development in the UK – in which inclusive education is considered as an approach in which the focus of special (needs) education is widened in terms of the target group, reaching out to the heterogeneity of learners, thus taking diversity as a starting point for educational theory and practice. This book highlights the differences in narratives of inclusive education in the United States and abroad and is intended to bridge the various approaches to the study of inclusive education and disability, particularly in the US, the UK, and the Nordic countries within Europe. Although academics and students in Disability Studies are the target audience, the book is also of high relevance to policy makers in the growing field of inclusive education, as well as being potentially interesting for practitioners in education and social work.