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Special Schools, Inclusion, and Justice


Trish McMenamin

Special Schools, Inclusion, and Justice discusses how special school provision is a feature of many, if not most, education systems despite the fact that inclusive education is promoted almost universally as both a moral and a political imperative. In an education policy climate in which inclusion is the dominant motif, the special school sector is an anomaly and special schools inevitably occupy an uncertain and somewhat invidious position. This situation raises a number of questions concerning matters of justice and fairness with respect to its impact on special schools and their communities. It also raises questions about the validity of the view that inclusion, and only inclusion, can represent justice in education for all disabled children and young people. Special Schools, Inclusion, and Justice explores these matters from a philosophical perspective that centres on the broader question of what, with respect to where they go to school, might constitute a just state of affairs in education provision for disabled children. The New Zealand education context provides the case in point in the book, but the matters it examines and the broader argument and philosophical analysis that it pursues have a much wider international significance and application given the pervasive and dominant influence of inclusion in education policy across the world. Special Schools, Inclusion, and Justice offers a new perspective to international debates and conversations about matters to do with inclusion, justice, and the education of disabled children. It will be of particular interest to scholars working in the field of education in areas such as inclusive and special education, philosophy of education, sociology, and policy studies.

List of Acronyms – Acknowledgements – Credits – Special Schools and Inclusion: A Complicated Conversation – Inclusion – Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives – The Turn to Inclusion in New Zealand Education Policy 1987–1996 – Special Education 2000: New Zealand’s First "Inclusive Education" Policy – The Experiences of Special Schools – A Just State of Affairs – Epilogue – Index.