A Sociology of Special and Inclusive Education brings sociological perspectives to bear on the social, political and economic policies and practices that comprise special and inclusive education, and the education of lower attainers. Increasingly governments have accepted the premise that education should incorporate all social and ethnic groups, especially those regarded as having special educational needs, disabilities and difficulties in learning, but despite a plethora of literature on special and inclusive education world-wide, governments are still unsure of the reasons for this sector’s expansion in their national education systems.
Professor Tomlinson applies critical sociological perspectives to the social processes, policies and practices that comprise special and inclusive education, particularly in England and the USA. She clearly examines the way in which people or groups exercise power and influence to shape this area of education, and discusses the conflicts of interest that arise in resulting social interactions and relationships. Key questions asked include:
Why and how has a whole sector of education dealing with young people regarded as having learning difficulties, low attainments, behaviour problems or disabilities developed?
How have special education programmes and resources become subsumed into variations of inclusive education?
Why have ideological beliefs in hierarchies of ability, limits to learning potential and IQ as measurement continued to legitimate the treatment of young people?
What happens to young people after their special, included or lower attainers' programmes, in terms of work and life chances?
A Sociology of Special and Inclusive Education will be of interest to a wide range of educators, professionals, practitioners and policy-makers concerned with special, inclusive and vocational education, in addition to undergraduate, post-graduate and research students and academics.