Towards universal inclusion or a particular illusi

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Published on January 14, 2008

Author: Rainero

Source: authorstream.com

Towards universal inclusion or a particular illusion? :  Towards universal inclusion or a particular illusion? The principle of freedom and the future of special schools The scenario: Montlake Special School :  The scenario: Montlake Special School Introduction :  Introduction Two views of human freedom Special schools, freedom and the power of the state Special schools, freedom and plurality 1. Introducing two views of human freedom :  1. Introducing two views of human freedom Where freedom begins and ends:  Where freedom begins and ends John Stuart Mill’s questions: What, then, is the rightful limit to the sovereignty of the individual over himself? Where does the authority of society begin? How much of human life be assigned to individuality? (Mill, 1946: 66) Two answers: Berlin’s (1958) concepts of freedom:  Two answers: Berlin’s (1958) concepts of freedom Negative freedom: freedom from We are free when no one or no thing impedes us. Positive freedom: Freedom to Only in community with others has each individual the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions; only in a community, therefore, is personal freedom possible. (Marx, 1971: 83) 2. Special schools, freedom and the power of the state:  2. Special schools, freedom and the power of the state Introducing the arguments:  Introducing the arguments To defend special schools is to defend the negative freedom of parents to make their own choices free from interference from the state To opposes special schools is to defend the positive freedom of children to grow up in a community in which they are valued as an equal Negative freedom: freedom of the particular against the universal:  Negative freedom: freedom of the particular against the universal The difference between the individual and the state: To individuality should belong the part of life in which it is chiefly the individual that is interested; to society, the part which chiefly interests society. (Mill, 1946: 66) The particular needs and interests of the individual might not be the same needs and interests of state/the majority Real freedom is negative freedom, freedom from interference::  Real freedom is negative freedom, freedom from interference: J.S. Mill: The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. (Mill, 1972:75) Negative freedom and special schools:  Negative freedom and special schools ‘We should take each individual issue on its own and seek to resolve it on educational grounds’ (Barrow, 2001:241) If a child needs to go to a special school, and if it be the wish of the child and their parents, the child should be free to attend that school. Positive freedom: freedom of the particular within the universal:  Positive freedom: freedom of the particular within the universal An individual is free only within a community - Marx on the social essence of man: Man is in the most literal sense of the word a zoon politikon [political animal], not only a social animal, but an animal which can develop into an individual only in society. (Marx, 1977: 346) The paradox of human freedom expressed in the African proverb: ‘I am because we are’. 3. Special schools, freedom and plurality:  3. Special schools, freedom and plurality Introducing the arguments: :  Introducing the arguments: To defend special schools is to defend the negative freedom of parents and children to live their lives their own way To opposes special schools is to defend the positive freedom of children and parents to become unique by becoming part of the whole One size cannot fit all: differing schools for children with differing needs and interests:  One size cannot fit all: differing schools for children with differing needs and interests Equality by treating all the same or by treating each according to their needs? If it were only that people have diversities of taste, that is reason enough for not attempting to shape them all after one model. But different persons also require different conditions for their spiritual development .... (Mill, 1972: 125) Closing special schools and sending all children to so-called inclusive schools denies human plurality; it overrides the differences between human beings. What do we mean by the inclusive school?:  What do we mean by the inclusive school? Inclusion and not assimilation In a truly inclusive school we realise ‘the human condition of plurality, that is, of living as a distinct and unique being among equals’ (Arendt, 1958: 178). In an inclusive school, diversity more than breathes: diversity is the school’s life-breath. Concluding arguments: the defence of special schools:  Concluding arguments: the defence of special schools To defend special schools is to defend negative freedom It is to defend the freedom of the individual from the state, the particular from the universal. It is to defend the individual’s right to live life their own way. Concluding arguments: against special specials:  Concluding arguments: against special specials To oppose special schools is to defend the positive freedom – the freedom to be part of a community. If we are excluded from other persons our human freedom to act, speak and be is denied. References:  References Arendt, H. (1958) The Human Condition (University of Chicago Press: Chicago) Barrows, R. (2001) Inclusion vs. Fairness, Journal of Moral Education, 30(3),235-242. Marx, K. (1977) Grundrisse, in Karl Marx: Selected writings (Ed.) D. McLellan (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Marx, K. & Engels, F. (1970) The German Ideology (Lawrence & Wishart: London). Mill, J. S. (1972) Utilitarianism, On Liberty, and Considerations on Representative Government (London: Dent and Sons Ltd.) Mill, J. S. (1946) On Liberty (London and Oxford: Basil, Blackwell and Mott) Seminar reading :  Seminar reading Martinez, F. (2001) Special V. Normal, Ouch, [Online] http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/columnists/francesca/0904_index.shtml [12/03/06] Sheffield, V. (2000) The Inclusion 'Illusion' [Online] http://www.mugsy.org/illusion.htm [23/09/04] Some further reading :  Some further reading Florian, L. (1998) An Examination of the Practical Problems Associated with the Implementation of Inclusive Education Policies, Support for Learning, 20(2), 96-98. Lindsay, G. (2003) Inclusive education: a critical perspective, British Journal of Special Education, 30(1), 3-12. Hornby, G. (1999) Inclusion or Delusion:Can one size fit all? Support for Learning, 14(4), 152-157. Thomas, G. (2000) Doing injustice to inclusion: A response to John Wilson, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 15(3), 308-310 Wilson, J. (1999) Some conceptual difficulties about ‘inclusion’, Support for Learning, 14(3), 110-112

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