Inclusion, Participation and Democracy: What is the Purpose?
The question of inclusive education is one which many societies are attempting to address. It is a fundamentally serious and complex issue raising challenges that cover conceptual, organizational, pedagogical, curricular and socio-economic concerns and questions. In this edited collection of papers the reader is confronted with these challenges through, on the one hand, a critical informative analysis of some of the key existing ideas and, on the other, a series of alternative insights and questions requiring further exploration and debate. Adding to the overall qu- ity of the book is the much needed cross-cultural dimension in terms of insights, knowledge, understanding and difficult questions. This is an important book in which new research and interpretations are reported on and discussed. Overall, the papers provide a serious critique of such factors as: the limitations of existing definitions of inclusive education; the narrowness of the focus within which inclusive issues are too often presented; the negative impacts of marketisation, performativity and the standards agenda on the realisation of inclusive values and practice and the constraints of significant socio-economic inequalities and disadvantages within and between communities and schools. These raise serious questions concerning the extent to which schools can make a positive difference in the lives of many pupils.