The rights of students with disabilities to be educated in their local mainstream school is becoming more and more accepted in most countries, and many reforms are being put in place to achieve this goal. Further, there is no reason to segregate disabled students in public education systems; instead, education systems need to be reconsidered to meet the needs of all students. Based on in-depth analysis of inclusive practice in eight countries, this book addresses the issues that arise for such practices to be successful. The most detailed international comparative study ever carried out, this book shows that all students, whatever the type and extent of their disability, can be successfully included in mainstream schools, as long as certain safeguards are ensured.
Nine areas emerge as being of crucial importance: funding models, systems of public accountability for schools, pupil assessment, curriculum development, adult-to-student ratios, the role of classroom assistants, the functioning of support services, the training of teachers and other professionals and community and parental involvement. The country case studies are complemented by comprehensive annexes describing how teachers can be most efficiently prepared for special education, and developing a procedure for cost-effectiveness analysis of special education.
Further reading Related publications include Implementing Inclusive Education (1997), Post-compulsory Education for Disabled People (1997), and Integrating Students with Special Needs into Mainstream Schools (1995). Further work on the subject, to be released in 2000, will develop quantitative data analysis.
Countries covered Australia Canada Denmark Germany Iceland Italy United Kingdom United States