Inclusive Education And Its Impact On Children And Young People With Disabilities

2039 Words Apr 8th, 2016 9 Pages
Inclusive education has come about in New Zealand as a response to global concerns that all children and young people with disabilities have the right to access and complete an education that is responsive to their needs and relevant to shaping their lives in a positive and meaningful way (United Nations, 1989). In New Zealand, this model of inclusion has been built into the school curriculum and implemented across the country (Ministry of Education, 2007; Education Act, 1989). However, before discussion on the fostering of an inclusive educational culture, it is imperative to examine the historical discourses that have shaped public opinion and reason regarding people with disabilities within the wider community. A society that celebrates diversity amongst the population is one that celebrates the inherent right of individuals to be different from the commonly accepted norm (Rata, O’Brien, Murray, Mara, Gray & Rawlinson, 2001). However, our particular society has historically been one built on the politics of difference, dividing people into categories based on culture, race, usefulness, religion and disability. These have often had the effect of dividing society into opposing groups, defining differences in how these groups fit into and are treated by the larger community (Swain & French, 2008). Discourse plays a role in shaping our responses by providing avenues of discussion, often backed up with research or by an overarching philosophy. These discussions affect and…

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