Debating Special Education / Edition 1

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Debating Special Education is a provocative yet timely book examining a range of criticisms made of special education in recent years. Michael Farrell analyses several key debates in special education giving balanced critical responses to inform policy and practice for the future of special education.

The book identifies possible limitations to the current special education knowledge base and provision. Michael Farrell examines the value of labelling and classification, asks if intelligence testing may have detrimental effects and addresses a number of complex issues such as:

how practitioners work within special education and if, sometimes, professionals may be self-serving;

whether there is distinctive provision for different types of disabilities and disorders;

inclusion as mainstreaming offered as an alternative to special education, and the challenges this presents.

The author's conclusion is that, in responding to these challenges, special education demonstrates its continuing relevance and strength. Presenting a range of international, cross-disciplinary perspectives and debates - which are vital to an understanding of special education today - and written in Farrell's typically accessible style, this book will be relevant for teachers of special children in ordinary and special schools, those on teacher training courses and anyone whose work relates to special education.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415567282
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/14/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 0.62 (w) x 0.92 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Farrell is an independent consultant in special education. He has published extensively in the field; his books include The Special Education Handbook, Celebrating the Special School, Key Issues in Special Education and Educating Special Children along with a number of The Effective Teacher's Guides (all published by Routledge).

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Table of Contents

About the author vii

1 Introduction 1

2 Sociological criticisms 9

3 Rights-based criticisms and contested values 20

4 Post-modern criticisms 30

5 Limitations of the special education knowledge base 41

6 The unhelpfulness of classifications 51

7 Problems with assessment 63

8 Negative effects of labelling 74

9 Professional limitations 84

10 Lack of distinctive provision 95

11 The alternative of inclusion as mainstreaming 105

12 Conclusion 115

Bibliography 117

Index 129

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