There appears to be a well-established consensus that educational inclusion is a ‘good’ that should be achieved within our educational systems. Ground breaking international conventions, national policy and legislation all articulate the value of educational inclusion for children and young people from traditionally marginalised communities, in particular, those students who have special educational needs. Students with special educational needs are increasingly supported within mainstream education with dedicated teaching and support personnel, adapted curricula and reasonable accommodations. Despite this progress serious questions and challenges remain. Some researchers (Minow, 1991, Norwich, 2009) have conceptualised these challenges as the dilemma of difference. Within this address, I would like to explore in greater depth what these dilemmas of difference look like in practice and suggest that in many instances these dilemmas are not confined to establishing inclusive learning environments but rather concern fundamental struggles with difference within society.

Published in: London International Conference on Education (LICE-2016)

  • Date of Conference: 14-17 November 2016
  • DOI: 10.2053/LICE.2016.0002
  • ISBN: 978-1-908320-76-6
  • Conference Location: Heathrow Windsor Marriott Hotel, UK