culture of inclusive education; learner with disability; borderland
Kultura i Edukacja, No 4 (2018), s. 63-76
Two currents of educational inclusion have been discussed in this study. The first one is built on the transformations of special education and constitutes the evolution of its basic assumptions. The second is viewed as the deconstruction of special education, it cuts off its traditions and its elaborated concepts. The thesis is put forward here that both currents can be described and explained with the use of the concept of cultural borderlands. The assumption is made that the space of inclusive school constitutes a certain borderland territory, where cultures get in touch. In the discussed case, this pertains to the dominating culture of full ability and the dominated culture of disability, as well as to the traditions of special education and mainstream (open access) education. Depending on the applied and fulfilled assumptions, these cultures differentiate the foundations of the discussed currents in inclusion. The hidden or explicit dimensions of the clashing, coexistence and integration of these cultures can be noticed, interpreted and understood by placing them in basic (due to the limited framework of this study – here: simplified) concepts of borderlands, elaborated within sociology and multicultural education. What is also assumed here is that no awareness of differences in understanding the cultures of inclusion leads to incommensurable methodological assumptions, which substantially undermines the organization of inclusive education in practice. The study is aimed not only at describing the assumptions of two currents of educational inclusion of learners with disability, but also at generating the awareness of the consequences of their theoretical assumptions in the daily routine at school.
In the first part of the text, the basic assumptions of school culture are characterized, with special regard to the culture of inclusive school. Then, the two currents of educational inclusion are described and confronted with the basic premises of borderland cultures. The whole is completed with the final conclusion concerning educational practice.