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Inclusive education across Europe: the move in thinking from integration for inclusion

Author(s): Simona D’Alessio | Verity Donnelly | Amanda Watkins

Journal: Revista de Psicología y Educación
ISSN 1699-9517

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 109;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: inclusion | inclusive education | integration | special needs education | disability | Europe.

In 2009 the Strategic Framework for European Co-operation in Education and Training (ET 2020) set the priorities for education and training for the 21st century. The Council Conclusions of 12 May 2009 of the ET 2020 highlighted inclusive education as the most important objective and the fundamental imperative in education to achieve a just and equal society. Until recently, however, at an international level it was not unusual to talk about integration and special needs education as critical strategies for education and training. The differences between these terms have not always been clear, neither have their implications for practice. After providing an overview of the terminology currently used and discussing the differences between these notions, the article will focus on strategies being used to promote the development of inclusive education in Europe as a way to promote social cohesion and equality. The article shows that a change in terminology does not only require a shift in the language used, but also a shift in educational paradigms and most importantly in the agenda for policy and practice. Examples of some of the changes needed to promote inclusion will be drawn from the recommendations of the UNESCO Policy Guidelines (2009) and Agency work.

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