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Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, v6 n3 p117-140 2016

The purpose of this article is to examine the factors that affect the inclusion of pupils in programmes for children with special needs from the perspective of the theory of recognition. The concept of recognition, which includes three aspects of social justice (economic, cultural and political), argues that the institutional arrangements that prevent "parity of participation" in the school social life of the children with special needs are affected not only by economic distribution but also by the patterns of cultural values. A review of the literature shows that the arrangements of education of children with special needs are influenced primarily by the patterns of cultural values of capability and inferiority, as well as stereotypical images of children with special needs. Due to the significant emphasis on learning skills for academic knowledge and grades, less attention is dedicated to factors of recognition and representational character, making it impossible to improve some meaningful elements of inclusion. Any participation of pupils in activities, the voices of the children, visibility of the children due to achievements and the problems of arbitrariness in determining boundaries between programmes are some such elements. Moreover, aided by theories, the actions that could contribute to better inclusion are reviewed. An effective approach to changes would be the creation of transformative conditions for the recognition and balancing of redistribution, recognition, and representation.

Descriptors: Special Needs Students, Children, Inclusion, Social Values, Cultural Influences, Recognition (Achievement), Social Justice, Change Strategies, Accessibility (for Disabled), Equal Education, Educational Practices, Economic Factors, Political Influences, Foreign Countries

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education. University of Ljubljana Kardeljeva plošcad 16. Slovenia. Tel: +386-1-5892-344; e-mail: editors[at]; Web site:

Autor: Šmid, Marjeta


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