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Dilemmas of difference and the identification of special educational needs/disability: international perspectives

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Abstract:

This article reports findings from an international study about dilemmas of difference in relation to special educational needs and disability in education. It was part of a larger study of the perspectives of 132 education practitioners and policy makers in England, the USA and the Netherlands to a range of dilemmas of difference. It also compares these current perspectives with ones from similar groups in England and the USA from the early 1990s. Participants were interviewed about their perspectives on a presented dilemma about the consequences of identifying children as having a disability or a special educational need. The data are presented in quantitative terms (degrees of recognition and resolution of dilemma) and qualitative terms (reasons, justifications and suggested resolutions). The findings show variations in responses to the dilemma that relate to national differences, but also commonalities in the recognition of this dilemma, reasons for recognising and ways of resolving the dilemma.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01411920802044446

Affiliations: School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of Exeter, UK

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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