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Putting Nussbaum’s Capability Approach to work: re-visiting inclusion

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The Capabilities Approach places dignity at its core, emphasising people as ends not means who should be enabled to achieve the plans and goals they have reason to value. Focussed on the entitlement of all people to flourish and to be treated with equal respect, we argue here that this approach lends itself to a consideration of ethical issues around the nature of inclusion in education. We consider the lives of children and young people unable to flourish because of a disability, impairment or a label that assigns them to a ‘special’ or ‘additional support needs’ category, framing our discussion around Nussbaum’s Capability Approach. We suggest this approach provides a useful addition to the theoretical repertoire required to progress inclusion and inclusive education with particular respect to issues such as justice, equality, respect and dignity and, critically, to what people are able to do and to be.

Keywords: ethics; inclusive education; philosophy; special education; well-being

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Education,University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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