International Developments on Inclusive Education and the Presentation of a Participative and Reflective Approach to Research

Authors Hans Schuman, Nicolina Montesano Montessori
Published in Civitas Educationis. Education, Politics and Culture
Publication date 2015
Research groups Normative Professionalisation
Type Article


The purpose of this contribution is twofold. On the one hand we present an overview of recent international developments on inclusive education since the Salamanca Declaration (UNESCO, 1994). We also present the more general challenges and dilemmas this new approach generated, along with a series of promising approaches that have been developed internationally. We will argue – in agreement with many others – that inclusive education requires taking distance from a (dominant) medical-deficit approach in favour of a citizenship approach, which is connected to the Human Rights discussion. Finally, we will argue that the foregoing also suggests an alternative approach towards research in education: a more participative and reflective approach. We then present some examples of research developed and applied by the two authors in which people with disabilities and the professionals working with them were not considered ‘objects of research’, but were research partners throughout the process. The main working principles of this approach will be described and we will discuss some salient results of it.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Civitas Educationis. Education, Politics and Culture
Year and volume III 1
Key words people first language, inclusive education, Social model of disability, the voice of the learner, self-determination and choice, inter-professional collaboration
Page range 99-117