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Meaningful Access for Students: A Petersian Account of Educational Inclusion

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Abstract

Educational inclusion remains an area of controversy. While there is a strong moral consensus that children ought to experience a meaningful education irrespective of their ability, the application of this inclusive moral commitment to substantive questions of educational policy and teacher practice remains contentious. In this chapter I argue that the debate over educational inclusion is informed by two rival concepts of education and that the analysis of education foregrounded by the philosopher R.S. Peters can be applied in order to develop a more nuanced account of meaningful access for all students.

Keywords

  • Educational inclusion
  • Special education
  • R.S. Peters
  • Conceptual analysis
  • Justice
  • Aims of education

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For a discussion of some of the possible unjust consequences arising from the decision see Charney and Kraicer (2012).

  2. 2.

    For one perfectionist account of distributive justice see Kupperman (1987).

  3. 3.

    Shakespeare, or whatever culturally significant achievements are relevant to the community in question. My point is not to outline a particular perfectionist curriculum but to show how a perfectionist concept of education has implications for what counts as meaningful access to education.

  4. 4.

    See also Hirst (1965).

  5. 5.

    When Peters talks about the ‘educated person’ it is better to read him as trying to develop an ideal conception of the person in order to draw out those criteria that define an educationally worthwhile process, not to establish what counts as an educated person.

  6. 6.

    Anyone with a further interest in Peters’ account of education should treat Jane Roland Martin’s critique (1981) as essential reading.

References

  • Charney, R. E., & Kraicer, S. (2012). Moore v. British Columbia: A good idea?. Supreme court law review 63. Moore v. British Columbia (Ministry of Education), 2012 S.C.J.C. NO. 61, 2012 3 S.C.R. 360 (S.C.C).

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  • Ladenson, R. F. (2003). Inclusion and justice in special education. In A companion to the philosophy of education (pp. 525–539). Malden: Blackwell.

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Martin, C. (2018). Meaningful Access for Students: A Petersian Account of Educational Inclusion. In: Smeyers, P. (eds) International Handbook of Philosophy of Education. Springer International Handbooks of Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-72761-5_28

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-72761-5_28

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