11th February 2000 at 00:00

INCLUSIVE EDUCATION:Policy Contexts andComparative Perspectives. Edited by Felicity Armstrong, Derrick Armstrong and Len Barton. David Fulton Publishers. pound;18.

This compilation looks at inclusion in different countries. There is already quite a lot of informationin the literature about inclusion in English-speaking countries and in Scandinavia, and that is added to bythis volume.

Most interesting was the chapter by Armstrong, Belmont and Verillon on inclusion in France, a country that has been almost ignored by special education researchers. It reveals an interest in social justice and participation rather thansloganeering about inclusion. In the more intelligent and reflective social and politcal climate in which education appears to be discussed in France, it transpires that use of the drug Ritalin for ADHD is illegal. Debate there, in contrast to the UK, seems to be as much about rights as about putative needs.

There are also chapters on Greece and Ireland, but what these seem to show is that the professional and policy thrust in these countries lacks the independently minded approach of the French.

Instead, the Anglo-Scandinavian example seems to have been followed. A chapter on Italy would have been interesting, given that country's brave adventure with integration.

That said, I liked the rights orientation of the book generally: more like it are needed.


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