Competing notions of social justice and contradictions in special education reform

Christensen, CA and Dorn, S (1997) Competing notions of social justice and contradictions in special education reform. Journal of Special Education, 31 2: 181-198.

Author Christensen, CA
Dorn, S
Title Competing notions of social justice and contradictions in special education reform
Journal name Journal of Special Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-4669
Publication date 1997
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 31
Issue 2
Start page 181
End page 198
Total pages 18
Language eng
Abstract In the past three decades, special education has been subjected to extensive critique and reform of practices. These critiques have been based on notions of social justice and equity. However, the field has suffered from inadequate attention to assumptions about social justice. Social justice is essentially a contested concept. Rather than representing a unitary and universally shared concept, social justice has variable meanings. Differing views of social justice can be seen to underlie apparent contradictions in continuing practice in response to pressures for reform. Reforms predicated on individual rights have been undermined by deep commitments to meritocratic practices in U.S. schools. Reforms based on more communitarian principles, however, ignore the need for structure and the tendency for communal values to marginalize people with disabilities. Special education reform today requires a different basis in a relational definition of the self, structures to support the qualities of relationships, and a belief in the mutability of social justice.
Keyword Education, Special
Behavioral-disorders
Students
Placement
Children
Schools
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Education Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 16:54:32 EST