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25 Years

Relational Inclusion, Plural Rights, the SDGs, and National Education Policy

Date: 
Fri, 10/18/2019 - 12:00pm
Event Location: 
537 Heller Hall

Presented by: Chris Johnstone, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development 

Scholars and practitioners of inclusive education often use terms like “all” or “universal” to describe their aims. What it means to be “inclusive”, however, is contested in policy and practice. Recent scholarship in the fields of sustainable development and disability law may present a model that informs global trends influenced by the Sustainable Development Goals. Gupta and Vegelin (2016), for example, describe “relational inclusion” as that which critically analyzes power relationships and equitably distributes power and resources to ensure full participation. Mégret further claims that recent United Nations proclamations such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities point to “plural rights” which are about “delving deeply into issues of identity, survival, and dignity of particular groups” (2008, p. 496). These models set up a model for examining inclusive education policy through a “plural-relational” model. Such a model focuses on issues of redistribution and the rights of diverse yet specific groups in educational processes. Further, a plural-relational model problematizes “social” models of inclusion (which are primarily focused on dominant groups ‘welcoming’ others into existing systems, Gupta, 2016) and “universal rights” which focus on common, decontextualized rights for all individuals.