Special Edition: Salamanca – Ten Years On Produced in co-operation with UNESCO
At a recent conference in Hong Kong, the Australian academic Roger Slee argued that the idea of inclusive education is showing signs of jetlag: it is losing its freshness and is being used to mean too many different things. He went on to explain that at its point of origin, inclusive education was essentially a radical idea that rebelled against medical and psychological explanations of educational difficulties. For him, many of these explanations are part of the tradition of special education that has to be challenged.
So, if we are to make progress we have to be very clear what inclusion means. For EENET it involves efforts to reform policy and practice in education in ways that respect the right of all children to take part, whatever their personal characteristics.
In this edition of ‘Enabling Education’, we continue to report on the way that many friends around the world are taking up inclusive education as a radical idea. We also celebrate the tenth anniversary of UNESCO’s Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education.
EENET has promoted the inclusion of marginalised groups in education through information sharing and networking during the last seven of those ten years. This special edition newsletter has been produced in collaboration with UNESCO in order to promote reflection internationally on the changes which have taken place in education systems and in communities since Salamanca.
By creating conversations about the way in which inclusive practices can be developed in particular contexts and cultures – even with very few material resources – EENET provides opportunities for practitioners to share ideas and reflect on their own practice.
This growing collection of stories, in the newsletter and on the website, is a source of inspiration. Although carefully written policies, rights-based legislation and international declarations are extremely important, people need to know how to implement inclusive education. In this sense, EENET is a post-Salamanca initiative which aims to provide guidance and support to individuals and organisations struggling to promote inclusion.
Mel Ainscow, UK