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PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, EDUCATION (oxfordre.com/education). (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Rather than being viewed as incompatible or polar opposites, special education and inclusive education can be seen as equally important components of effective education systems that produce optimal outcomes for all learners. The same can be said for equity and excellence, as a focus on equity should be combined with measures to promote excellence for all learners in order to optimize overall outcomes. Alternatively, emphasizing either special education or inclusive education, to the exclusion of the other, within education systems will jeopardize both equity and excellence and lead to less than optimal educational achievement. Having an education system with a balance of both special education and inclusive education, however, within a comprehensive service delivery model, will result in superior educational outcomes. Clearly, there needs to be a synthesis of key components of special education and inclusive education in order to provide an equitable and excellent education for all learners, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.

Keywords: special education, inclusion, equity, excellence

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