University of Cambridge > > Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series > Towards Inclusive Education: Swimming against the tide of educational reform?

Towards Inclusive Education: Swimming against the tide of educational reform?

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Special needs education and inclusion is an important but not dominant aspect of current education reform in Kazakhstan. This presentation will explore why some children continue to be marginalised from schooling and it will locate the current struggle for inclusion in the context of international attempts to create Education for All (EFA). The presentation is informed by national and international reports on educational inclusion and diversity in Kazakhstan and on research evidence from recent small-scale research studies as part of the, ‘School reform and internationalisation’ project. In Kazakhstan, as well as in many post-Soviet countries, children with special education needs are educated within a traditional approach known as defectology. Historically this involved education in residential special schools (correctional schools) or at home under supervision of trained specialists known as defectologists. Many children with disabilities and special educational needs continue to be stigmatised and socially excluded. There is an argument for changing the framework for responding to disability from defectology to inclusion, which is seen by many as a new moral imperative. The presentation will consider some of the substantial and competing forces that are currently affecting efforts to develop inclusive education in Kazakhstan. It will conclude with some tentative suggestions for the future development of inclusive education in Kazakhstan.

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This talk is part of the Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series series.

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