Barriers to Inclusion: Special Education in the United States and Germany, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Barriers to Inclusion

Special Education in the United States and Germany, 1st Edition

By Justin J. W. Powell


344 pages

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Paperback: 9781594512094
pub: 2016-08-25
Hardback: 9781594512087
pub: 2011-01-30
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Barriers to Inclusion offers a comparative and historical account of the rise of special education over the twentieth century in the United States and Germany. This institutional analysis demonstrates how categorical boundaries, professional groups, social movements, and education and social policies shaped the schooling of children and youth with disabilities. It traces the evolution of special education classification, explores growing special education organizations, and examines students' learning opportunities and educational attainments. Highlighting cross-national differences over time, the author also investigates demographic and geographic variability within the federal democracies, especially in segregation and inclusion rates of disabled and disadvantaged children. Germany's elaborate system of segregated special school types contrasts with diverse American special education classrooms mainly within regular schools. Joining historical case studies with empirical indicators, this book reveals persistent barriers to school integration as well as factors that facilitate inclusive education reform in both societies.


“This is a comparative historical analysis of the development of special education systems in Germany and the United States over the course of the 20th century. It examines cross-national differences in special education institutions and classifications and addresses demographic and geographic variability within each country, especially in segregation and inclusion rates of disabled and disadvantaged children.” --Eithne O’Leyne, June 2011 Reference and Research Book News

"This dynamic and multifaceted study is well written and carefully argued. Powell develops his argument and then supports it through detailed examinations of the history of special education in each country." --Comparative Education Review, February 2012

Table of Contents

Foreword by Karl Ulrich Mayer 1. Disability and Special Education over the Twentieth Century Part One: The Construction of Special Education Organizations and Disability 2. Comparing (Federal) Education Systems: Ideologies, Institutions, and Interests 3. Compulsory Schooling for All Children: Structured Learning Opportunities in Special Schools (Germany) and Special Classes (United States) 4. Classifying "Special Educational Needs": Categorical Boundaries of Student Disability and Disadvantage Part Two: The Development of Special Education Systems: Isomorphism, Expansion, Inertia 5. Germany's Special Schools since 1900 6. Special Classes in the United States since 1900 7. Comparing German and American Special Education Systems Part Three: Barriers to Inclusive Education 8. Institutional Barriers to Inclusion 9 Inclusive Education for the Twenty-first Century?

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General