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Special Education and the Risk of Becoming Less Educated in Germany and the United States. CES Germany & Europe Working Papers, no. 05.1

Powell, Justin J.W. (2004) Special Education and the Risk of Becoming Less Educated in Germany and the United States. CES Germany & Europe Working Papers, no. 05.1. [Working Paper]

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    Over the twentieth century, a growing group of students has been transferred into considerably expanded special education systems. These programs serve children with diagnosed impairments and disabilities and students with a variety of learning difficulties. Children and youth “with special educational needs” constitute a heterogeneous group with social, ethnic, linguistic, and physical disadvantages. An increasingly large percentage of those students at risk of leaving school without credentials participate in special education, a highly legitimated low status (and stigmatizing) school form. While most countries commit themselves to school integration or inclusive education to replace segregated schools and separate classes, cross-national and regional comparisons of special education’s diverse student bodies show considerable disparities in their (1) rates of classification, (2) provided learning opportunities, and (3) educational attainments. Analyzing special education demographics and organizational structures indicates which children and youth are most likely to grow up less educated and how educational systems distribute educational success and failure. Findings from a German-American comparison show that which students bear the greatest risk of becoming less educated depends largely on definitions of “special educational needs” and the institutionalization of special education systems.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Special education; institutionalization; learning opportunity; segregation; integration; inclusion; educational attainment.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-US
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > education policy
    Countries > Germany
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Harvard University, Center for European Studies > Program for the Study of Germany and European Working Papers Series
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2008
    Page Range: p. 25
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 18:00

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