MODELS OF DISABILITY FOR LEARNERS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
Inclusive education is based on the right of all learners to a quality education that meets basic learning needs and enriches lives. Focusing particularly on vulnerable and marginalized groups, it seeks to develop the full potential of every individual. The ultimate goal of inclusive education is to end all forms of discrimination and foster social cohesion. (UNESCO)
According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED-97) (UNESCO, 1997), the term Special Needs Education (SNE) means educational intervention and support designed to address SEN. The term “SNE” has come into use as a replacement for the term “Special Education”. The earlier term was mainly understood to refer to the education of children with disabilities that takes place in special schools or institutions distinct from, and outside of, the institutions of the regular school and university system. In many countries today a large proportion of disabled children are in fact educated in institutions under the regular system. Moreover, the concept of children with SEN extends beyond those who may be included in handicapped categories to cover those who are failing in school, for a wide variety of reasons that are known to be likely impediments to a child’s optimal progress. Whether or not this more broadly defined group of children is in need of additional support, depends on the extent to which schools need to adapt their curriculum, teaching, and organisation and/or to provide additional human or material resources so as to stimulate efficient and effective learning for these pupils. The shifting approaches to disability have translated into very diverse policies and practices. The various models of disability impose differing responsibilities on the States, in terms of action to be taken, and they suggest significant changes in the way disability is understood. Law, policy, programmes, and rights instruments reflect two primary approaches or discourses: disability as an individual pathology and as a social pathology. Within these two overriding paradigms, the four major identifiable formulations of disability are: the charity model, the bio-centric model, the functional model, and the human rights model.
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