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Lani Florian

In: The SAGE Handbook of Special Education

Chapter 2: Reimagining Special Education

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Reimagining Special Education
Reimagining special education

Positioned as it is, as both the problem of and the solution to injustice in education, the field of special education occupies contested terrain. Throughout its history, advocates and critics have simultaneously hailed and condemned it as both a means of achieving equal educational opportunity and a perpetrator of injustice in education. The historian of education, Martin Lazerson (1983), articulated the issue well:

From its inception, some have condemned special education for not being available to enough children, and some, especially parents of handicapped children, have demanded more as well as better programs. Yet others have condemned special education for too readily identifying children as handicapped, and too readily placing them in segregated classes. All, from within and outside the educational system, ...

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