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Global Convergence of Vocational and Special Education : Mass Schooling and Modern Educability
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The global trend in educational participation has brought with it a cross-national consequence: the expansion of students with "special needs" (SEN) placed in special education and the growth of "low achieving" students diverted to vocational tracks. This book explores the global expansion of special and vocational education as a highly variable event, not only across nations of considerable economic, political and cultural difference, but between nations with evident similarities as well. The book explores the cross-national variation in levels and location of special and vocational education as main quantitative outcomes. At the core of both explorations is the concept of secular benevolence.
The principle and practice of benevolence has "travelled" to mass schooling, and is reconstituted with vocational and special education at one end of educability, and gifted or elite education at the other. A distinguishing focus of the book is the view of policies of special and vocational education as much more than legislative enactments; they are theologies that often share more in common with the sacred. National differences in the sacred and spiritual can offer a richer, albeit neglected explanation for educational contrasts. The chapters embrace national differences as the means to observe two dicta of comparative research: similar origins can result in very different outcomes, and similar outcomes can be the result of very different origins.