Current efforts towards inclusion are impeded by a lack of understanding of inclusive education and frequent misappropriation and co-opting of the term. Additional barriers include negative and discriminatory attitudes and practices, the lack of a clear and genuine national commitment to inclusive education, insufficient support to facilitate inclusive education, and inadequate education and professional development in inclusive education for teachers and other professionals.
This review of the research, in keeping with all other existing reviews and meta-analyses dating back over many decades, reveals a consistent lack of evidence to suggest any benefit of segregated education. By contrast, a considerable body of research was identified demonstrating the benefits of inclusive education. Despite these well-known findings, which have been persistent for more than half a century, current research nationally and internationally shows that segregated education not only continues, but is increasing.
Building on the research base for inclusive education outlined in the first edition, this second edition consists of an extensive systematic literature review. It examines evidence across six decades and incorporates more than 400 research papers, relevant treaties and reports, to further explore the existing barriers and the possibilities for addressing these to bring about the realisation of inclusive education.