What is the critical review of Sociology of Special and Inclusive Education by Sally Tomlinson?

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If you are looking for a good basis to create your own review of Sally Tomlinson's critical sociology of special and inclusive education, you may want to look at a paper presented to the American Educational Research Association Conference in April of 2018 by Sheila Riddell and Duncan Carmichael.

They are researchers from the department of Education, Inclusion, and Diversity of the University of Edinburgh. The paper is titled: "Developing a Critical Sociology of Special and Inclusive Education: The Contribution of Sally Tomlinson."

Riddell and Carmichael agree that Tomlinson's book A Sociology of Special Education is still extremely influential around the world. You can imagine how influential it is when it was originally published in 1982 and then it was reissued again three decades later in 2012.

The review provided by Riddell and Carmichael is applicable only to studies conducted in the UK. However, they agree in that the breadth, depth, and application of Tomlinson's research permeates the educational laws of almost every country whose pedagogical practices stem from the same psychological theories of learning.

Riddell and Carmichael state that, in the book The Sociology of Special Education, Tomlinson examines the super controversial theories of eugenics, which suggest that genetics determine intellectual capacity.

They explain how Tomlinson explores that both in US schools and UK schools, the idea of intelligence was that of a fixed mindset where people are thought to be born either smart or not smart.

Those born with less intellectual capacities were to be "fixed" in isolation or placed in special programs without considering the possibility of increasing mind ability or integrating students to learn from one another.

In the review, Riddell and Carmichael also say that these bad practices, specifically in Scotland, gave way to a lot of other malpractices in education in the years prior to the 1980s. Kids would be placed in one of nine categories of "maladjustment" which could have included things that had nothing to do with cognitive ability.

For example, speech impediments, seizures, and physical disabilities were included as part of those nine categories. This means that these kids, whose conditions had nothing to do with their mental capacity, had to be automatically removed from regular education and be educated in isolation.

Moreover, and to make matters worse, these kids were assumed to be "untrainable." This limited their opportunities even further and prevented any progress or quality of life for them.

Riddell and Carmichael say that Tomlinson's book questioned all of these practices in times where they were actively taking place. Moreover, she provided enough background information and data to show that such practices date back to the nineteenth century and needed to be reviewed and re-classified since they clearly did not work.

To read more information on this awesome review of Sally Tomlinson's book, you can find it published online here.

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