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Title: Equality, capability and social justice in education : re-examining disability and special educational needs
Author: Terzi, Lorella
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 8243
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2005
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This study is a philosophical conceptualisation of educational equality in relation to provision for disabled students and students with Special Educational Needs. Its theoretical core is the outline of a principled framework for a just distribution of educational opportunities to these students. Situated within liberal egalitarianism, this conceptualisation relates principles of justice as fairness (as developed by John Rawls) and the capability approach (as developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum) to the areas of disability studies and special and inclusive education. Current perspectives on disability, and in particular the social model of disability, and positions on Special Educational Needs, as well as related policies, present theoretical and operational limits not only in relation to the achievement of inclusion, but also in addressing the equal entitlement of children to education. These limits derive primarily from the absence of clear principles, and relate specifically to the understandings of disability and special educational needs informing these perspectives. This conceptualisation of educational equality operationalises the capability approach with reference both to issues of definitions and of provision. The capability approach is a normative framework where equality is evaluated within the space of the actual freedoms - or capabilities - people have to pursue their ends and to convert resources into functionings they value. In connecting capability to the demands of justice, this approach contributes important insights to the theorisation of a principled framework for resource distribution. The framework theorised entails principles of justice as fairness informed by a capability metric, which is sensitive to the interests of disabled students and students with learning difficulties, and underpinned by definitions of disability and Special Educational Needs reconsidered in terms of functionings and capabilities. Whilst re-establishing the centrality of educational equality, this study reconceptualises disability and Special Educational Needs within a framework of justice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available