Caught in the net: A foucaultian interrogation of the incidental effects of limited notions of inclusion

Linda J. Graham

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    56 Citations (Scopus)


    The Department of Education in the Australian state of Queensland promotes inclusiveness and states a commitment to all students achieving to their full potential (Inclusive Learning, 2004, p. 17). Paradoxically, comprehensive review of Queensland Government education department policy indicates the vision of inclusive education is subordinate to the problematic of 'inclusion as calculus' (Ware, 2002, p.149). Arguably the implications of conceptualising inclusive education via such limited notions of inclusion needs consideration. The question posed in this paper asks what effects the practices involved might have upon those children whose difference remains outside institutionally 'recognised' forms of Otherness1. Interestingly the psychiatric category at the foci of this discussion, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is not deemed eligible for educational support in Queensland. Such avoidance through the non-recognition of ADHD is remarkable given that diagnosis of ADHD and/or disruptive behaviour disorder is increasing across all states in Australia at an exponential rate (Davis et al., 2001; OECD, 2003; Prosser et al., 2002; Swan, 2000). So too is the prescription rate for stimulant medication (Mackey Kopras, 2001). It appears then that any role schooling plays in the psycho-pathologisation of children (Panksepp, 1998; Thomas Glenny, 2000) is implicit in nature since there is no formal identification process responsible for locating ADHD/behaviour disorder in Queensland schools. Utilising a conceptual framework derived from the work of Foucault, this paper engages with this problematic to question what processes and practices might inform the construction of 'disorderly' schooling identities and further, may legitimise the differential treatment of such children within the Queensland context.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-25
    Number of pages23
    JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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