Early childhood education and special needs education: Some neglected common ground?
Westminster Studies in Education, 25(1),
Early years education and special needs education have been the focus of UK government interest in recent years, with a strong emphasis on 'joined up thinking' across professional boundaries in order to plan and provide cohesive and increasingly inclusive programmes of education and care. This article considers the potential for joined up thinking and action across the early years and special needs education domains with the argument that there is often neglected common ground between the two, such as the shared need for a holistic perspective, partnership with parents, multidisciplinary collaboration and developmentally appropriate practice. Examples are provided from the UK context but the debates are relevant more widely. The article ends with an exploration of why this potential has often not been realised, arguing that separate histories and vulnerabilities and a desire to avoid parallel stigma are partly responsible.
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