chapter  3
The Expansion of Special Education
Pages 10

This chapter advances the argument that special education is expanding as part of a restructuring of the education-training system to deal with large numbers of young people who are now defined as unable or unwilling to participate in normal education. The expansion is occurring as attempts are made to change education to fit the perceived needs of a technologically-based society in which a large social group will be partially or permanently unemployed. Evidence for expansion is examined, professional interests in an expanding clientele are noted, and the dilemmas inherent in comprehensive schooling and a disappearing youth labour market are discussed. The current desperate search for improved assessment procedures is an indication that the concept of special needs is no actual help in deciding who the clients of special education should be At the present time the ideological obfuscation provided by the focus on the 'child's special needs' prevents an adequate analysis of this expansion.