Julia Biermann

Different Meanings? The Translation of Inclusive Education in Nigeria

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART102018

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Legally backed by the UN CRPD, inclusive education has gained momentum as a global education norm in recent years. Even though almost all countries worldwide have ratified this convention, the implementation of inclusive school systems is far from being a reality in most places. One specific problem in the implementation process is the translation of Article 24’s mandate and obligations, which results in different understandings and policies of inclusive education. In order to analyse the tension between the human right to inclusive education and its contextual translations, I offer an alternative reading. Using data from a fieldwork-based case study conducted in Nigeria – qualitative content analysis of interviews and documents – I elicit how actors in the policy fields of education and disability understand inclusive education. This analysis illustrates that the resulting tension between the global norm and its translation has a constructive potential, which is linked to a switch between two communicative codes. The code of universality uses the UN CRPD’s human rights language, while the code of contextuality allows to develop a vernacular language about the global norm. Thus, both codes enable the global norm to travel globally and to be appropriated locally.

Inclusive Education, UN CRPD, Translation, Vernacularisation, Global Education Policy, Nigeria