Pedagogen at Grönsakstorget in Gothenburg
Foto: Anders Åkerström

Challenges, Paradoxes & Opportunities: Comparative Research on Student Disability & Inclusive Education

Samhälle & ekonomi
Utbildning & lärande

Welcome to a lecture with guest researcher Justin J.W. Powell, Professor of Sociology of Education at University of Luxembourg.

19 apr 2023
13:00 - 15:00
Pedagogen, house A, room A1 311

Justin J.W. Powell
the Department of Education and Special Education

Challenges, Paradoxes & Opportunities: Comparative Research on Student Disability & Inclusive Education

In this presentation, I will discuss both challenges and opportunities of comparative research on special and inclusive education. Numerous paradoxes arise from the institutional and societal embeddedness of special and inclusive education and their complicated, ambivalent relationship.

Student disability and educational inequalities develop through complex dynamics between contextual and individual factors that reflect temporal dynamics (change and stability) and mechanisms on several levels, from the macro level of society to the meso level of organizations and to the individual (micro) level.

To more fully understand the evolution of “student disability” and disparities and their consequences for individuals and societies requires historical, comparative, and multi-level analyses that examine societal values, educational ideologies, and dis/ability paradigms; education and social policies and governance; interest groups and social movements; human rights and resources; and teachers, families, and service providers. Illustrative results shown build upon the European research projects Teaching Diverse Learners in School Subjects, ( and Pioneering Policies and Practices Tackling Educational Inequalities in Europe ( as well as the recently published International Handbook of Inclusive Education: Global, National and Local Perspectives (Verlag Barbara Budrich, open access:

Justin J.W. Powell

Professor of Sociology of Education in the Institute of Education & Society at the University of Luxembourg