Sharing International Experiences to Develop Inclusion in a German Context: Reflections of an American Inclusive Educator

  • David J. ConnorEmail author
Part of the Critical Studies of Education book series (CSOE, volume 12)


In November 2015, the Goethe Universities Institute of Special Education and the Faculty of Education, in cooperation with the German Institute for International Education Research, hosted a symposium whose theme was Inclusion and Transformation: Possibilities of an Educational Systems Change. As part of the International Perspectives section, I was invited to share experiences regarding the challenges of changing educational systems toward providing more inclusive schools, with a particular focus on classroom pedagogy. In some ways, this renewed focus on inclusive education at regional, national, and international levels served as a form of stocktaking. I found myself asking: What do we know? What successes have we had? How do we know? What else can be done? As a career-long inclusive educator who can now look back at over a quarter-century, I have experienced the constant morphing of the educational landscape as it shifts according to changes in laws, governmental priorities, policies at federal/state/local levels, leadership, personnel, research, cultural values, and so on. In sum, the “progress” of inclusive education has been subjected to a recursive trajectory of ebbs and flows, pinnacles and pitfalls, and a perpetual feeling of two-steps-forwards-and-one-step back (or two steps back, and in some cases—alas!—three).


Inclusive education School administrators Teacher training Global contexts Inclusive policy 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hunter College, City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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