Isaac Scientific Publishing

Journal of Advances in Education Research

Access, Parentalism and Justice: Epistemological Reflections on Integration and Inclusion in Education

Download PDF (217.2 KB) PP. 145 - 156 Pub. Date: August 1, 2017

DOI: 10.22606/jaer.2017.23002


  • Kai Horsthemke*
    Bildungsphilosophie und Systematische Pädagogik, KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany


Inclusion in education and upbringing is understood as belonging, as the opposite of exclusion. How do people with cognitive and physical impairments learn, and how do they acquire knowledge? Access to schools and other institutions of learning is not the same as access to knowledge. In addition, opportunities for learning and the imparting and grasping of knowledge differ from person to person. Nobody can be included everywhere or demand unqualified access. It would be desirable but it is not always possible to be able to determine where and how one is to be included. In cases of limited autonomy there has to be a kind of selection and control of knowledge. This means the young and the cognitively impaired do not have unconstrained access to knowledge. Educators and parents are responsible for selecting and controlling knowledge for the young and the cognitively impaired. How this can be done justly? How ought one to deal with the knowledge claims and the epistemic and cognitive abilities of those with relevant deficiencies? Under what circumstances can one speak of knowledge here? And what would be the basis for inclusion within a knowledge community?


Context-sensitive realism; epistemological access; epistemic justice, epistemic paternalism, inclusive education, social epistemology


[1] L. Antony (1995), “Sisters, please, I’d rather do it myself: A defense of individualism in feminist epistemology,”Philosophical Topics, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 59–94.

[2] T. Bekker (2013), “Ensuring epistemological access,” in Education studies, edited by K. Horsthemke, P. Siyakwazi, E. Walton and C. Wolhuter, pp. 463-485. Cape Town: Oxford University Press South Africa.

[3] G. Delanty (1997), Social science: Beyond constructivism and realism. Buckingham: Open University Press.

[4] T.M. Duffy and D. Cunningham (1996), “Constructivism: Implications for the design and delivery of instruction,” in Handbook of research for educational communications and technology, edited by D. Jonnasen, pp.170-198. Mahwah/NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

[5] M. Foucault (1984), “Truth and power,” in The Foucault reader, edited by P. Rabinow. New York: Pantheon Books.

[6] M. Fricker (2007), Epistemic injustice: Power and the ethics of knowing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[7] A.I. Goldman (1992), “Epistemic paternalism: Communication control in law and society,” in Liaisons: Philosophy meets the cognitive and social sciences, pp. 209-225. Cambridge/MA: MIT Press.

[8] A. Gutmann (1987), Democratic education. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

[9] A. Gutmann (2009), “Educating for individual freedom and democratic citizenship: In unity and diversity there is strength,” in The Oxford handbook of philosophy of education, edited by H. Siegel, pp. 409-427. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press.

[10] K. Horsthemke (2013), “Knowledge and education,” In Education studies, edited by K. Horsthemke, P. Siyakwazi, E. Walton and C. Wolhuter, pp. 338-420. Cape Town: Oxford University Press South Africa.

[11] K.M. Lewin (2007), “Improving access, equity and transitions in education: Creating a research agenda,” Create Pathways to Access, Research Monograph No 1, June. Available:

[12] H. Lotz-Sisitka (2009), “Epistemological access as an open question in education,” Journal of Education, vol. 46, pp. 57-79.

[13] Z. McCall and T.M. Skrtic (2009), “Intersectional needs politics: A policy frame for the wicked problem of disproportionality,” Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 3-23.

[14] L.H. McNeil (1986), Contradictions of control: School structure and school knowledge. New York & London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

[15] K. Merz-Atalik (2015), “Inklusive Bildung in einer leistungsorientierten Gesellschaft – Von der Utopie zur Wirklichkeit,” presentation as part of the series“mittwochsBILDUNG”, Gemeinnützige, Gesellschaftshaus Lübeck, 4 November.

[16] W. Morrow (2007). Learning to teach in South Africa. Cape Town: HRSC Press.

[17] W. Morrow (2009), Bounds of democracy: Epistemological access in higher education. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

[18] M. Nussbaum (2006), Frontiers of justice: Disability, nationality, species membership. Cambridge/MA: BelknapHarvard.

[19] M.J. Oliver (1990), “The individual and social models of disability,” paper presented at the Joint Workshop of the Living Options Group and the Research Unit of the Royal College of Physicians on ‘People with Established Locomotor Disabilities in Hospitals’, 23 July. Available: http://disability

[20] M.J. Oliver (2004), “The social model in action: If I had a hammer,” In Implementing the social model of disability: Theory and research, edited by C. Barnes and G. Mercer, pp. 18-31. Leeds: The Disability Press.

[21] J. Potter (1996), Representing reality: Discourse, rhetoric and social construction. London: Sage.

[22] J. Rawls (1971), A theory of justice. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

[23] J. Rawls (1996), Political liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press.

[24] V. Richardson (2003), “Constructivist pedagogy,” Teachers College Record, vol. 105, no. 9, pp. 1623-1640.

[25] E. Robertson (2013), “The epistemic value of diversity,” Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol. 47, no. 2, pp.299-310.

[26] C. Schumann (2016), “Knowledge for a common world? On the place of feminist epistemology in a philosophy of education,” Education Sciences, vol. 6, no. 10, pp. 1-13. Available:

[27] K. Stojanov (2011), Bildungsgerechtigkeit: Rekonstruktionen eines umk?mpften Begriffs. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

[28] K. Stojanov (2015), “Inklusion und Bildungsgerechtigkeit,” concept paper as part of the joint project “Inklusives Leben und Lernen in der Schule”, KU Eichst?tt-Ingolstadt, 28 April.

[29] E. Von Glasersfeld (2000), “Problems of constructivism,” in Radical constructivism in action: Building on the pioneering work of Ernst Von Glasersfeld, edited by L.P. Steffe and P.W. Thompson, pp. 1-9. New York & London: Routledge Falmer.

[30] E. Walton and T. Bekker (2013), “Pedagogy and inclusion,” in Education studies, edited by K. Horsthemke, P.Siyakwazi, E. Walton and C. Wolhuter, pp. 440-462. Cape Town: Oxford University Press South Africa.

[31] E. Walton (2013), “Responsive teaching,” in Education studies, edited by K. Horsthemke, P. Siyakwazi, E.Walton and C. Wolhuter, pp. 486-510. Cape Town: Oxford University Press South Africa.

[32] M. Windschitl (1999), “A vision educators can put into practice: Portraying the constructivist classroom as a cultural system,” School Science and Mathematics, vol. 4, pp. 189-196.

[33] M. Windschitl (2002), Framing constructivism in practice as the negotiation of dilemmas: An analysis of the conceptual, pedagogical, cultural, and political challenges facing teachers. Review of Educational Research, vol. 72, no. 2, pp. 131-175.