Inclusion and globalisation in Russian education: Mutually inseparable yet conceptually and linguistically at odds

Ustinia Simpson, Ashley Simpson, Ning Chen, Fred Dervin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The majority of research on inclusion in Russian education equates inclusion to special needs education (Oreshkina M, Int J Spec Educ 24(3):110–120, 2009; Khudorenko EA, Russ Educ Soc 53(12):82–91, 2011; Valeeva RA, Kulesza EM, Int J Environ Sci Educ 11(7):1619–1629, 2016). Kirillova (Rev Eur Stud 7(5):31–37, 2015) shows the development of inclusive education in Russia by explaining that the 2012 legal amendment “About Education in the Russian Federation” connects the inclusive education of children with ‘health problems’ (Kirillova EA, Rev Eur Stud 7(5):31–37, 2015: 33). We argue, this understanding of inclusion is narrow as it fails to grasp some of the issues relating to globalised economies and education systems such as race, ethnicity, gender, language, social class and so forth. This study is grounded in critical studies of inclusion in education (Biesta G, Sporadic democracy: education, democracy, and the question of inclusion. In: Katz MS, Verducci S, Biesta G (eds) Education, democracy, and the moral life. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 101–112, 2009; Biesta G, Good education in an age of measurement: ethics, politics, democracy. Routledge, London, 2015) and in critical studies on globalisation in education (Ball SJ, Br J Educ Stud 60(1):17–28, 2012; Ball SJ, Discourse Stud Cult Polit Educ 36(3):306–313, 2015; Ball SJ, Br J Sociol Educ 37(8):1129–1146, 2016) in contesting the different meanings of inclusion within Russian education. In this conceptual paper, we show how different meanings of the concept are constructed through analysing supranational reports from the European Union, national legislation on education, and a regional case study from Yekaterinburg. We show that it is important for all actors within Russian education to be aware of ideological biases and not to fall into the trap of impositions in terms of how inclusion is described and represented. In arguing for a sociological approach towards inclusion and globalisation in Russian education we discuss relevant implications and steps forward for teachers, educators and policymakers at the end of the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThird International Handbook of Globalisation, Education and Policy Research.
EditorsJoseph Zadja
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030660031
ISBN (Print)9783030660024
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2021


  • Russia
  • inclusion
  • globalisation
  • education policy
  • ideology


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