Wicked problems in special and inclusive education

David Armstrong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    This special paper provides a critical overview of wicked problems in special and inclusive education. Practically, this paper provides a strategic framework for future special issues in the Journal of Special Educational Needs. Critical attention is also given to the concept of a wicked problem when applied to research in special and inclusive education: the suggestion is made this focus can stimulate innovations necessary for educational change and begin the process through which key problems in the field are addressed. A final observation made is that tangible change is unlikely to occur in special and inclusive education without addressing the underpinning beliefs and behavioural motivations which sustain today's wicked problems. Systematic transformation is therefore unlikely to be sustained without disruptive attention to the psychological, cultural and political aspects of ‘the way things are’.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)229-236
    Number of pages8
    JournalThe Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


    • multi-level perspective
    • transtheoretical model
    • Wicked problems


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