Maintaining Underclasses Via Contrastive Judgement: Can Inclusive Education Ever Happen?

H Cremin, Gary Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Borrowing from epidemiological and economic analysis, we argue that the central constructs by which children are judged educationally rest in contrastive judgements and that such judgements are based on 'everyday' constructs - not objective descriptors. But because these everyday constructs become seemingly objectified by the procedures and discourses of education, they appear reliable and objective. The insistent process of contrastive judgement based on these everyday constructs has its result in cohorts of children forever being judged unfavourably next to others. A model to frame the process is outlined and consequences for children's acceptance and inclusion are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-446
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


  • segregation
  • inclusive education
  • differentiation
  • contrastive judgement
  • assessment


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