Even when nations, such as South Africa and the United States, make a concerted effort to embody and implement inclusive education, an examination of these systems is still in order. Structural inequalities tend to linger and racism and discrimination also have pervasive and lingering effects on people, cultures and systems. In “Inclusive Education: A Tame Solution to a Wicked Problem,” Elizabeth Walton describes promoting inclusivity as “a Sisyphean task against the mountain of exclusionary pressures that the education system presents”. (2017, p. 86) Hence, Walton likens exclusionary education to a “wicked problem”.
Wicked problems are defined by Walton as problems that are “complex, dynamic, multi-faceted and intractable”. (2017, p. 85) The wicked problem of inclusive education mainly lies in not having a deep understanding of the problem of educational exclusion before attempting to carry out inclusive education. Inclusive education, particularly in light of historical apartheid and racial inequality, cannot be superficial. It requires depth and buy-in from all stakeholders.
Phasha, N., Mahlo, D., & Dei, G. J. S. (Eds.). (2017). Inclusive Education in African Contexts: A Critical Reader. Springer.