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By Emmerentia Landsberg

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Pretoria: Van Schaik, 3–11. Farrell, P. 2000. The impact of research on developments in inclusive education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 4(2): 153–162. L. 1994. Developmental disabilities: severe. In Husén, T. N. (Eds), The international encyclopedia of education. Volume 3, 2nd ed. Oxford: Elsevier Science Ltd, 1504–1508. M. 2002. A place in the family: an historical interpretation of research on parental reactions to having a child with a disability. Journal of Special Education, 36(3): 124–130, 147.

Broadly speaking, the development of specialised education in South Africa followed trends similar to those in most other countries. However, a distinguishing aspect in the history of South African specialised education is the extent of political and philosophical influence. This resulted in gross inequalities and inconsistencies in provision between the previous racially segregated government and provincial departments, as the apartheid era categorised and officially classified people in terms of race (Donald 1996; Du Toit 1996; Lomofsky & Lazarus 2001).

Consequently these new formulations of person characteristics that shape the person’s future also influence the conceptualisation of the original 1979 model of the environment in terms of nested systems ranging from micro to macro. In the bio-ecological model the environment is still conceived of as a set of nested structures, but the definition of especially the micro- and macrosystem is expanded upon and specified in more detail 14 (Bronfenbrenner & Morris 1998; Bronfenbrenner & Ceci 1994). Of importance is the elaboration of the definition of the microsystem to recognise significant others, other than the developing individual, as present and participating in the setting to also possess distinctive person characteristics of temperament, personality, or systems of belief that influence development.

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