The purpose of this paper is to consider the relevance and consistency of socio-cultural
theory to inclusive practices and the implementation of current government policy on inclusion.
The policies of the NSW DET for the development of inclusive schooling will be examined. The
implications of recent legislation as well as the recent initiatives such as Special Education
initiative, curriculum changes, and collaborative processes will be analysed.
A brief review of the major tenets of social cultural theory that relate to special education
is presented. An analysis is made as to how socio-cultural theory can serve as a theoretical
framework to address the needs of teachers and students and enhance the development of
inclusive schools in New South Wales. The discussion will centre on the implications of this
synthesis for policy, practice in special education and theory, which may then be fed back into
further development of the policy.