There is growing discomfort with the state of the art of special education. This book clearly shows that many workers in the field critically examine, or even deconstruct, concepts and assumptions and work to reconstruct the field of practice. In Norway, present reforms, which purport to dismantle special schools and institutions for the intellectually disabled, have made these needs paramount. In the wake of the reforms the state has launched an implementation project titled ‘Restructuring special education’ (Ormstrukturering av spesialundervisningen), and the Norwegian Council for Research has launched a parallel programme for special education research. This has brought special education issues to the forefront. Questions asked in this chapter are:

1 What is valid knowledge in special education? 2 Is there conflict between knowledge traditions? 3 What are the theoretical and practical consequences of different traditions? 4 What is the relationship between the field of practice and its knowledge

traditions? 5 What is the relationship of special education to other sciences? 6 What future developments are necessary?