Alongside our growing concern was a sense that the state of theorising in special education was complex, not to say confused. On the one hand, the certainties which underpinned the pioneering work of Burt and Schonell seemed to have disappeared. In their place had arisen a multiplicity of positions ranging from the powerful advocacy of new approaches to difference based on an unequivocal commitment to principles of equity and inclusion to subtle deconstructions of special education based on sophisticated theories of organisational types, or of professional learning or of social interests. On the other hand, much practice and research in the field of special education seemed to be proceeding on a pragmatic basis, as though these newer ideas simply did not exist. Above all, it was clear that, if a single reliable theory on which special educational practice could be based had ever existed, no such simple and universal relationship between theory and practice was now possible.