Document 56560

VOL. 34 No. 5, MAY/JUNE 2002
Special Education
Around the World
16 Sp9 cial Education in Israel
(hanges taking place inJewish special education are discussed from a
legal and historical standpoint.
Alec Peck
Stan Scarpati
Hedda Meadan
Thomas P. Gumpel
22 A View from the North
Special Education in Canada
Current issues of concern inspecial education in(anada are ashrinking
teacher population, fiscal restraint, and access to special education services inremote areas.
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28 Special Education in South Korea
Special education inSouth Korea interms of the current status and
future directions are described and itisthe author's hope that exchanges
of information will accelerate the development of special education in
South Korea and other countries.
Special Education in Mexico
Don DIworet
Sheila Bennett
One Community's Response
The history of speciol education inMexico, the emergence of special education programs, and aschool for special education inNuevo Laredo,
Tamaulipas, are discussed.
Terry L. Shepherd
Diana Contreras
Randel Brown
The profound changes inspecial education inCosta Rica are presented
from creating primarily segregated services to developing innovative
service models that promote the inclusion of students with disabilities.
Laura M. Stough
40 Encouraging Social Skills Through
An Inclusion Program in Korea
Ya-Shu Kang
David Lovett
Kathryn Ila-ing
This peer-group dancing program demonstrates apractical educational
approach for socially isolated children.
Sang Bok Lee
Jeongil Kim
Sang Hoon Lee
Hyo-Shin Lee
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34 Teaching Special Education in Costa
12 Culture and Special Education in
Note New Address for Manuscript Submissi on
Dr. Alec Peck;
TEACHING Exceptional Children C
Lynch School of Education, Campion 108
Boston College,
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3813
Jiyeon Park
Using a Learning Strategy in an Inclusive
Two surveys are presented-one completed by directors of early childhood programs and one completed by parents of young children inearly
intervention or early childhood programs who were receiving special
educational services-with particular attention to the way traditional
culture affetis special education services.
; 0
~ i~i
Special Educalion
in Mexico
One Communuity's Response
Terry L. Shepherd
Like many developing countries, Mexico
has struggled to provide for the educational needs of children with disabilities. Economic instability has often
forced a reduction in services to people
with disabilities. Cultural values have
also prevented families from requesting
government support for children with
disabilities. Many families in Mexico
hold the traditional view of a person's
disability as God's judgment on the
family (Cieloha, 1986). With the
strengtheninig economy of Mexico, however, educators have been able to pay
more attentioni to the needs of children
with disabilities. This article looks at the
history of special education in Mexico,
discusses the emergence of special education programs, and examines a school
for special education in Nuevo Laredo,
History of Special Education in
The histor-y of special education in
Mexico is similar to the history of special education in the United States. Like
the United States, Mexico began efforts
Educationalprograms for
students with disabilities were
expanded in 1962 when a school
for children with learning
disabilities was established in
Cordoba, Vteracruz.
8 .
Diana Contreras
to provide for the needs of people with
disabilities long before special education laws came into being. One of the
first schools established for people with
disabilities in Mexico was la Escutela
Nacional de Sordos, the National School
of the Deaf (Cieloha, 1986; Garza,
1999). Established in 1867 under the
direction of President Benito Juarez and
the Minister of Justice and Public
National School of the Deaf included
"Spanish reading and writing, catechism and religious principles, world
and Mexican history, geography, natural
history, arithmetic," and other vocational subjects that included gardening;
sewing, embroidery, and knitting; and
bookkeeping for "those who showed a
particular aptitude" (Larroyo, 1983). In
1879, the National School for the Blind
was established in Mexico. The
National School for the Blind was created with a curricular focus and intent
equivalent to the National School of the
In 1914, Dr. Jose de Jesus Gonzales
founded a school for children with mental retardation in Leon, Guanajuato.
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de
Mexico developed the first teacher education program geared toward working
with children with disabilities (Cieloha,
1986). During the next 30 years, laws
were created that provided for the services of children with mental retardation.
Educational programs for students with
disabilities were expanded in 1962
when a school for children with learn-
Randel Brown
ing disabilities was established in
Cordoba, Veracruz. These expansions
continued until the programs were politically consolidated with the creation of
the Direccion General de Educacion
Especial in 1970 (Cieloha). Schools and
specialized programs for people with
disabilities continued to grow in number, yet many of these services were
available only to students in Mexico
City and other major population centers
in Mexico. Although 31 states had
administrative coordinators for special
education by 1979, not all special education programs are of equal quality.
Large gaps exist in the quality and
quantity of services provided to people
with disabilities. And not all people
with disabilities are guaranteed appropriate educational services.
During the past 6 years, cooperation
between the Mexican Department of
Education and the U.S. Department of
Education has increased. From this collaboration, Mexico has declared education as a right for all children and has
shown dedication to improving the
quality of education for all children
including children with disabilities
(Convention on the Rights of the Child
[CRC], 1999; Garza, 1999). As in the
United States, equity of access is a
major component of special education
in Mexico. Special Assistant to the
Minister of Education Sofialeticia
Moreales Garza (1999) has defined
inclusive education "as the right of
every child to be enrolled in basic
schooling and to meet his or her.basic
educational needs" (p. 4). As a result of
Assembly-line factories on the
border between the United States
and Mexico set up partnerships
with local high schools and
colleges to attractassembly-line
workers, technicians, and
including children with disabilities into
the general education classrooms, the
Ordinary School Support Service Units
(USAERs) have been expanded; and the
special education schools have been
redesignated as Centro de Atencion
Multiple (CAM), or Centers for Multiple
Attention (CRC, 1999). The number of
special education teaching positions has
also increased. During the 1997-98
school year, the number of special education teaching positions increased
nearly 200% (CRC).
Of the 27 million children that attend
school in Mexico, 10% have disabilities.
The majority of these children have
learning disabilities (FORUM, 1999).
Currently, 140 children with disabilities
have been incorporated in initial education, 1,043 in preschool, 4,155 in elementary schools, 213 in secondary education, and 15,044 in technical secondary education. USAERs are providing
services to 105,660 children with special
education needs and 6,124 children
with some form of disability (CRC,
The state of Tamaulipas is found in
the northeastern part of Mexico. This
Mexican state has 43 Centers for
Multiple Attention. In Nuevo Laredo, a
city of 600,000 situated on the Rio
Grande, we examined one CAM.
A CAM In Nuevo Laredo
In 1984, the Secretarfa de Educacion
Poblica (SEP) created the CAM in Nuevo
Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, under the
administration of the local education
agency, Secretaria de Cultiura y Deporte
(SECUDE). The school provides vocational training for students with a variety of disabilities, including mental
retardation, deafness, cerebral palsy,
The special education schools provide vocational training for students with
a variety of disabilities.
blindness, autism, and physical disabilities. The Center has an enrollment of 60
students, ages 14-24, who come from
both elementary schools and schools
who serve students with special needs.
The objectives of the Center are to train
people with disabilities, fully integrate
them into society, and develop their
abilities so that they are self-sufficient
and productive, independent citizens.
The Center employs a director, psychologist, social worker, special education teacher, and teachers for each of
the five workshops: dressmaking/tailoring handicrafts (corte y confeccion),
welding (soldadura), cooking (cocina),
carpentry (carpenterna), and factory
work or assembly plants (maquiladora). In the cooking workshop, for example, the students make breakfast and
lunch for the students and staff.
Interestingly, the focuses of these workshops are similar to the goals of
Mexico's National School of the Deaf
established in 1867.
Between 12 and 15 students are
enrolled in each workshop at a time.
Placement in workshops is determined
after the student has rotated througlh all
five workshops and the school staff has
ascertained a student's strengths, abilities, skills, and preferences. Students
attend school from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. In
conjunction with the vocational instruction that takes place in each workshop,
the special education teacher goes into
each workshop daily to provide instruction in functional academic skills. In
addition, students receive instruction in
physical education once a week.
Students may remain in this school and
workshop setting for a maximum of 4
Although students from this school
have been placed in a variety of employment situations throughout the city, the
school's success story is the partnership
they have developed with the local
maquiladora industry. Maquiladoras are
assembly plants that are located in
Mexico along the border of the United
States. CAM has successfully placed
many students in these maquiladoras
during the past 5 years. Currently CAM
has 24 students working in 10 different
maquiladoras in Nuevo Laredo. On the
average, they send 5 or 6 students each
year to the maquiladoras. In that time,
only I CAM student has not been
offered a contract after the 1-month trial
period. CAM provides monthly supervision of their students for a 2-year period
following placement in the maquilado-
As in the United States, equity of
access is a major component of
special education in Mexico.
" M4 Discapacidad (CEIPED).
-; -!
I I N.1
This microcompany, owned and run by the
Secretary of Public Education, made
items to sell to the maquiladoras, sucl
as mops and aprons.
Final ThotishE
Students with disabilities are trained at the Center and integrated into
society so they can be self-sufficient and productive, independent citizens.
ra. Supervision is carried out by all
school personnel, including the director,
social worker, psychologist, special education teacher, and workshop teachers.
When the maquiladoras started moving into the border area, they set up
partnerships with local high schools
an-d colleges to attract assembly-line
workers, technicians, and engineers.
CAM heard about this opportunity and
sought to meet with the Human
Resource departments at the different
maquiladoras. School faculty and staff
visited different assembly plants to see
the procedures that would be required
of their students. One exercise they
found appropriate for some students'
skills was putting nuts, bolts, and
instruction sheets into bags for packaging with prefabricated furniture.
To prepare their students adequately
for possible placement at factories, CAM
needed to accomplish several things.
The objectives of tlhe Center are to
First, the assembly (maqczila) workshop
was created to begin to teach skills.
CAM used material disposed of by the
maquilas (e.g., cloth, wood, plastic
bags, boxes, bolts, screws) to set up
authentic learning opportunities in the
workshops. Next, realizing the importance of community-based instruction
and that students needed a "change of
educational setting" (cambio de escenario educatiuo), teachers took students
to the maquilas to learn and practice
skills on the machines during the night
shift when employees were not using
the machines. Finally, teachers provided
instruction in several adaptive slills
areas, including self-care, social skills,
communication, community use, and
work. Examples of specific skills included proper hygiene, how to use public
transportation to get to and from work,
how to utilize a time clock, how to
socialize with peers during break time,
and how to respect authority. Much of
the adaptive skills instruction took place
in the workshop environment where the
students made snacks and handicrafts
train people witlh disabilities,
fully integrate tlhem into society,
and develop thLeir abilities so thiat
they are self-sufficientt and
to sell during break time at the
Students who were not able to
acquire the skills necessary to be
employed by businesses in the city due
to the severity of their disability were
productive, independent citizens.
offered jobs at the Centro Empresorial
para la integracion de Personal con
As in other countries, special education
has emerged as an important issue in
Mexico. The progression of special education procedures in Mexico is very similar to the progression in other countries. Like other countries, Mexico has
developed an emphasis on including
children with disabilities in the general
education classrooms and within the
community. This is evident through the
expansion of the Ordinary School
Support Service Units (USAERs) and the
Centers for Multiple Attention (CRC,
1999). Students attending CAMs have
opportunities to learn the necessary
skills to procure employment and to
become integrated into the conmmunity.
Like many other countries, Mexico still
has not fully embraced inclusion for all
children with disabilities. Yet, successful
inclusion is reliant on the attitude that
all children can learn, and that all children can succeed. In Mexico, this attitude is prevalent, as exemplified by this
cormmon Spanish axiom:
"El camino de la vida es facil,
para unos, difcil para otros,
pero posible para todos."
"The path of life is easy for'
some, difficult for others, but
possible for all."
Cieloha, C. D. (1986, April 16-20). Special
education in t1he context of national developmenzt: The case of Mexico. Paper presented at the 67th Annual Meeting of the
Association, San Francisco, CA. (ERIC
Thte CAM used material disposed
of by the factories (e.g., cloth,
wood, plastic bags, boxes, bolls,
screws) to set up authtentic
learning opportunities in the
Document Reproduction Service No. ED
271 916)
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)..
(1999). Considerationof reports submitted
by stateparties under article 44 of the convention: Mexico. United Nations: CRC/
FORUM. (1999, February 7-9). United States
and Mexican State Directors of Special
Education: Information Exchiange Meeting
(Final Report). Proceedings of a meeting
A Guide ior Writiiiy in Educutiokc
convened by Project FORUM at NASDSE:
Sacramento, CA.
(ERIC Document
Reproduction Service No. ED 432 870)
Garza, S. M. (1999, February 7-9). Special
education in Mexico-A national view. In
Bob Algozzine, Festus E. Obiakor, andJean N. EBoston
and graduate stu,dents, practitioners,
;rant writers better
andmse ,es, find their true
voice," and undderstand the ins and
outs of educatior i publishing. Includes
' ,., sections 0il over(coming the challenges
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becoming a successful grant proposal
writer; working with editors of research jouirnals; and working
with editors of practice-oriented journals. 1'998, 70 pages.
ISBN 0-86586-319-9
United States and Mexican State Directors
of Special Education: In formnation
Proceedings Meeting
of a meeting
FORUM at NASDSE: Sacramento,
CA. (ERIC Document Reproduction
Service No. ED 432 870)
Larroyo, E (1983). Histotia Comparada de la
Educaizn en Mexico. Mexico D.F.:
Editorial Porrus, SA.
Terry L. Shepherd, Assistant Professor;
0 7,,
Diana Contreras (CEC Texas Federation),
graduate student; and Randel Brown,
Associate Professor, Department of Special
Populations, Texas A&M International
University, Laredo.
Address correspondence to Terry L. Shepherd,
Department of Special Populations, Texas
A&M International University, S201
University Boulevard, Laredo, TX 78041-1900
(e-mail: [email protected]).
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Council for
MAY/JUNE 2002 n 11
Ya-Shlu Klang
What are the characteristics and qualities of special education services in
Taiwan? In this article, we provide summaries of two recent surveys conducted
in Taiwan (Kang, 2001; Kang, Haring, &
Lovett, 2001):
•The first survey was a needs assessment completed by 134 directors of
early childhood programs.
eThe second survey was completed by
109 parents of young children (birth to
7 years old) in early intervention or
early childhood programs who were
receiving special educational services.
We have presented the survey results
within a historical context, with particular attention to the way traditional culture affects special education services.
Hislarical OJaiS
In Taiwan, people have viewed education with deep respect for centuries;
however, this respect has not always
carried over to the education of students
with disabilities. Historically, China
developed an educational system based
on classical texts that were open to all,
and advancement was based on the
individual student's ability to pass lstandard examinations. Thus, without
regard to a person's station in life or
social status, a student could advance
through his or her own efforts to iearn.
The only major limitations were the
in Taiwan, people have viewed
education withL deep respect for
David Lovett
individual's own intellect, discipline,
and desire.
For more than 25 centuries, the
Chinese people have been guided by the
teachings of Confucius in both their
societal and personal development. The
basic principle of Confucian philosophy
is to develop the human personality to
its fullest extent (Chen, Seitz, & Cheng,
1991). Confucius's teachings center on
the development of proper relations
among people by educating individuals
on how to live moral, harmonious, and
peaceful lives. The essence of Confucianism is to provide all people with an
education that includes both basic
knowledge and moral precepts.
crrenait sgeck!l luccation
In 1984, Taiwan mandated early childhood special education. Even though
Taiwan's early childhood special education program has existed for well over
10 years, little research exists on the
nature of early childhood special education services. Available research showed
that because of lack of information and
resources, most young children with
severe disabilities remained at home
and did not receive educational services
(The Red Cross Society of China, R.O.C.,
1990). Few young children with disabilities went to special preschools, hospitals, social welfare institutions, or
organizations to receive available education or therapy (Wang, 1996).
Disconnected educational, medical,
and social programs, each providing
separate services, may compound the
problems of the child and the family
(Wang, 1993). For example, doctors or
therapists provide medical treatment or
rehabilitation without coordination with
educational services. Schools likewise
offer educational programs without adequate attention to social or medical
needs. Separate delivery systems operate under separate administrative structures in education, health, and social
welfare; thus, it is difficult to establish
an integrated approach.
In 1997, a new special education law
(Department of Education of the
Republic of China, 1997) stipulated that
all relevant departments of government
develop regulations for active implementation of special services for preschool children. The purpose of this law
was to ensure that by 2003 all young
children with disabilities attend school
starting at the age of 3.
Currently, most children who receive
early childhood special education are 36 years of age. Medical care, rather than
educational or therapeutic consultation,
may be the only service families receive
from professionals durihg the child's
first 3 years (Wang, 1993). These medical or rehabilitation services to young
children with more severe disabilities,
are provided only on request of the parents. Most intervention programs are
provided by private interest groups;
only a few of them are govermnent supported (Wang, 1993).
The Second National Prevalence
Study conducted a study in 1992 illustrating the number of children with disabilities in Taiwan (National Taiwan
Normal University, 1993). This survey
identified a total of 75,562 school-age
children with disabilities. This number
represented 2.12 % of the 3,561,729 gen-
eeral school-aged population. This figure,
when compared to the percentage of the
school-age population in the United
States (8%-14% have disabilities),
would indicate that only those with
more severe disabilities are served in
Until recently, special education programs were provided in the form of
resource rooms, special classes, special
schools, and institutions or centers for
school-aged children with disabilities.
Even though there are trends to integrate children with disabilities in the
general education classrooms, most
children with severe disabilities continue to be placed in institutions, centers,
or special schools. All eligible schoolaged students with disabilities, regardless of their placements, can be provided with related services, such as special
devices (e.g., hearing aids, wheelchairs), transportation, and financial
assistance once their needs are identi-
Recently, Taiwan has expanded special education services to children with
|disabilities at both the preschool and
senior high levels. High school special
education primarily is provided in special schools for students with mental,
visual, or auditory disabilities who need
vocational training. Any student with
disabilities who successfully completes
the compulsory education program and
passes the entrance exam given to peers
without disabilities can continue
advanced studies with special assistance.
In the educational system, preschool
education programs for all children ages
4-6 are under the administration of the
Department of Education. There are few
special education preschools for 4- to 6year-old children with disabilities. Most
children with mild disabilities remain
unidentified and are placed in general
kindergartens or nursery schools without special assistance.
Children with disabilities who need
therapy or medical care can receive
these services under the administration
of the Health Department. Neurological
or developmental diagnosis, medical
treatment, follow-up service, or rehabilitation therapy, for example, are provided only when medical professionals
refer the children or when parents
request the services.
Children with disabilities under age
4 or those with more severe conditions
receive social welfare services under the
auspices of the Department of Social
Welfare. These children may be placed
in public or private institutions or
served in training centers. Social workers in the social welfare system mostly
provide services to children with disabilities who are from poor families or
to those who have been abused. The
fragmentation of service delivery may
be confusing to families and forces them
to use much time and energy to work
with professionals from different disciplines at different places and at different
99°/0 stated they could not provide services to certain children because of inadequate qualified personnel or lack of
appropriate facilities. Although a variety
of related services was provided, only
74% of children with disabilities had
individualized education programs
Finally, some confusion was presented in the identified training needs of
staff; 98% of program providers
expressed improvements were needed
in teacher training, increased knowledge of disabilities, and appropriate
teacher competencies. However, the
same providers identified willingness,
helpfulness, and a caring personality as
the most important characteristics of a
good teacher. Only 87% of these
providers reported that holding a teach-
Mea&rs AssezsueI61
The survey of preschool program directors conducted most recently (Kang et
al., 2001) provides an illustration of
what is available for young children
with disabilities in Taiwan. Although
314 programs were identified, only 134
(43 %) responded; and of these 34
(25 %) indicated they did not serve children with disabilities. Perhaps most
indicative of limitations in services,
The essence of Conficianisin is to
provide all people Ivith an
edlucation that incluides boti
basic knowledge and moral
2002 a 13
side world. It may be considered to be a
serious "loss of face" or "failure of the
family" when an outsider or stranger
discovers the offspring with disabilities.
Traditionally, Chinese have thought
that the actions of one's ancestors hold
Programs interested in providing special services
the key to one's fortunes and that one's
Programs unable to serve certain children
own actions will affect the fortunes of
Children with disabilities who have individualized education
one's descendants. If one gives birth to
an abnormal child, people think the
Programs in need of improved teacher training, increased
ancestors sinned. With this conception,
knowledge of disabilities, or appropriate teacher competencies 98
many families have a tremendous sense
of guilt (Chang, 1992). Therefore, parMost important considerations in teacher hire: willing, helpful,
ents may be hesitant to share their diffi98
and caring personality
culties with "the outsider," such as a
Teacher certification important requirement for hire
family with a similar situation.
A study of mother-child interactions
children with disabilities because of
ing certificate was an important hiring
provided evidence that approximately
their actual or potential poor academic
qualification (see Table 1).
half of the mothers of children with disperformance. These negative attitudes
abilities had no knowledge about parent
Tradhkneal Cvvlumd EXwects all
regarding students with disabilities are
support groups in the city where they
Fonalies wuihl Youn1g ChidEren
held by most of the Chinese public and
lived; and only about 28 % of the mothwisll DisabsMiites
perhaps even by the parents themselves
ers actively participated in the monthly
In Taiwan, limited resources and a frag(Chang, 1992; Wang, 1990).
meetings of the parent groups (Wang,
mented service delivery system comTo cope with stress and difficult t
1990). A more recent survey (Cheng &
pounded with traditional beliefs and
caregiving, parents, especially mothers,
Page) compared the perceptions of love,
child-rearing practices can cause parof children with disabilities usually first
guilt, and anger between graduate stuents a great deal of frustration and stress
seek support inside the family beforE
dents in counseling (35 from the United
in caring for their child with special
turning to someone outside the family.
States and 38 from Taiwan). The study
needs. One study showed that Chinese
Family members, including those in thE
found significant differences between
families in Taiwan experienced more
extended family or close friends of thE
the students on the emotions surroundstress than do U.S. families of excepfamily, are frequently the ones thaiL ing guilt. The Taiwanese group evaluattional children (Wu, Wang, & Retish,
offer this "inside" support and comforiL ed feelings of guilt more negatively and
1987). The study also found that parto the family with a young child witl L
more potently than did those from the
ents of toddlers with Down syndrome
disabilities. They usually offer theilr
United States (Cheng & Page). Reage 12-31 months perceived less satissupport and help by sharing the frus
searchers reached similar findings in the
faction with their parenting and had
tration and daily caregiving for th(
Nihira, Webster, Tomiyasi, and OshLo
more difficulty in reading their child's
child with disabilities or for the othe:
(1988) cross-cultural study, which
cues than did parents of children withsiblings. Parents who experience les s
reported that Japanese parents much
out disabilities (Wang, 1990). The
support from family members or clos
less openly discussed their child's dismother typically bears most of the stress
friends have more difficulty in adjust
ability and had less knowledge about
because of the traditional caregiving
ing and handling the heavy caregivin,
the child's health and educational needs
role she plays in the Chinese family
demands (Wang, 1993).
than did U.S. parents.
(Chang, 1992; Wang, 1985).
Beliefs regarding fate in Chinese cul
Because of recent changes in society
High expectations and great emphature may prevent the family from seek
arid in the structure and characteristics
sis on the child's academic performance
ing outside help, either from a famil
of the Chinese family, we have found
may result in negative attitudes toward
experiencing similar problems or fron
more diversity in family needs today.
professionals who offer their assistancE
Although many families still follow tra"Disabihity" or "handicap" in the chili
ditional beliefs and family practices,
with obvious disabilities may be accept
Disconnected educational,
others, particularly nuclear families in
ed by the parents as manifestations c f
urban areas, have adopted more modmedical, and social programs,
their own wrongful deeds, either in thi s
ern values and lifestyles. Urban families
life or in the previous cycle of incarna
eaclt providing separate services,
experience stress and adjust to the crition. The sense of responsibility ani
sis of having a child with disabilities
may compound thie problems of
guilt may compel them to shelter chi]
differently than do more traditional
dren with disabilities, as much as possi
thte clhild and tlte family.
families. These families may have less
ble, from any interference from the out
support from their extended families
Table l. Tairan Personniel Heeds Assessmeni
14 n
because of their physical separation. In
the modern nuclear family, however,
the father seems to share more child
care with the mother in the early years
of their child's life (Wang, 1993). In
addition, these parents are more likely
to seek outside support and resources
when they are needed.
pewcep^tins Held by PizlX
The 109 Taiwanese parents of young
children with disabilities who responded to a recent survey demonstrated
commonality with parents of young
children with difficulties in every culture (Kang, 2001). Parents in Taiwan
face many problems, with 80% expressing frustration accessing special services. The fact tlhat special education services are still in the initial stages of
becoming universally available in
Taiwan was evidenced by the fact that
77% of parents felt the quality of school
personnel were a concern, but only 53 %
were concerned with the quality of early
childhood special education programs.
Well over half of parents (64%) could
not find appropriate recreational outlets
and (63 %) had difficulties obtaining
transportation for their children with disabilities. Given the above discussion of
fate, it is notable that only 16% of parents felt they were somehow to blame for
their child's disability. Overwhelmingly,
parents (85 %) agreed with the statement
that their children with disabilities
should have the same educational opportunities as children who did not have disabilities (see Table 2).
In the end, even with the typical
concerns about their children's future,
87% of parents were able to accept and
feel good about their children with disabilities.
Services for young children with disabilities and their families have recently
improved dramatically in Taiwan.
Educational and related services are
now, or soon will be, mandated for all
these children; and more inclusive
school programs continue to develop.
A more coordinated service delivery
system would better meet the needs of
children with disabilities and their families. Within this enhanced and efficient
system, personnel must have the expertise to work not only with families who
possess more modern views of the
world but also those that hold traditional Chinese values.
Chang, C. F. (1992). A child with Down's
syndrome in the family (in Chinese).
Sinorama, 17(12), 80-90.
Chen, Y. H., Seitz, M. R., & Cheng, L. L.
(1991). Special education. In D. C. Smith
(Ed.), The Confucian continuum:
Education modernization in Taiwan. New
York: Praeger.*
Cheng, H. P., &Page, R. C. (1995). A comparison of Chinese (in Taiwan) and
American perspectives of love, guilt, and
anger. Journal of Mental Health
Counseling, 17(2), 210-219.
Department of Education of the Republic of
China. (1997). Special education Zaw of
the Republic of China (in Chinese). Taipei,
Taiwan: Department of Education.*
Kang, Y. A. (2001). The perceptions of
Taiwanese parents,to their young children
with disabilities. Unpublished dissertation, University of Oklahoma, Norman.*
Kang, Y. A., Haring, K. A., &Lovett, D. L.
(2001). A profile of early childhood education in Taiwan, Republic of China.
Journal of Research in Special Education
Needs, ](2) [online journal]. Available:
National Taiwan Normal University. (1993).
The second national prevalence survey
study on school-aged children with disabil-
ities in Taiwan, R.O.C. (in Chinese).
Taipei, Taiwan: Educational Research
Council of Ministry of Education.
Nihira, K., Webster, R., Tomiyasi, Y., &
Oshio, C. (1988). Child-environment relationships: A cross-cultural study of educable mentally retarded children and their
families. Journal of Autism and
Developmental Disorders, 18, 327-341.
The Red Cross Society of Chzina, R.O.C. (1990)
(in Chinese). Taipei, Taiwan: Ministry of
Wang, T. M. (1985). The difference of parentteacher viewpoints regarding the impact
of a mentally retarded child on the family
(in Chinese). Bulletin of Special
Education, 1, 115-140.
Wang, T. M. (1990). A study of parents' perceptions of parenting in Chinese families of children with and without Down syndrome.
Bulletin of SpedalEducatiorT, 6, 151-162.
Wang, T. M. (1993). Families in Asian cultures: Taiwan as a case example. In J. L.
Paul, &R. J. Simeonsson (Eds.), Children
with special needs (pp. 165-178). Orlando,
FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College
Wang, T. M. (1996). Early intervention services for young children with intellectual
handicaps in Taiwan: A needs assessment
(in Chinese). Bulletin of Special
Education, 14, 21-44.
Wu, T. W., Wang, T. M., &Retish, P. (1987).
The inter-impact of families and their
handicapped child. Bulletin of Special
Education, 3, 1-28.
*Toorder the book marked by an asterisk C*),
please call 24 hrs/365 days: 1-800-BOOKSNOW (266-5766) or (732) 728-1040; or visit
them on the Web at http:// www.clicksmart
.com/teaching/. Use VISA, MIC, AMEX, or
Discover or send check or money order +
$4.95 S&H ($2.50 each add'l item) to:
Clicksmart, 400 Morris Avenue, Long Branch,
NJ 07740; (732) 728-1040 or FAX (732) 7287080.
Ya-Shu Kang (CEC International Member),
Assistant Professor, Meihio Institute of
Teclhnology, Ping-Tung, Taiwan. David
Lovett (CEC Chapter #456), Associate
Professor; and Kathryn Haring (CEC
Chapter #874), Associate Professor, Department of EducationalPsychology, University of
Oklahoma, Norman.
Table 2. Thinan Pairent Perceptions
Difficulty obtaining services
Preschool program quality concerns
School-age program quality concerns
Attribution of self-blame for disability
Report improved feelings and acceptance
Support equal opportunities for children with disabilities
Address correspondence to David Lovett,
Department of Educational Psychology,
University of Oklalhoma, 820 Van Vleet Oval,
Norman, OK 73019 (e-Tnail: [email protected]).
TEACHING Exceptional Children, Vol. 34,
No, 5, pp. 12-15.
Copyright 2002 CEC.
P F-
Hedda Meadan
Thomas P. Gumpel
a What services does Israel provide
for students with disabilities?
* What is the legal definition of "students with disabilities"?
* Is inclusion all option?
* How are placement decisions
a Wlhat clhanges are on the horizon?
The foundation for answering questions
and understanding Israeli special education is the Special Education Law of
1988 (SEL). The SEL marks a turning
point in the provision of special education services to children and adolescents with special needs in Israel. The
law was passed with wide multiparty
support with hopes that it would create
procedural certainty and would codify
guidelines where none had previously
existed (Gumpel, 2000).
Examination of the legislative intent
of the Israeli parliament (the unicameral l(nesset) reveals a basic conceptualization of disability among Israeli lawmakers at the time as it advocates for a
segregationist and categorical perception of service provision (see box,
"Complexities," for a description of the
educational system in Israel).
This article describes changes taldng
place in Jewish special education (the
focus is on the Jewish system, becduse
education: is
Israel's Special Education Lawv
was an attempt to create '
proceduralcertainty and codify
guidelines for placement.
attempting to reach parity and match
this system's resources and service provision model).
5,po::cr-V 111&e,sr":e
The Israeli SEL was legislated in 1988
and consists of five subsections:
Definitions of Terms, Free Special
Education, Diagnosis and Placement,
Education in a Special Education
Institution, and Miscellaneous. Before
the law's passage, special education
procedures were based on an informal
and personal form of negotiation among
the educational system, the child's family, and the Ministry of Education and
Culture (Gumpel, 1996).
In the United States, the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act 1997
Amendments (IDEA) is based on constitutional guarantees of equal protection
and due process, as described by the
U.S. Constitution. Unlike the United
States, Israel has no formal constitution.
Some of the functions of a constitution
are filled by the Declaration of
Establishment (1948), Basic Laws (special "constitutional" laws dealing with
basic governmental issues and requiring
a large majority of the Knesset to modify them), and Israeli citizenship laws.
Because these laws are insufficient to
ensure absolute educational access for
all citizens (Gumpel, 1996), parent
The Complexities of the Isrceli Education System
The State of Israel is a small country (20,770 square kilometers) with a prima, i,
rily market-, industrial-, and service-oriented economy. (96.5%). The popula
tion of more!thin 5.5 million is composed of 82% Jewish.and 18% Israeli lI
Palestinians (Israeli Arabs) citizens, with- a high. literacy rate of 95% 'among
those over the age:of 15 (Central Bureau of Statistics .Israel)`i
.The Israeli educational system includes four primary directoratesJewish Secular.,
Jewish Religious.
(Non-Jewish)'Israeli-Palestinian.' Independent (Jewish Ultra-Orthodox).
Each -directorate.has both general'and special education divisions, each'
with its. own bureaucratic machinery.
AI-public education services in Israel are managed on a national'level, with'
several. districts (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Central, Northern' Haifa, 'Southern. -Each district is composed of all publicly funded schools;'and local superintendents manage each district. These officials have. responsibilityvfor the dayto-day functioning of all pedagogically related activities within each school
(e.g., teacher hiring and firing, curricular issues, pedagogic focus): Such a system causes a proliferation of service-delivery systems with their concomitantly,high costs.
' '
: .
groups,.through a series of legal challenges and legislative advocacy (see
Gumpel, 1996), proposed the SEL in the
early 1980s.'
The opening section of the law provides
operational definitions and begins with
the definition of "handicapped child"
and "special education." These two definitions provide an interesting tautol-'
ogy: the "handicapped child" is defined
as "A person aged three to twenty-one,
whose capacity for adaptive behaviors
is limited, due to faulty physical, mental, psychological or behavioral development, and is in need of special education" (Special Education Law of 4358,
1988, p. 2930).
On' the other hand, "special education" is defined as "methodological
teaching, learning ahnd treatment granted by law to the handicapped child." (p.
2930). These circular definitions exemplify the confusion regarding exclusionary versus inclzusionary special services:
For a child to be defined as "handicapped," he or she must be taught in a
"special education" framework which is
then defined as a framework provided
only to children with handicaps
(Gumpel, 2000).
. ,
T, I
:<t ',
,,.., b
, ,xt}
'' 1't;
The Goals of Special Education
According to the law, special education
in Israel has the following goals:
To advance and develop the
skills and abilities of the specialneeds -child, to correct and
enhance his or her physical,
I mental, emotional, and behavioral functioning, to impart to
him or' her knowledge, sldlls
and habits, and to help him
learn acceptable social behavior
'with the goal to facilitate his or
hetr integration into society and
employment circles. (Section
This emphasis on integration is in
stark contrast to the tautology described
.in the Definitions section of the law.
Critics claim that these diametrically
opposing parts of the same law create
legal and administrative ambiguity,
enabling the Ministry of Education
(MOE) to interpret as it sees fit.
The,above banner was displayed at a joiit learninag
festival for studesnts with and without special neetds.
Diagnosis and Placement
After a child experiences difficulty in
school, is tested by a licensed school
psychologist, and deemed eligible for
special education services, he or she is
Committee, which formally decides eligibility and placement. The Committee
is composed of the following people:
* A representative of the local education authority.
o Two Ministry of Education supervisors.
An educational psychologist.
A pediatrician.
A social worker.
A representative of the National
Special Education Parents' Organization (Section C).
The law does not guarantee parental
or the child's teachers' participation in
the Placement Committee. The
Committee decides where the child will
be educated and gives "priority to placing the child in a recognized school that
is not a special education school"
(Section C.7b).
The child with special needs, a parent, or a representative of a public
organization is entitled to submit an
appeal concerning a decision made by
the Placement Committee within 21
days of the decision. The MOE appoints
a seven-member Board of Appeal that
can accept or overturn the Placement
Committee decision (Section C).
Special Education Procedures
At the beginning of every school year, a
multidisciplinary team at the special
education institution develops an individualized education program (IEP) for
each child. The IEP is defined as follows:
A plan that describes the performance level of the specialneeds child at the time it is
drawn up, the learning aims and
objectives, the timetable for
achieving these, the resources
needed to achieve them, and the
standards for measuring their
attainment. (Section D.19c)
The special education Placement
Committee includes a social
worker, a physician, a
psychologist, and superuisors, but
not the parents of the child.
As opposed to the U.S. special education service-delivery model, parental
consent is not required for IEP implementation. Further, no due process procedure is available'to ensure parental
agreement or resolution of differences.
crffsisxna d 19m
According to Margalit (2001), the 1988
SEL legislation was a significant
achievement that reflected the "conceptions of its time." We have three major
criticisms of the original law.
First, through the definition of disability, a child has special educational
needs due to a "developmental impairment" that limits his or her adaptive
behavior. The law's stated goal is "'to
correct" the child's performance, with
the assumption that the performance
can, indeed, be corrected. We feel that
this definition and goal are not in line
with international standards of care in
special education. Viewing disability
from a deficit and medical model, rather
than an educational model based on the
analysis and reinforcement of strengths
and abilities, may seriously affect the
special education system's ability, to
provide the best possible range of educational and habilitative services.
Second, although the Placement
Committee ostensibly gives priority to
placement in nonspecial education and
segregative schools, the SEL does not
embrace inclusionary ideology. In fact,
the stated ambiguity in the law toward
inclusionary practices, along with 'no
direct mention of the least restrictive
environment (LRE), enables the MOE
and Placement Committees to choose
exclusionary special education placements.
Third, the involvement of parents in
their child's education is limited. The
parents have no legal rights to attend
the actual Placement Committee meetings or to take an active part in the decision-making process. This situation is
coumnon in Israel, however, where there
are no clear guarantees of due process
(Gumpel, 1996).
"kunAu0 SD
inXRzion in Ns=Aei
According to the law, implementation
should have been concluded at the
beginning of the 1999 academic year.
The master plan for implementation,
however, was only ratified in the 1995
academic year. During the period of
implementation, an emphasis was given
to shiluv (Hebrew for mainstreaming or
inclusion) of children with, special
needs in general classrooms. Today children with special needs receive services
in special education settings or in general education settings (see Figure 1).
The structure of special education
placement is changing as the Ministry of
Education strives to limit the number of
children being placed in segregated settings, through two maneuvers:
e Not formally identifying them as children with special needs (and hence
not bringing them before the
Placement Committee, thereby circumventing the restrictive budgetary
aspects of the law).
X Establishing a series of decentralized
resource centers in each community
Figure 1. Placement Procedures in Israel
A child has difficulties in the school
setting and is tested
by a psychologist.
The Placement Committee
makes a decision about eligibility and placement.
Special education
General education
The professional
team in the special
education setting
provides special
team in the LSRC
(MATIA) provides
special services.
.~~m. .i.lY
Critics of Israel'sSpecial
Education Law state that it views
disability from a deficit and.
medical model, rather than an
educational model based on the
analysis and reinforcement of
strengths and abilities.
"Unidentified" children with special
needs in general
education settings.
Note: MATIA (Local Support and Resource Centers or LSRCs) is the organizational and operational arm of the shiluv program (Director General's Circular
59(c), 1999).
.- i
Local Support and Resource
Centers (LSRCs) serve only
stuidents in mild disability
categories, function in a semiautonomous manner, and are
able to allocate resources
accordingto specific local needs.
in the country. "MATIA" (Local
Support and Resource Centers or
LSRCs) is: the organizational and
olperational arm of the shiluv program
(Director General's Circular 59(c),
1999). These LSRCs currently serve
only mild disability categories, function in a semi-autonomous manner,
and are able to allocate resources
according to specific local needs.
LSRCs are changing the very nature
of service provision in Israel: Special
education teachers are no longer associated with specific schools, but rather
with their LSRC. In this way, teachers
and paramedical services are provided
from within an itinerant consultative/
collaborative framework (Gumpel,
,' In the 1999 academic year, more
than 35,000 students received special
education servicesTin special education
settings, and about 80,000 students
received special education services
thrdugh the LSRC in preschool and general education schools. Of the students
in special education settings, 38.8 % had
learning disabilities (LD), 25.7% had
mrental retardation (MR, mild, moderate
or severe/profound), and 7.5 % had
behavioral disorder (BD). Figure 2
shows the special education populations in Israel (Ministry of Education,
Department of Special Education,
Israel). '
In 1999, the Minister of Education
appointed a' public committee whose
objective was to examine the implementation of the SEL. In July of 2000,
the committee presented their findings,
which were adopted by the Minister.
According to Margalit (2001), the rec-
ommendations attempted to clarify the
law's ambiguity and focused on the
rights of students with special needs to
learn together with their peers. The
committee emphasized that special education does not relate to a place, but
rather to a range of educational, didactic, and therapeutic procedures that are
carried out in different settings.
In addition, the c6mmittee addressed
the right of special groups to amended
priorities in the allocation of the
resource for special education. The
committee recommended that historically deprived social groups (e.g.,
Israeli-Palestinian, Bedouin) be given
priority when resources are allocated
and services are developed. The committee also recommended that cultural
components that are unique to the cultural and national group should be considered when developing special education services.
Additional Resource
- -nformationon special educatiori
'in Israel, including the Special
Education.Law in'EnAlish can be
Ifound oft the Web site' of the State
*of Israel'*Minister of Education,
the' Special Education Departm
undergone rapid changes. Today, we are
seeing dynamic changes in the
Department of Special Education in the
MOE; and we have witnessed the development of a professionally rich and
engaging work atmosphere. Special
education in Israel, however, remains
highly categorical and segregative and
hence has a long way to go.
Cehtral Bureau of Statistics, Israel. Retrieved
It is an exciting, yet confusing, time to
be involved in special education in
Israel. From 1988 to 1998 and into the
21st century, the provision of special
services to children with disabilities has
July 23, 2001, from the Web site:
Director Generals Circular 59(c), 1999.
Retrieved July 23, 2001, from the
Department of Special Education Web
Figure 2. Special Education Populations in Israel
8 g 10
Note: Populations in special education settings only: LD = learning disabilities
(38.8%); MR = mental retardation (25.7%); BD = behavioral disorders
(7.5%); 4 = moderate, multiple mental disabilities (4.1%); 5 = borderline IQ
(3.8%); 6 = developmental delay (3.7%); 7 = deafness (3%); 8 = cerebral
palsy (3%); 9 = emotional disorders (2.7%); 10 = Autism (2.6%); 11 = other
(5.1 %).
Gumpel, T. (1996). Special education law in
Israel. The Journal of Special Education,
29, 457-468.
Gumpel, T. P. (2000). Special education in
Israel. In C. R. Reynolds & E. FletcherJanzen
(Eds.), Encyclopedia of Special
Education (pp. 995-998). New York:
Margalit, M. (2001). The committee for
examining the implementation of the law
of special education. MOFET 8, 7-10.
Ministry of Education, Department of Special
Education, Israel. Retrieved July 23, 2001,
from the Web site:
Special Education Law of 4358, 15.10.88
*To orderthe book marked by an asteHsk (*),
please call 24 hrs/365 days: 1-800-BOOKSNOW (266-5766) or (732) 728-1040; or visit
them on the Web at http:// www.clicksmart
.com/teaching/. Use VISA, M/C, AMEX, or
Discouer or send check or money order +
$4.95 S&H ($2.50 each add'Z item) to:
Clicksmart, 400 Morris Avenue, Long Branch,
NJ 07740; (732) 728-1040 or FAX (732) 7287080.
Hedda Meadan (CEC Chapter#51), Doctoral
Candidate, SpeciaZ Education Department,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Thomas P. Gumpel (CEC International
Member), Assistant Professor and Chair,
Division of Special Education, The Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, Israel.
Address correspondence to Hedda Meadan,
Special Education Department, University of
Illinois at Urbana-Chiampaign, 1310 South
Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820 (e-mail:
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TEACHING Exceptional Children, Vol. 34,
No. 5, pp. 16-20.
Copyright 2002 CEC.
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Special education in Canada-unlike
that in the United States-is solely controlled by each of the 10 provinces and
three territories. This variance in policy
and practice has resulted in both similarities and differences in the ways students receive special education services
across Canada:
* Similarities include the use of individual education plans (IEPs), a collaborative approach to problem-solving,
and an emphasis on inclusion.
* Differences focus on special education teacher training requirements,
definitions of exceptionalities, and
funding models.
This article describes special education in Canada and explores current
issues of concern: a shrinking teacher
population, fiscal restraint, and access
to special education services in remote
Ontario plrovinicial policy
mandates that integration shlould
be the first chioice of classroom
placementt and that ally
segregatedplacement must be i
accordance IVitlh thte parent's
Canada is a country of approximately 31
million people spread out from the
Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Politically,
it is divided into 10 provinces and three
territories, with each jurisdiction having
control ovet a number of governmental
programs and policies. As we mentioned previously, this control extends
to educational policies.
Historically, special education in
Canada began in the mid-1800s, with
the emergence of specialized schools for
students with visual impairments
(Weber &Bennett, 1999). With a quickly growing population spread out over a
huge geographic area, these centers, by
necessity, were located in those areas
with the largest populations.
Over the next 150 years, an education system in Canada would emerge in
the form of what is currently accepted
as the norm, with the delivery of special
education services being an integral part
of the educational landscape. Probably
because of the vast spaces involved in
the country, a system emerged where
control over educational policymaking
rests with each province and territory.
Unlike the United States, there is no
federal Department of Education. The
federal government, housed in Ottawa,
Ontario, does not pass legislation mandating educational policy that must be
adhered to by provinces or territories.
The financing, curriculum, and delivery
of special education programs and services, as well as all other aspects of providing a compulsory education program, come under the control of the
provincial/territorial legislative assembly and may differ from jurisdiction to
jurisdiction (Winzer, 1996). In each
province and territory, it is the Ministry
or Department of Education that administers the Education Act for that
province or territory. The head of the
Ministry or Department is an elected
member of the provincial/territorial parliament, appointed by the premier of
that province or territory, and is known
as the "Minister of Education."
All provinces have locally elected
school boards, which, though having
some local educational autonomy, must
adhere to the provinces' education acts,
regulations, and the dictates of the
Minister of Education. ;
peTWq @.dUEZ1:X11,n lasrue-S B
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
passed in 1982 ensures, under the constitution, that all citizens receive equal
treatment under the law and that discrimination based on a handicapping
condition is not permitted. Canadian
provinces and territories have compulsory education laws, which allow for
the inclusion of students with special
needs. Each jurisdiction must ensure
that all students receive a free and
appropriate education (to use the wellworn U.S. terminology), with each
province/territory delivering this education through its own department or
ministry of education.
The following sections describe what
is usual practice in Canadian provinces
and territories, concerning identification/assessment of students with exceptionalities, programs and placement
offered, funding, and teacher education
and certification.
Children with exceptionalities who
require special education services and
programs would be characterized as
having needs in one or more of the following categories: physical, behavioral,
learning disabled, speech and language,
giftedness, autism spectrum disorder,
developmental delays, or vision and
hearing impairments. Although students who are identified as needing help
share similar characteristics, what is
quite different from province to
province are the actual labels placed on
students who do receive these programs
and services.
In Ontario, for example, educators
use the following categories and subcategories of "exceptionalities":
Intellectual (gifted, mild inteZZectual
disability, developmental disability).
Communication (autism, deaf and
hard of hearing, language impairment,' speech impairment, learning
Physical (physical disabiZity, blind
and low vision).
2 Behavioral.
o Multiple.
Compare this list with the policy of
the Northwest Territories, which makes
no mention of what constitutes an
exceptionality. This jurisdiction focuses
on the rights of all students to an inclusive education and support services that
meet individual needs (Smith, Polloway,
Patton, Dowdy, & Heath, 2001). No
labeling of exceptionality is necessary
for either placement or funding.
There also exist individual differences in terms of labels, such as the
absence of "traumatic brain injury" as a
category of exceptionality in Ontario
Canada'sSupreme Court ruled
that decision makers must set out
to determine thte best possible
placement for the chiild and take
into accouint the child's best
interests and special needs.
and the inclusion of this category in
Newfoundland. It is possible that,
although many of these definitions are
similar, a child deemed to be "exceptionaZ" in one jurisdiction can then lose this
label when moved to another jurisdiction.
The process of identification is similar in most provinces/territories. A committee determines whether a student is
in need of special education programs
and services. Usually, a collaborative
team, including the parents, carries out
the identification of students with
In many jurisdictions where a variety
of placements are available, a committee makes placement decisions, either at
the school or local authority level. This
committee is usually composed of regular and special education personnel,
student services personnel, and principals/vice-principals. Parents are involved in the decision making and-in
some jurisdictions, such as Ontariohave a legislated appeal process.
The exact procedures for identifying
students with exceptionalities vary from
province to province. For example, in
Ontario, Canada's largest province,
accounting for approximately one-third
of the total population of Canada (see
Table 1, page 24), special education is
governed by Regulation 181/98 passed
In Ontario, students are identified as
"e.xceptional" by an Identification,
Placement and Review Committee
(IPRC) composed of at least three people. One of these committee members is
usually the person at the school-board
level responsible for either special education or a family of schools (referred to
as a "Superintendent") or his or her
Normally, the classroom teacher
begins the process of identification. The
teacher refers the student to an In
School Team (IST), where concerns are
discussed. During the IST meeting,
team members will suggest programming strategies for the teacher to use in
the classroom. If the programming
strategies provided by this team are
ineffective, the team will refer the student to the IPRC for formal identification as exceptional.
The Ontario regulation also identifies
a process of appeal for parents who may
be in disagreement with the decisions
It is possible thtat, althouiglh many
definitions are similair from
province to province, a child
deemed to be "exceptional" in onze
jurisdiction can theni lose this
label whien tmoveil to anolher
under the Education Act.
1. Provincial and Territorial Practices in Educating Exceptionail Learners
Most appropriate placement
Individual Education Plan
Inclusive education
Individual Education Plan
Philosophy in inclusion
New Brunswick
Individual Education Plan
Inclusive education
Newfoundland & Labrador
Individual Support Services
Regular classroom and continuum of services
Nova Scotia
Individual Program Plan
Regular instructional settings
Regular classroom first
Individual Education Plan
and Identification, Placement,
and Review Committee
Prince Edward Island
Individual Education Plan
Most enabling environment
Individual Education Plan
Integration, neighborhood schools
Personal Program Plan
Inclusive settings
IEP or Equivalent
Northwest Territories
Individual Education Plan
Inclusive schooling
Individual Education Plan
(of NT)
Inclusive schooling (of NT)
Individual Education Plan
Inclusive philosophy
IEP or Equivalent
Individual Program Plan
British Columbia
Notes: IEP = individual education plan; NT = Northwest Territories
Source: Adapted from Inclusion of Exceptional Learners in CanadianSchools, by N. L. Hutchinson, 2001, Toronto, Prentice
reached. This appeal process, initially
handled at the school-board level, can
progress to a Ministry of Education
Tribunal, in which case the decision is
Newfoundland and Labrador, one of
Canada's least populated provinces, has
no legislation specific to special education, but has used a number of key governmental documents to develop a
framework for the delivery of services
based on a strong inclusive model.
Parents; school personnel; and representatives from the Department of
Human Resources
Employment, Justice, and other relevant
All across Canadaa, student
programniningis centered ont
individual prograrm planning.
agencies collaborate to identify children
who may be considered exceptional.
This identification can occur at one of
the following three stages:
* Early identification (from birth).
Preschool (postbirth).
* School age.
At each entry point, each case is
appointed a manager who oversees and
coordinates the development and monitoring of an Individual Support Services
Plan for the child (Philpott & Nesbit,
Throughout the provinces and territories of Canada, all assessment is conducted in a similar manner to that in
schools boards throughout the United
States. One major difference, however,
is the involvement of noneducation personnel in the assessment process.
Within the province of Alberta, concerns about assessment revolve around
o The inability to find qualified personnel to perform required assessments.
* The mismatch between formalized
assessment and teaching strategies
within the classroom.
* The perception that assessment hot
be merely for the purpose of identification to access funding.
These concerns have prompted a
provincial review of assessment
(Alberta Learning, 2000). This review
included in its recommendations that
the province develop a model of assessment linked to programming and individualized plans-a model that prevents
undue assessment while recognizing
student growth, as well as a review of
standards of I identification to more
closely match them to the learning
needs of students.
In contrast, Ontario, through recent
changes to the special education funding process, requires students to have
confirmation of their disability by a
pediatrician, psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist for one level of funding or confirmation of exceptionality by
a medical practitioner or registered psychologist for a higher level of funding
(Ontario Ministry of Education, 2001).
Across Canada, there is no universal
requirement for a "multidisciplinary
team," but several provinces/territories
use this model in the assessment and
identification process. British Columbia,
for example, suggests that specialized
personnel should be available to support schools in the assessment
process-but it is not a requirement for
funding to be provided (Special
Education Branch, British Columbia,
Prsograimminig for Students with
All across Canada, student programming is centered on individual program
planning. Such plans have differing
Individual Program Plan in Alberta
(Alberta Learning, 2000).
v Individual Support Services Plan in
Newfoundland (Newfoundland and
Labrador, Department of Education,
* Individual Education Plan in the
Northwest Territories (Northwest
Territories, Department of Education
Culture and Employment, 2001).
Despite these differences, each
province and territory has adopted a set
of procedures that allow teams and
committees to develop programs for
each child.
In general, the process for individualized program development follows
steps similar to those outlined by the
Ministry of Education for the Northwest
Territories, as follows:
£ The collection of demographic data.
g Statement of educational concerns.
@ Educational assessment data.
Description of the present program.
@ Recommendations.
* Review procedures.
Ontario has developed a comprehensive plan for the development of the IEP
in British ,Cciimbnibc'
- . AnIEP
wInthis'Canadian province,-an'IEP must include the-following items:
.The,present levels:of educational performance of.the student.
Thele'arning outcomes set':for that studeint for that school year where the
learningoqitcornes are different.-from the learning outcomes set out in the
applicable e'ducational program guide. -All the required,. adaptations to 'educational materials, and'instructional and
assessment methQds. ;
All the support,services to be provided.
a: A description of :the place where the educational program is' to be provided
The names'of all personnel Who vill be prbviding the educational program
and-thesupport services for thel studeint during the school-year
- The period of time and process for reviewof the IEP. -(Special Education
Branch, British-Columbia, 1995, p.A7)
(Ontario Ministry of Education, 2000).
This plan requires school personnel to
develop an IEP based on assessment
and evaluation and consultation with
parents and any other professionals
interacting with the student. (See box
for what an IEP in the province of
British Columbia must include.)
In 1997 the Supreme Court of Canada,
in a highly controversial case, Eaton vs.
Eaton vs. Brant County Board of. Education:
i..,'est interest of thte cbild"
1 In Ontario, after an IdentificAt ii Placerrent and Review committee (IPRC3
iidentifies,a child as exceptiofial, a parent has the right to :two levels of appeal.
The first level ,called:an appeal board;" is relatiyely informal; the second level,
tribunal, is iconducted by. the:Ontario Ministry of Education.
'IPRC Ruing In this case, the-Eaton famijy,,having exh'austed these' two levels
iof appeal brought their case to'the divisional court of Ontario.-The Eatons, parents of '12 year-old Emnily' a child with severe disabilities,' disagreed with the
'IPRC to place Emly in a special education classroom. The parents, preferring
an inclusive gene'raleducation class placement, were ultimately successful in
'iaving their case heard by an Ontario divisional courtCourt and Couirt of Appeals Rulings. The Ontario Divisional Court
existing decision to place Emily in a segregated setting: The
case was then heard by the. Ontario Court* of Appeals, which overturned the
*divisionai court's ruling. This decision, which became Ontario provincial poligy, stated thatintegration should bethe first'dhoice of classroom placement and
that.any- segregated placemrent .must be in accordance with the parent's wishes. The sch6oo1board appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. A
decision by this body would have national, rather than provincial, implication.
- Divisional
Supreme. Court Rullig. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that placement
decisions should take into account "the child's best interest and special needs";
in the case df Emily,the court decided that a segregated special education setitnig was the best interest.
. This decision ensures thiit provinces and territories can provide the full
menu of options or continuum,-to meet the needs;of students with
special neeas.Probably as a result.of the press surrounding this case-despite
the Supreme Cpurt decision-placement committees inmost areas of the coun-try View: an inclusive setting as the preferred placement.
Canada's Supremre Court Ruling on Plccemetit Decisions
-The-Suprenme Court, which has rfurisdictioni-over each province.and- territocy,
*wrote thafta special education (orinclusive general educatio'n) placement deci - '
sion does not-impose a burden or disadvantage'on a child wizhn the decision'
* Set oit to determine the best'p,ossible placement for the child.
- 0 Take into account the childs best inferests and special needs. * Provide,for ongoing assessment of the child's best interests so that changes
to the child's needs can be reflected in placement. o Make the, decision from. a, subjective, child-centered perspective, one that
''-| make .equality meaningful from the child's point of view as
opposed to that. of the adults, in thle child s bife ("Special Education: 'ilo i
Presumption," -1997).
Brant County Board of Education (see
box), ruled that teams and committees
must decide on the placement of a student with special needs based on the
"best interests of the child." The court
added that there is no inherent basis for
the belief that a regular education class
is a more appropriate placement than
special class placement.
This decision, made at the federal
level, overturned an Ontario Supreme
Court decision, which had previously
ruled in favor of regular class placement. (See box, page 26, for the details
of the Supreme Court's ruling.)
There is an emphasis throughout
Canada's provinces and territories
toward inclusion.
For example,
Ontario's Regulation 181/98 (part 4, sec-
tion 17), stipulates that the IPRC shall
decide to place an exceptional pupil in a
regular classroom when such a placement meets the pupil's needs and is in
accordance with parental preferences
(Ontario Ministry of Education, 1998).
In several provinces, such as Prince
Edward Island, New Brunswick, and
In A
zlbiurs, n pa'ouincial rcticr (if
assesamnent ilueiwi
d i1 its
1iCC0onniwudefndiosls ttlfl 1tte
pJrUovUICe dayeloPo
ftdlcll ofI
l (itkCeIt to
fiJjdividalized ptians.
Nova Scotia, inclusion is the only option
available. In other provinces-for example, Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec-various formats and placement options are
available in many school districts (see
Table 1). Even in those provinces/territories that offer a "continuum of services" or placement options, placement in
the regular education classroom is usually the first priority.
For the most part, Canadian provinces
and territories fund on a need basis. In
some jurisdictions, such as Quebec and
British Columbia, funding is based on
both category and degree of severity of
exceptionality. Individual boards of education apply to the Ministry or
Department of Education (the term
Ministry of Education is used in some
provinces and the term Department of
Education is used in others) for additional funds that may be required to
offer educational services to students
with special needs (Ministere de
l'Education Quebec, 1999). In most
cases, the school or team must develop
an IEP that indicates the level of need
and the level of educational service that
must be provided to meet the child's
need. In Ontario, the Ministry of
Education regularly reviews IEPs to
ensure that funding requests accurately
reflect student need and that the
amount of funds provided is appropriate
for the need indicated.
Teacher Education
All teachers in Canada must be certified
under a provincial/territorial governing
body, either the Provincial Miiistry of
Education or the College of Teaclhers
(British Columbia or Ontario), which
ensures that appropriate and adequate
training has taken place. In every jurisdiction in Canada, teachers receive their
regular teaching license befoi-e receiving
any special education certification. It is
most common for teacher education to
consist of at least one university degree,
with (depending on the province or territory) additional degrees or courses of
qualification to achieve special education teacher certification. Within preservice teacher education there is a growing awareness of the need for specific
training in the area of exceptionalities.
This awareness is fueled in part by the
increasingly inclusive nature of
Canadian classrooms. Although many
universities have offered courses at the
preservice level, not all universities
make them a requirement for coinpletion.
Within each province (there are currently no teacher training programs in
the territories), universities have considerable leeway in the delivery bf courses,
provided they meet the expectation and
requirements of the governing body.
Here are some examples:
The University of New Brunswick
offers a certificate in special education for graduates who take additional courses in special education during
their preservice training.
The province of Newfoundland
requires that all teachers who wish to
teach special education specifically
are required to complete an additional degree following their teacher
training, specifically in the area of
special education.
In Ontario, though some universities
offer mandatory preservice courses in
special education, other universities
allow this to be optional. To teach
special education in this province,
teachers must complete three core
courses, along with three elective
courses in special education, to attain
a specialist certificate in special education, though they are permitted to
teach in special education, having
completed only one core course and
one elective or two core courses.
goss5rm- lra Cunnudluka giietic
Across Canada, services in special education-despite provincial and territorial control over the educational systemshare many common features, such as
the collaborative approach, the use of
IEPs, and parental involvement in the
Many challenges continue to concern those who strive to provide excellent programs and services to students
who are exceptional. The geographic
and ethnic diversity of Canada presents
particular challenges in the delivery of
.special education.
Geographically, providing qualified
teachers, as well as assessment personnel and support services such as occupational therapy, can be challenging.
With shortages in larger areas, the waiting list for psychological assessment can
be up to 6 months. Providing these services to northern and more remote areas
can be difficult if not impossible.
Ethnically, meeting the needs of
Canada's diverse population, particularly its
native communities and its ever-growing
population of students who speak English as
a second language, presents challenges such
as finding valid assessment tools and instructional methods.
: While attempting to meet the needs
of students with exceptionalities, many
provincial and territorial governments
are faced with fiscal-restraint measures
aimed at streamlining programs and
services. These restraints exacerbate
many challenges mentioned here.
Along with this fiscal belt tightening
is an increased demand for accountability on the part of school systems,
schools, and individual teachers. As
parents become more sophisticated consumers and as they demand more value
for the dollar, people will examine education policies and practices in more
and more detail.
Nelvfonndland and Labrador have
developed a framework for th1e
delivery of services based on a
strlong inclutsive model.
Finally, amidst this backdrop of fiscal
restraint, increasing demand for
accountability, and the need to meet the
ever-increasing diversity of the population, Canada, as in much of North
America, is beginning to face a teacher
shortage. Some provinces, like Ontario,
are acutely feeling this shortage; some
school boards are having difficulty filling regular education classroom positions and great difficulty finding qualified special education teachers.
Despite these challenges, we believe
that educators across Canada remain
committed to providing excellent services to all students. For many years,
school boards provided incentives for
teachers and other professionals to provide services in remote areas. Faculties
of education have worked on designing
teacher education programs that attract
and train people from remote areas who
wish to return to their home communities to work. Faculties of education are
responding to the demand for additional teachers by increasing enrollment and
exploring ways of delivering courses via
technology and other forms of distance
education. School boards continue to
find creative and effective ways to
streamline services while maintaining
excellent service and making parents
partners in the education of their children. Overall, the provision of special
education services in Canada remains a
priority for parents and educators alike.
Alberta Learning. (2000, November).
Shaping the future for students with special needs: A review of special education in
Alberta (Final Report). Edmonton: Author.
Retrieved December 12, 2001, from
Hutchinson, N. L. (2001). Inclusion of exceptional learners in Canadian schools: A
practical handbook for teachers. Toronto:
Prentice Hall.*
Ministere de l'Education Quebec. (1999).
Adapting our schools to the needs of all
students: Policy on special education.
[Online]. Quebec City: Author.
Newfoundland and Labrador, Department
Education. Introduction. Retrieved December 12, 2001, from http://www. issp/intro.htm
Northwest Territories, Department of
Education Culture and Employment.
Educating All Our Children: Toward
Implementation. Retrieved December 12,
2001, from
ECE/ECSS/school /support/2/html/forward.htm
Ontario Ministry of Education. (1998).
Regulation 181/98. [Online]. Available:
Ontario Ministry of Education. (2000).
Individual education plans standards for
development, program planning and
implementaiton. Toronto, Ontario: Author.
Ontario Ministry of Education. (2001).
Individual education plans standards for
development, program planning and
implementation 2000. Toronto: Queens
Printer for Ontario.
Philpott, D., &Nesbit, W. (2000). Legislative
provisions for special education in
Newfoundland and Labrador. Paper presented at annual Canadian Society for
Studies in Education conference, Quebec
City, Quebec.
Srnith, T. E., Polloway, E. A., Patton, J. R.,
Dowdy, C. A., & Heath, N. L. (2001).
Teaching students with special needs in
inclusive settings. Toronto: Pearson
Special Education Branch, British Columbia
Ministry of Education. (1995). Special
education services: A manual of policies,
procedures and guidelines. Victoria:
Special education: No presumption in favor
on integration. (1997, March). EduLaw,
The Education Law Reporter, 8(7), 49-50.
Weber, K., &Bennett, S. (1999). Special education in Ontario Schools (4th ed.).
Thornhill, Ontario: Highland Press.
Winzer, M. (1996). Children with exceptionalities in Canadian classrooms (4th ed.).
Scarborough, Ontario: Allyn &Bacon.*
*7Torder the book marked by an asterisk (*),
please call 24 hrs/365 days: 1-800-BOOKS-NOW
(266-5766) or (732) 728-1040; orvisit them on the
Web athttp:// www.clicksmart. com/teaching/. Use
VISA, MJ/C, AMEX, or Discover or send check or
money order + $4.95 S&H ($2.50 each add'litem)
to: Clicksmart, 400 Morris Avenue, Long Branci,
NJ 07740; (732) 728-1040 orFAX (732) 728-7080.
Don Dworet (CEC Chapter #744), Associate
Professor; and Sheila Bennett (CEC Chapter
#744), Associate Professor, Faculty of
Education, Brock University. St. Catharine's,
Ontario, Canada.
Address correspondence to Don Dworet,
Faculty of Education, Brock University, 500
Glenridge Avenue, St. Cotharine's, Ontario,
Canada L2S 3A1 (e-mail: [email protected]
TEACHING Exceptional Children, Vol. 34,
No. 5, pp. 22-27.
Copyright 2002 CEC.
Jiyeoni Park
Special education in South Korea has
made great strides both in number and
quality of programs for the past 25 years
since the enactment of Special
Education Promotion Act in 1977.; Few
publications, however, provide updated
portraits of special education in South
This article presents the current status of special education in South lKorea
in terms of legislation for special education, early intervention/early childhood
special education, elementary and secondary education, and personnel preparation. It also discusses current issues
with future directions in the special education of South Korea.
G-eograrplic and Demnographic
Korea, located on the northeastern section of the Asian continent and at the
east of China and the west of Japan, has
five thousand years of history and culture. About 69,450,000 Koreans live in
this country; among these, 47,275,000
people live in South Korea (Korea
National Statistical Office; 2000).
Because little is known about special
education in North Korea, this article
focuses only on special education in
South Korea.
In South Korea, people with disabilities are expected to (but not forced to)
register at the local government office to
allow federal and local governments to
establish an efficient welfare system
on the number of people with disbased
abilities and their disability conditions.
According to the 6-tier system that categorizes the severity of disability condi28
It is estimated thtat thtere are
about 1,449,000 people ivith
disabilities (about 3% of thLe
population) in South I(orea.
tions into six groups, a tier number
(between Tier 1 and Tier 6) is given to
each registered person with disabilities
by disability-diagnosis agencies. Tier 1
represents the most severe disability
conditions; and the largest amount of
benefits are given to the persons who
belong to the Tier 1 group.
As of 2000, the number of people
with disabilities who were registered at
local government was 972,087 (Korea
Ministry of Health and Welfare, 2000).
The number of registered people with
disabilities, however, is far less than the
real number of people with disabilities.
This disparity results from several factors: parents' unwillingness to register
their children with disabilities at an
early age, limited definitions of disability categories, insufficient benefits even
after getting registered, and a lack of
announcement about the registration
process. When unregistered people with
disabilities are considered, it is estimated that there are about 1,449,000 people
with disabilities (about 3 % of the population) in South Korea (Korea Ministry
of Health and Welfare, 2000).
Hiisftio3a PeNpecshes
As an ancient Korean tradition, people
with disabilities have been provided
with care and assistance by the governments (e.g., Korea dynasty, Cho-Sun
dynasty), as well as by their parents or
neighbors, though no systemic education was offered to them until late 19th
century. Christian missionaries from the
United States and European countries
tremendously contributed to the early
development of special education. At
the time, children with visual or hearing
impairments were the primary recipients of special education. In 1894,
Rossetta Sherwood Hall taught a girl
with blindness, which was the first
effort to provide special education for a
child with disabilities. She also established the first special school for children with hearing impairments in 1909.
Education for children with other
disability conditions started in the 1960s
when the first personnel preparation
program for special education professionals was established at Han-Kuk
Social Work University (later renamed
as Taegu University) with several,special schools affiliated to the university.
The most significant landmark iii the
history of South Korea special education
was the enactment of the 1977 Special
Education Promotion Act, which mandated free special education and reiated
services, such as physical therapy,
speech therapy, and medical services,
for children with disabilities (Seo,
Oakland, Han, & Hu, 1992).
Special education in South Korea has
made great progress in the past 25
years. The legislation has been reautho-
* Responsibilities
The most representative law for
special education
is the Special Education Promotion
Act. This legislation was first
enacted in 1977;
its main content
included (a) free
education for children with disabilities in compulsory
education agencies (at the time, only
elementary education was compulsory),
and (b) support for private schools that
enrolled children with disabilities. In
1987 and in 1990, the Act was reauthorized to ensure free education for students with disabilities who attend
kindergarten and high school.
As the field expanded and showed
advances both in quantity and quality,
more comprehensive legislation was
called for. Legislation was needed that
reflected the needs of various stakeholders, such as students with disabilities and their parents and professionals
in special education and related fields.
As a result, the law was thoroughly
amended in 1994 and then partially
modified or extended in 1997 and in
2000. Since 1994, South Korea has
passed three reauthorizations of the
law, with the following major changes:
c Terms and their definitions are
rized several times since then to ensure
pmore comprehensive and organized
educational services for students with
Seo et al. (1992) provided a comprehensive overview about special education in South Korea, including brief history, prevalence of people with disabilities, service delivery of special education, personnel preparation, problems,
and future trends. Few publications
have offered an update about special
education in South Korea, though great
changes in the field have taken place in
the past 10 years. These changes include
the following:
* An increase in the number of students with disabilities who receive
special education, as well as in the
number of special schools and special
education classes.
@ Reauthorizations of legislation.
* An increase in the number and type
of personnel preparation programs.
* Increasing public awareness and
acceptance of disability.
of the federal and
local governments in promotion of
special education are specified.
* Procedures for diagnosis and assessment to decide whether a child is
qualified for special education or not
,are specified.
* Parents (guardians) are provided with
a chance to express their opinions
regarding diagnosis, assessment, and
decision of qualification.
* Principals at all schools are required
(a) not to refuse the application of a
student with a disability for the reason of his or her disability and (b) not
to refuse the entrance of students
with disabilities to the school for the
reason of disability when that student
successfully passes the entrance
exam and review.
* Principals at all schools are required
to provide appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities,
based on the type and severity of the
disability, when they take entrance
exams or attend schools.
* Contents and procedures of inclusive
education, individualized education,
therapeutic education, vocational
education, and career education are
* Principals in each school are required
to plan and implement parent
(guardian) education when necessary
or when the parents (guardians) ask
for education.
S Procedures are specified for appeal
when students with disabilities or
their parents object to the assessment
and placement of their children.
2002 a 29
Though not directly related to special
education, there are some other laws
that may affect students with disabilities
in South Korea in terms of education,
health, employment, and accessibility
(see box, "Representative Legislation for
Individuals with Disabilities in South
Eady Esnteruention/@Ea1y
C1ildhood Special Education
The Special Education Promotion Act,
described in the previous section, specifies that young children who are
enrolled in kindergarten from 3 to 5
years of age receive special education
services for free (the term "kindergarten" often represents both kindergarten and preschool in South Korea).
Because the number of schools that
offer early childhood special education
programs is very limited, however, only
a few children with disabilities in;the
age range are receiving special education services either at kindergarten
classes in special schools or at general
kindergartens. In 2000, about 1,456 children with disabilities were educated in
special school kindergartens, 259 children were in special education classes
in general kindergartens, and 30 children were fully included in general
kindergartens (Korea Ministry of
Education and Human Resources
Development, 2000). The children who
were not in those kindergarten programs were educated in various types of
private agencies, including private
preschools and kindergartens, clinics,
early intervention centers, hospitals,
and community welfare centers, where
tuition is expensive. Only 16% of children with disabilities who qualify for
early childhood special education are
receiving special education whether in
ThLe large number of elementary
and secondary students who
receive special education (about
53,000) representsrapid progress
in tlte special educationprogram
of Soutlh Korea.
Represeltative Legislation
for Individuals with Disabilities
in South KCorea
1. Special EduLcation Promotion Act
(1977, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1997,
2000): Free appropriate education
for students with special needs.
2. Rehabilitation Act (also called
'Disability Welfare Law") (1989,
1997, 1999): Definition of "individual with a disability," the
responsibilities of government
and local agencies for welfare of
people with disabilities, disability
registration, financial support,
support for development and dissemination of assistive technology
3. Employment PromotionAct for the
Disabled (1990, 1995, 2000):
Vocational rehabilitation, quota
system for people with disabilities.
4. The Disabled, The Aged, and The
Pregnant Convenience Promotion
Act (1997, 1999): Accessibility to
facilities, equipment and devices,
and information in the community.
5. Child Welfare Act (1981, 1997,
2000): Healthy pregnancy and
delivery, child protection from
abuse and neglect, child health
and safety, guardianship.
6. Mental Health Law (1995, 1997,
2000): Appropriate treatment and
rehabilitative assistance for persons with mental health problems, right of patients with mental illness placed in hospitals and
kindergarten classes in special schools,
general kindergartens, or in private
agencies. The rest (84%) attend no educational program, which is one of the
urgent issues in special education in
South Korea.
Elenentary and Secondary
For all school-aged children in South
Korea, elementary education has been
free and compulsory since 1953; and
middle school education (seventh to
ninth grade in the U.S. system) has been
free and compulsory since 1985. It is
estimated that about 2.11 % of schoolaged children have disabilities in South
Korea. The number of students with disabilities who receive special education
under elementary and secondary education system is about 52,987 (Korea
Ministry of Education and Human
Resources Development, 2000). Among
them, 22,740 students are educated in
129 special schools, 26,368 students are
educated in 3,746 special education
classes located in general schools, and
3,879 students are fully included in general classrooms with support from special education teachers.
The large number of elementary and
secondary students who receive special
education represents rapid progress in
the special education program of South
Korea, considering that there were only
38 special schools and one special education class in the early 1970s. Also, this
trend reflects the will of the government
to incorporate children with disabilities
in inclusive educational environments.
Student with disabilities who are eligible for special education services are
provided with individualized education
that meets his or her individual needs,
based on their individualized education
programs (IEPs). The IEP, established
for each student before the beginning of
the academic year, includes current
achievement level, goals and objectives,
starting and ending date, instructional
strategies, and procedures to evaluate
Table 1 shows the number of special
schools and the students with disabilities served in those schools since 1962;
Figure 1 shows the composition of students in special schools by disability
type and by school level as of 2000. '
Table 2 shows the number of special
education classes in general schools and
the number of students with disabilities
in those settings since 1971; Figure 2
shows the composition of special education classes by school level as of 2000.
Though the number of special
schools and special education classes,
as well as number of children with disabilities served in those settings,
increased tremendously in the 1990s (as
shown in Tables 1 and 2), quite a few
'kdble I N'Mumbr,er of Special Schools ira Soe0l, K(orea Si;ce X962
Schools and Students
No. of special schools
No. of students in the schoolsa
aThis number includes the number of 3- to 5-year-old children in kindergarten
classrooms located in special schools.
Source: Adapted from 2000 Congress Annual Report on Special Education, by
Korea Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, 2000, Korea.
Figure 1. Conmposition a; Students in Special Schools by Disability
Category and by School Level in 2000 (N = 22,740)
1225 15%
. - heading 2039 19% '
I -
mental realauion
a; Zpa.ciai Educationi Classrooiits Locli;ed in
bGcnesci Ssgool5 iLs aoui1l i(orea shite 197
, Classrooms and Students 1971
' No. of classrooms
No. of studentsa
aThis number includes the number of 3- to 5-year-old children in kindergarten
classrooms located in special schools.
Source: Adapted from 2000 Congress Annual Report on Special Education, by
Korea Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, 2000, Korea.
Figure 2. Conipositiont of Students in Special Education Classes by
School Level in 2006 (M
students with disabilities receive no special education services. There are several reasons for nonattendance: (a) children staying at home because of severe
disability conditions, (b) parents putting
off children's entrance to elementary
schools until their children show more
progress, and (c) children with mild disabilities being included in general classrooms with no support.
[email protected] irepatlsion
Eighteen universities in South Korea
offer various types of preservice training
programs that prepare special education
professionals, including spsecial educators at early childhood, elementary, and
secondary level; physical therapists;
oc6upational therapists; speech-language pathologists; special physical
education teachers; and vocational education teachers. Each year, about 737
graduates from these universities begin
their careers as certified professionals in
special education and related services.
Those who want to work at public
schools have to take a national qualification exam for special education teachers, even after being certified. Table 3
summarizes specific information about
personnel preparation programs in
South Korea.
Though curricula vary across the
programs in the 18 universities, during
the 4-year college education period,
most programs provide introductions to
each disability category and courses on
teaching strategies for children with various disability conditions. Various field
experiences include observations, volunteer work, and class assistance in the
real classroom settings. These field
experiences are required during the
coursework; and a full-time practicum
for one month should be completed in
891 /3*
tsi ?_-}r \
1s* -'
Source: Adapted from 2000 Congress Annual Report on Special Education, by
Korea Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, 2000, Korea.
Administrative support is needed
to enable general schools to
provide appropriateservices to
the students with disabilities who
are included in the general
Tnhle 3. Personnel Preparation Uni'ersifies in SoSihli Korea
No. of Graduates/Year
Majors Established in the University
Kangnam University
Gongju University
Nazareth University
Special education
Special education
Early childhood special education, rehabilitative
technology, human rehabilitation
Special education
Early childhood special education, elementary
special education, secondary special education,
therapeutic special education, vocational rehabilitation
Special education
Special education
Early childhood special education, special education
Early childhood special education
Special physical education
Special education
Special education
Special education
Special education
Special physical education
Vocational rehabilitation
Physical therapy, speech therapy
Dankuk University
Taegu University
Pusan University
Sunchunhyang University
Woosuk University
Yesu University
Yongin University
Ewha University
Chosun University
Changwon University
Chunan University
Hankuk Sports University
Catholic University
Taebul University
Hansin University
Source: Adapted from 2000 Congress Annual Report on Special Education, by Korea Ministry of Education and Human
Resources Development, 2000, Korea.
the last year of training. In addition, students are required to take some core
courses in general education, such as
educational psychology, philosophy and
history of education, and human development.
Fuhkre Prospects
Though special education in South
Korea has achieved substantial development in recent years, there are still
many tasks to work on. First, though
the increase in the number of special
schools or special education classes has
been a major standard to determine the
success of special education promotion,
the focus of attention from now on
should move to providing appropriate
education in the least restrictive environment (Yoon, 1999). If we are to realize this goal, more financial and administrative support is needed to enable
general schools to provide appropriate
services to the students with disabilities
who are included in the general classroom. For example, in a least restrictive
environment, special education teachers
would provide consultation to classroom teachers and would help classroom teachers develop learning materials based on each child's needs.
Second, in early intervention/early
childhood special education for young
children with disabilities in South
Korea, three issues beg for attention:
* The need for early intervention for
children from birth through 2 years
old, excluded up to now.
* The need to adapt disability categories based on the individual characteristics of younger children with
disabilities (e.g., in current categories, learning disabilities are included and at-risk conditions are excluded).
* The need for compulsory education
for children ages 3 to 5 in early childhood education programs, including
those that provide for the needs of
children with disabilities and those at
risk (Lee, 2000).
Future policy should expand educational opportunities so that all children
with disabilities from birth to age 5 can
receive free, appropriate, and compulsory education. Also, future researchers
should develop and validate procedures
for diagnosis and assessment that
match characteristics of young children
with disabilities, rather than depending
on traditional procedures ahd instruments developed for older students.
Third, in terms of personnel preparation, preservice students should be prepared for their new roles in the inclusive
settings as inclusion facilitators or 'as
consultants for general education teachers. That is, preservice students should
's4wIe 4. t
s foat MbAre f
rin0 t2irl Abouh Speciai Educatioii in l
fuvea6le ind Ehglisti)
. Title and:Web Address (URL)
The Ministry of Education and Human Resources
Development (
The Ministry of Health and Welfare
SAMYOOK Rehabilitation Center (http://www.
Introduction to education system of Korea, including special
Special,Education Promotion Act in English
@ Introduction
to social welfare services for people with
* Introduction to the medical, educational, and rehabilitation
services that the center provides for children with physical disabilities
Korea Employment Promotion Agency for the Disabled a Introduction to the vocational training and career-development
services that the agency provides
Department of Special Education, EWHA University
* Introduction to the department
* Curriculum for preservice training
Korea Institute for Special Education
* Introduction to the research and dissemination activities
that this national institute on special education has conducted
study special education, based on their
prerequisite knowledge and understanding about the general education system
and its curricula. In addition, there has
not been any systemic effort to train
in South Korea,
whereas the needs for having paraprofessionals both in special schools and
general schools are increasing and the
benefits from having them in classrooms seem quite apparent. Efficient
use of paraprofessionals is expected to
facilitate inclusion of students with disabilities in general classes and to reduce
the excessive workloads of special educators in special schools or special education classes.
This article represents a condensed
report on the current status of special
education in South Korea. For more
information about special education in
South Korea, see Table 4 for an introduction to several Internet resources
that have related information in English
and Korean.
Despite a multitude of issues and
challenges, special education in South
Korea has the potential for further
enhancement. Special education has
made significant progress in South
Korea in recent years; the government
has shown resolute efforts and has
made investment for special education;
and emerging social movements are
advocating for the rights of people with
disabilities. I believe that collaborations
among South Korea and other countries-exchanges of information, sharing of expertise, or joint efforts for common issues-will accelerate the development of special education in South
Korea and other countries. I 'hope this
article paves the way for such collaborations.
Symposium on Tasks in Special Education
'for the 21st Century. Seoul, Korea: Korea
Society for Special Education.
Jiyeon Park (CEC Clapter #665), Full-time
Lecturer, Ewha University, DaeHyunDong 111, Seoul, Korea.
Address cor-espondence to the author at
Ewha University, Department of Special
Education, DaeHyunDong 11-1, Seoul, Korea
120-750 (e-mail: [email protected]
TEACHING Exceptional Children,
No. 5, pp. 28-33.
Copyright 2002 CEC,
Korea Ministry of Education and Human
Resources Development. (2000). 2000
Congress annual report on special education [Online]. Korea: Ministry of
Education and Human Resources.
Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare. (2000).
Number of registeredpersons wvith disabilities [Online]. Available: http://www.
Korea National Statistical Office. (2000).
Pbpulation in Korea [Online]. Available:
Lee, S. (2000). Policy issues in early intervention/early childhood special education. ThkSuGyoYukHakYeonGu [Journal of
Special Education], 35(2), 115-145
Seo, G., Oakland, T., Han, H-S., & Hu, S.
(1992). Special education in South Korea.
Exceptional Children, 5S, 213-218.
Yoon, J. (1999). Tasks in special education
policy. Paper presented at 1999 Academic
Solano County Office of Education -
Physical Therapist. 183 days per year, S
hours per day. Salary range: $51,735.72$66,068.32 per year. Requires current
license from the Board of Medical Quality
Assurance. Knowledge of physical therapy
techniques and objectives of treatment for
physically disabled children. Ability to
plan, organize, and conduct a physical
therapy program for severely disabled
children. Ability to work with students,
parents, teachers, and other agencies.
Prefer one year supervised experience
providing physical therapy for children
with severe physical disabilities. Apply to
Solano County Office of Education, 5100
Business Center Drive, Fairfield, CA;
Phone: 707/399-4440. Position open until
filled. EOE.
(ZaHn t- -
( "C"a
.- Of
-)Zg ,_
(Dn on
n o'-c
Laura M. Stough
Costa Rica has one of the most accessible and progressive public education
systems in Latin America, and special
education services have been available
to students with disabilities since 1940.
Approximately 70,000 students in the
public education system receive some
type of special education service. A little
over one-fourth of these students
receive services within special education classrooms or schools, while the
remaining students receive educational
services or modifications within the
general education setting.
In the past decade, special education
in Costa Rica has seen profound
changes-from creating primarily segregated services to developing innovative
service models that promote the inclusion of students with disabilities. This
article describes those changes and
takes a look at current challenges in this
small country.
Geographic and DecMOgraphic
Costa Rica, located in Central America,
is renowned for its tropical forests, lack
Teachers are highly regarded in
Costa Rica society; in rural towvns,
they are often thte rnost educated
people in the community.
of a national army, and democratic stability in one of the most volatile and
economically depressed regions in the
world. This country also has one of the
most accessible and progressive public
education systems in Latin America,
resulting in an estimated literacy rate of
over 95% (United Nations, 2000), as
well as the most highly regarded public
university in Central America (Biesanz,
Biesanz, & Biesanz, 1999; Lara, 1995).
Special education has been part of the
public education system since 1940,
when a small school for students with
mental retardation was established near
the capital city of San Jose.
EducaIsion in Costa Ricca
Educational services in Costa Rica are
centralized, meaning that policies, stan-
dards, and curriculum are established
by the Ministry of Public Education in
San Jose and are the same throughout
the country. Currently, the public school
system serves more than 915,000 students, 23 % of the national population,
and employs approximately 44,300
teachers (G6lcher Beirtue, 2001).
Attendance at the elementary level is
100%, but at the high school level the
attendance rate lags significantly
behind, at less than 56% of the high
school-aged population. Kindergarten is
widely available, and early childhood
education programs that provide free
meals are available in larger towns.
As in the United States, the school
schedule reflects Costa Ricans' heritage
as an agrarian society. The school year
Table 1. Number of Students Receiving Mnstructional Modifications
int 2000
Type of
Access only
Total students receiving modifications
Elementary High School
Source: G.Monge Chavarria (2001). Ministry of Public Education, Department
of Special Education.
consists of 200 days that begin in
February and continue through most of
December, when the coffee harvest
begins, but the schedule is heavily peppered with holidays and teacher conference days. Most schools begin their
instructional day at 7 a.m. Classes at the
elementary level end at 11:00 or 11:30,
which allows time for students in rural
areas to make sometimes long journeys
on foot to and from their homes. High
schools are usually located in larger
towns, where transportation is more
available, and classes continue until 3
or 4 p.m.
Students usually attend kindergarten, then 6 years of elementary
school, followed by 5 years of high
school: There is no middle school. At
the elementary level, students study
Spanish, mathematics, social studies,
and science, as well as religion, art, and
music, and, in most schools, computer
skills and English. High school consists
of 3 years of general studies, which is
then followed by one of three types of
emphases: academic, technical, or agricultural. Following graduation, students
from academic high schools typically
attend postsecondary educational programs and students from the other areas
enter the work force.
Teachers are highly regarded in Costa
Rica society; in rural towns, they are
often the most educated people in the
community. Children, especially at the
elementary level, revere their teachers;
and teachers play an important role in
children's lives (DeRosier &Kupersmidt,
In Costa Rica, spocial education services h1avo been availablo to students
with disabilities since 1940.
1991). Teachers also serve an important
cultural role in that they organize most
of the public parades, plays, and musical performances in recognition of holidays and religious events. As a profession, teaching is poorly paid and highly
feminized, although male teachers are
more common at the secondary level.
S-fiuclure of Special rducaian
According to the national Director of
Special Education (Monge Chavarrfa,
2001), approximately 7.9% of the students in the public education system
receive some type of special education
service. A little over one-fourth of these
students receive services within special
education classrooms or schools,
Table 2. Educational Statistics a anCosta Rica
Total number of students in public education
Students receiving special services
Estimated total number of people with disabilities
Number of advocacy and support agencies
Number of students that repeat first grade
Number of students that repeat grades at the secondary level
Literacy rate of adults over age 15
Mean years of schooling
Percentage of national budget spent on education
Public school expenditure as % of gross national product
whereas the remaining students receive
educational services or modifications
within the general education setting.
There are currently 530 special education classrooms located in primary
schools throughout the country and 69
classrooms at the high school level
(Monge Chavarria, 2001). At the primary level, most of these classrooms are
resource rooms that address the needs
of students with mild learning disabilities. At the secondary level, classrooms
primarily focus on prevocational skills
and most of these students, if they continue their education, do so at vocational or agricultural high schools.
As in the United States, most students receiving special education services are labeled as having a mild disability, such as emotional disturbance,
speech impairment, learning disability,
or attention-deficit disorder. Approximately 10% of the students are catego-
Stuidents ivho receive special
services are classified as receiving
modifications of one of three
different types: access level
services, nonsignificant
modifications, and significant
rized under low-incidence categories,
such as autism, mental retardation,
auditory impairments, visual impairments, or multiple disabilities. Most students with low-incidence disabilities
receive services within segregated special education classrooms or schools,
whereas students with less severe dis-,
abilities usually receive educational
modifications within the general education setting.
Students are not, however, differentially placed in special education settings according to their categorical diagnosis. For the past several years, the
Ministry of Education has used levels of
modification to determine educational
service delivery. Students who receive
special services are classified as receiving modifications of one of three different types: access level services, nonsignificant modifications, and significanit modifications, as follows:
e Access-level services refer to modifications needed by the students to
access the curriculum. These include
environmental adaptations that students with motor or sensory impairments require to access instruction or
to mobilize in the educational setting-for example, ramps, assistance
bars, Braille, and sign language.
Access-level services are considered
forms of instructional compensation
in that they do not affect the educational program's expectations of a
student's academic performance.
Nonsignificant modifications involve
modification of didactic methods, but
do not affect the level of academic
placement expected of a student.
Nonsignificant modifications usually
Tlhe phlilosophy of tlhe Costa Rica
Department of Special Education
is that "all students are different;
thte only common denominatoris
tlheir diversity, and in this sense,
a State that treats with equality
its citizens, should also treat with
equality its studenits."
Igualdad de Oportunidades para las
consist of modifications of didactic
Personas con Discapacidad, 1996) has
legislated nondiscriminatoiy access to
or particular lessons taught as part of
employment, health, construction,
the general curriculum.
transportation, communication, recre* Significant modifications include
ation, arts, and sports, as well as to
changes to the
education, and enacted a wide-ranging
of the curriculum. These changes
revision of discriminatory language and
may require changes in the objectives
regulations throughout the legal code.
that are taught as part of the general
Title 11 Article 17, of the Equal
educational program,
Opportunity Law specifies that educachanges in teaching methodology and
tional centers must make the necessary
in the evaluation of the objectives
adaptations and provide assistive servthat are implemented. The use of sigso that people with disabilities
nificant modifications also
an appropriate education. These
assistive services may include
what is expected academically of
•Specialized human resources.
these students (Ministry of Public
* Curricular modifications.
Education, 1992).
* Evaluation.
Approximately 80% of the
* Methods.
in special
* Didactic resources, such as Braille,
tions that are access-level or nonsignifi,audiotapes, Costa Rica sign language.
cant in nature; and the classroom
Modifications to the environmental
teacher is responsible for their design
and implementation
Article 18 of the Law stresses that
2001). Significant modifications are despecial education should be equal in
veloped by special education teachers
quality to that received by students who
or by regionally based Itinerant Teams
receive general education services and
that, together with campus-based
take place during the same hours as
and input from the classroom teacher,
general education services. Though it
design appropriate instruction for studid not legislate the closing of special
dents with severe disabilities. The sysEqual
tem of using levels of modification
reflects the philosophical
dents be placed in the least restrictive
the Department of Special Education
environment and that special educators
that "all students are different; the only
facilitate the integration of children with
common denominator is their diversity,
disabilities into general education
and in this sense, a State that treats
schools and classrooms.
equality its citizens,
with equality its students" (Monge
Special Edu;cations Teacher
Chavarria, 2000, p. 7). By focusing on
Training in Costa Rica
the identification of the modifications
There are currently four highly regarded
that will allow a student to access the
public universities and more than 40
curriculum, rather than defining the stuprivate universities of varying quality in
dent's disability, this approach affirms
Costa Rica that, together, enroll more
that all children have the right to an
than 70,000 students (Helmuth, 2000).
equitable education.
Education is a popular major in univerSpecial Education Lev in Costa
sities, and special education teacher
training programs can be easily found in
universities in the Central Valley. Special
Public special education services have
education programs are less common,
been legislated in Costa Rica since 1957
however, in rural areas of the country,
when it was recognized that "special
where trained personnel are most needapproof
education consists of the
ed and long-standing special education
priate pedagogical techniques and mateteacher shortages persist.
rials" (Ley Fundamental de Educacidn,
Both the Fundamental Law (1957)
Article 28, 1957). More recently, the
the Equal Opportunity Law (1996)
Equal Opportunity Law
! I
Wable 3. Exci-rpts froum
Costa uica
Title I, Article 1
Title II, Article 14
Title II, Article 17
Title II, Article 18
lte Equal Opportuimiy Law (1 092) of
It is declared in the public interest to integrate the development of the population with disabilities in conditions
that are equal in quality, opportunity, rights, and as are
those of the rest of the habitants.
The State shall guarantee the opportunity to access education to individuals, regardless of their disability, from
early stimulation up to higher education.
Centers of education shall provide the necessary adaptations and procure the required assistive services so
that the educational rights of individuals are assured.
Persons with special educational needs should receive
their education in the General Education System, with
the required assistive services. Students that cannot
have their needs satisfied in general education classrooms, shall receive appropriate services that guarantee
their development and well-being, including those that
are provided in special education schools. The education of persons with disabilities should be equal in quality, be provided during the same hours, preferentially in
the educational setting closest to their home, and be
based in the norms and expectations that guide the general educational system.
recognized the importance of teacher
education and stipulated that teachers
who instruct students with disabilities
should receive special training. Until
1962, however, when the University of
Costa Rica opened its first special education program in mental retardation,
teachers who wished to receive a bachelor's degree in special education had to
go to Europe, Chile, or the United States
for training (Marnn Arias, 2000). Other
bachelor's programs in deafness, cominunication disorders, and learning disabilities were created in the 1970s, but
the University of Costa Rica did not
offer the first Master's degree until 1983
(Marin Arias; Ministry of Public
Education, 1993).
Requirements for teacher certification vary, depending on the area of specialization; however, a bachelor's
degree is not required to teach in Costa
Rica, and most special educators obtain
their certificate and a technical (tecnico)
degree after 3 years, rather than pursuing a bachelor's degree. Many teachertraining programs for general educators
include at least one course that focuses
on the characteristics of children with
disabilities, while special education pro-
grams usually include 2 years of specialized courses. Few special educators
receive postgraduate degrees in special
education, and those that do are quickly promoted into administrative positions rather than remaining in the classroom. Inservice training and workshops
are common in school districts, but they
rarely focus on special education issues
or techniques.
Toachinig Rkoes
Costa Rica attempts to provide a range
of instructional programming for students with disabilities and special educators work in many different educational settings. The 23 special education
schools in Costa Rica represent the most
segregated educational setting and provide services to students with mental
retardation, deafness, auditory impairments, visual impairments, or multiple
disabilities (Monge Chavarria, 2001).
Most students with significant modifications receive services either in special
education schools or in self-contained
classrooms. Special education schools,
however, are now restricted by the
Equal Opportunity Law to provide serv-
ices only to children with severe disabilities.
Special education classrooms are
similarly restricted to students who
require significant modifications. There
are currently more than 600 special education classrooms throughout the country and these classrooms primarily serve
students cross-categorically with moderate to severe disabilities (Monge
Chavarria, 2001), most commonly, students with mental retardation or other
types of cognitive impairments. The
Ministry of Education, however, recognizes that students with auditory
impairments or who are deaf may need
services that necessitate a separate program and many students who are deaf
also attend self-contained classrooms
(Monge Chavarrfa, 2001).
: Under the Equal Opportunities. Law,
students who require nonsignificant
modifications are placed in general education settings (Marin Arias, 2000), and
most special educators work in general
education schools or classrooms. As
occurs in other countries, consulting
teachers typically assist general education teachers in making modifications
and instructional materials for students
with special education needs within the
general education classroom. Consulting teachers were first used to integrate
children with cerebral palsy into general education classrooms in the early
1980s (Marin Arias), but the widespread use of the consulting model with
students with other types of disabilities
is relatively new in Costa Rica. The
Ministry of Education began to expand
the use of consulting teachers in general education classrooms during the
1990s as part of the movement to make
Approximately 80% of the
students in special education
receive modifications that are
access-level or nonsignificanzt in
nature; and the classroom teacher
is responsible for thLeir design and
special education more inclusive
(Stough, 2000). Some of these teachers
also travel itinerantly in rural areas of
the country. As of 1998, there were 50
itinerant consulting teachers in Costa
Rica (Marin Arias, 2000).
Costa Rican special educators face a
particular challenge when they consult
with general educators, because many
general education teachers are less willing to assist students with learning difficulties than they are those students who
have a greater possibility of academiic
success (Rodriquez & Tollefson, 1987).
In general, however, Costa Rican educators are highly collaborative and accept
the presence of other professionals in
their classrooms, thus creating opportunities for the consulting teacher to
model appropriate instruction of students with learning difficulties.
Resource rooms are designed to provide pullout services to students with
learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, or speech impairments at the elementary school level. Teachers in
resource rooms typically provide enrichment and remedial instruction, particularly in the areas of mathematics and
reading. Schools must have a student
population of 400 or more, however, for
the Ministry of Education to create a
resource room. As a result, most
resource classrooms have been established in the more densely populated
Central Valley.
In 1985, the Ministry of Education
recognized that students in the early
grades of elementary school were being
held back repeatedly, sometimes as
many as three or four times in first
grade. The priority of special education
became to lower the number of children
repeating grades and to develop servic-
Under tlhe Equal Opportunities
Lawv, students ivlto require
nonsignificantmodifications are
placed ill general education
settings; and most special
educators work in general
education schlools or classrooms.
38 n
es for students who were at risk for failure in elementary school settings
(Stough & Aguirre-Roy, 1997). In
response to this initiative, classes for
students with learning disabilities were
created by the Ministry of Education
through the recargo (extra load) model.
Teachers who were hired to work recargo held their regular classes in the
morning and then received supplemental salary for instructing students with
learning disabilities during additional
hours in the afternoon.
This model was economically frugal
in that it did not necessitate hiring new
teachers, only a salary supplement for
the hours that teachers worked. It also
did not require that students be pulled
from their general education classes
because the instruction was added to,
not as a replacement for, that provided
in the regular classroom. Recargo teachers, however, were usually not university-trained teachers; rather, they received
workshops and inservice training
through the Ministry of Education. The
model allowed for rapid expansion of
the program, and by 1994 there were
more than 600 recargo classrooms functioning across the country (Stough &
Aguirre-Roy, 1997).
The development of special education programs at the high school level
has lagged substantially behind those at
the elementary school level; there are
only 69 programs countrywide at the
secondary level. Programming and
modification are more challenging at
the secondary level, in part because the
Costa Rican secondary system is more
complex, containing many different
subjects, as well as three types of specialization that follow the first 3 years of
high school. In addition, students with
disabilities drop out at a higher rate
than do their peers: Less than 20% of
students who receive special education
services at the elementary level go on to
participate in secondary programs.
Cur'eniS Cha;lInges in Specil
Current challenges in the field of special
education in Costa Rica echo those in
many other countries, particularly
developing countries. Adequate and stable funding for educational programs is
essential. Until the mid-1970s, funding
for education remained above 30% of
the national budget but has decreased
over the past two decades to hover barely above 20%. In addition, though university funding has remained constant,
primary and secondary school budgets
have diminished, even while the student population is increasing (Helmuth,
Decreased developmental aid from
the United States and the devaluation of
the Costa Rica currency (the colon) have
sporadically caused depressions in the
economy that particularly affect the
lower class, which affects school attendance. Funkhouser (1999) has, found
that a large drop in high school attendance levels in Costa Rica accompanies
declining economic conditions, and
these conditions similarly affect students with disabilities and their families. Most students, when asked to give
a reason for stopping their studies, identify either economic problems or the
need to work as the reason (Molina
Molina, 1992).
Despite the shortage of qualified special educators, these teachers earn no
more than do general educators, nor are
there subsidized training programs that
would increase the numbers of teachers
entering the field. Villareal (1989) found
overwhelming agreement among teachers, teacher educators, and administrators that increasing teacher salaries was
the primary action that would improved
special education in Costa Rica. Teacher
salaries, however, have not kept up with
inflation over the past 15 years; and
there has been considerable attrition in
the number of experienced teachers
who remain in the field. Thus, a chronic shortage of professionally trained and
experienced special educators continues
to be the primary difficulty in ensuring
the appropriate education of students
with disabilities in Costa Rica.
As noted previously, it is difficult to
provide appropriate education services
to a small segment of the population,
such as students with disabilities, when
that population is dispersed and geographically isolated (Conzalez-Vega &
Cespedes, 1993; Stough, 1990; Stough &
Aguirre-Roy, 1997). The majority of the
Costa Rican population lives in the cen-
r 1;
. ,,
I .,
ter of the country, which allows for specialized classrooms and trained teachers
there, but the rural areas are proportionately more isolated. In addition,
teachers with advanced training qualify
for the more desirable teaching positions in urban areas, creating a drain of
educated teachers into the more urbanized Central Valley, exacerbating the
need for professionals in rural areas
(Stough, 1990).
The field of special education in
Costa Rica has undergone a substantial
paradigmatic change from creating primanrly segregated services to developing
innovative service models that promote
the inclusion: of students with disabilities. Both general and special education
teachers have an increasingly more optimistic view of the learning potential of
students with disabilities. In addition,
despite considerable economic limitations, the Ministry of Education has
been able to significantly expand special
education services over the last two
decades, while attempting to distribute
a limited pool of educators with special
education expertise. An exciting new
initiative is the development of the
National Resource Center, which will
focus on the inservice training and support of special educators, as well as
train general educators to make instructional .modifications and provide support for parents of students with disabilities. By continuing to make education a national priority, Costa Rica will
similarly improve the education of students with disabilities, who are already
p,art of an increasingly equitable public
egdubation system.
' -
4 .,. .;
'-2t .' t
Biesanz, M. H., Biesanz, R., &Biesanz, K.Z.
1 (1999). The Ticos: Culture and social
change in Costa Rica. Boulder, CO: Lynne
DeRosier, M. E., &Kupersmidt, J. B. (1991).
Costa Rican children's perceptions of their
Psychology, 27, 656-662.
Funkhouser, E. (1999). Cyclical economic
conditions and school attendance in Costa
Rica. Economics of Education Review, 18,
Gonzalez-Vega, C., &C6spedes, V.H. (1993).
A World Bank comparative study. In' S.
Rottenberg (Ed.), The political economy of
poverty, equity, and growth. Costa Rica
and Uruguay. New York: Oxford
University Press.
G61cher Beirtue, R. (2001, February 5).
Docentes acaparan atenci6n [Teachers
monopolize attention]. La Naci6n.
Rodriquez, R., & Tollefson, N. (1987).
Consequences of Costa Rican teachers'
Instructional Science, 16, 381-387.
Stough, L. M. (1990). Special education and
teacher training in the third world: Costa
Rican and Honduran rural education pro-
G61cher Beirtue, R. (2001, February 26).
grams. Paper presented at the annual
meeting of the Southwest Educational
Research Association, Austin, TX.
Stough, L. M. (2000). Special education in
Costa Rica. In C. R. Reynolds & E.
Fletcher-Janzen (Eds.), Encyclopedia of
Special Education (2nd ed., pp. 471-473).
New York: J. Wiley &Sons.
Stough, L. M., &Aguirre-Roy, A. R. (1997).
Learning disabilities in Costa Rica:
Challenges for an "army of teachers."
Retrieved July 26,
Docentes claman por capacitaci6n
[Teachers clamor for training]. La Naci6n.
Helmuth, C. (2000). Culture and customs of
Costa Rica. Westport, CT: Greenwood.*
Lara, S., with Barry, T., & Simonson, P.
(1995). Inside Costa Rica. Albuquerque,
NM: Interhemispheric Resource Center
Ley 7600 de Igualdad de Oportunidades para
las Personas con Discapacidad [Equal
Opportunity Law for Persons with
Disabilities]. (1996). San Jose, Costa Rica:
Investigaciones Juridicas.
Ley Fundamental de Educaci6n de Costa
Rica, Capitulo IV, Artfculos 27, 28, y 29
[Fundamental Law of Education of Costa
Rica, Chapter IV, Articles 27, 28, and 29].
(1957). C6digode Educaci6n (Chac6n
Jinesta, Oscar, Ed. 1969). San Jose, costa
Rica: Imprenta 'Trejos Hnos.
Marin Arias, M. G. (2000). Atenci6n del nino
Journal of Leaming Disabilities, 30, 566571.
United Nations: Economic Commission for
Latin America and the Caribbean. (2000).
Statistical yearbook for Latin America and
the Catibbean. Santiago, Chile: United
Nations: Economic Commission for Latin
America and the Caribbean.
Villareal, B. (1989). An analysis of the special
education services for children and youth
in Costa Rica. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of San Diego, CA.
excepcional [TreatTnent of the exceptional
child]. San Jose, Costa Rica: Editorial
Universidad Estatal a Distancia.
Ministry of Public Education. (1992).
Estructura, principios, normas y procedimientos de la educaci6n especial en Costa
Rica [Structure, principles, norms, and procedures of special education in Costa Rica].
San Jose, Costa Rica: Ministry of Public
of Special
Ministry of Public Education. (1993). La edu-
caci6n especial en Costa Rica [Special education in Costa Rica]. Paper presented at
the Hemispheric Conference on Disability:
Washington, DC.
Molina Molina, M. L. (1992). Los problemas
de la infancia en Costa Rica y los servicios
sociales infantiles [Problems in childhood
in Costa Rica and childhood social services]. San Jos,, Costa Rica: Editorial
Universidad Estatal a Distancia.
Monge Chavarria, G. (2000). In M6dulo de
inducci6n pam funcionarios de Equipos
Itinerantes Regionales de Educaci6n
Especial [Training manual for members of
Regional Itinerant Special Education
Teams]. San Jos6, Costa Rica: Ministry of
Public Education, Department of Special
Monge Chavarria, G. (2001, July). La atenci6n a los estudiantes con necesidades
educativas asociada a discapacidad
['reatment of students with educational
needs associated with disability]. San
Jose, Costa Rica: Ministry of Public
Education, Department of Special
*To order the book marked by an asterisk (*),
please call 24 hrs/365 days: 1-800-BOOKSNOW (266-5766) or (732) 728-1040; or visit
them on the Web at http://www.clicksmart.
com/teachingl. Use VISA, M/C, AMEX, or
Discover or send check or money order +
$4.95 S&H ($2.50 each add'l item) to:
Clicksmart, 400 MorTis Avenue, Long Branch,
NJ 07740; (732) 728-1040 or FAX (732) 7287080.
Laura M.
Assistant Professor,
Department of Educational Psychology, Texas
A&M University, College Station.
The authorgreatly appreciates the assistance
that she received from Gerardo Monge
Chavarria, Director of the Special Education
Department in Costa Rica, and from his staff
in writing tlhis article.
Address correspondence to the author at
Department of Educational Psychology, Texas
A&M University, MS 4225, College Station,
TX 77843 (e-mail: [email protected]).
TEACHING Exceptional Children,
V7ol. 34,
No. 5, pp. 34-39.
Copyright 2002 CEC.
, 39
A n Inclusion Program i
Sang Bok Lee
was 5 years old. He was
diagnosed as having reacttive attachment disorder. He
showed several maladaptive
behaviors, such as grabbing and
chewing others' hair. He also
displayed destructive behavior
toward small animals, showed
pushing and tantrum behavior
when touched or hugged,
enjoyed watching the rolling
wheels of toy cars as a solitary
behavior. He was usually alone
at school, displaying out-of-seat
behavior and running around in
class. At home, he usually
stayed around his mother,
whom he loved to play with.
ong was 6 years old. He
~was diagnosed as having
developmental delay. He
showed inappropriate response
behaviors, such as shouting, hitting, and ignoring/no response.
He also displayed temper
tantrums and laughing alone.
Alany educators hlave found peer
mediation effective in teachling
acadermtic, communication, and
social skills to children lvlho,
display iialadaptive behtavior.
40 n
Jeongil Kim
He was usually alone at school,
as well as at home. He displayed
inappropriate classroom behaviors including out-of-seat behavior and running around, shouting, hitting friends, and banging
a table.
yong was 6 years old. He
ltwas diagnosed as having
. attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. He showed pushing, kicking, and biting when
his classmates tried interacting
with him. He was noncompliant
to the adults, being out-of-seat,
talking out in class, and climbing the desk in class. However,
he loved talking to and nagging
his parents at home.
How would you work with children
like these three active boys to encourage
more appropriate, socially accepted
behavior? What kinds of programs
might help curb destructive behavior
and promote positive, appropriate
behavior? (see box, "What Does the
Literature Say?").
"Poin' ghe Hahey Pofrey"
Two American teachers in a Korean
school used their expertise with song
and dance to teach social skills to an
inclusive group of kdndergartners. The
group included the three boys mentioned here, as well as seven children
0 Sang Hoon Lee
Hyo-Shin Lee
without disabilities who volunteered for
the project; the program was a type of
peer mediation (see box, "Method and
Brief Description of Progran
The program used dance, to the rhythm
of English songs designed for young
children. The two songs, the "Hokey
Pokey" and "Put Your Finger in the Air,"
were designed to teach young children a
body image. The dance program was
followed by free-play time in an
enriched naturalistic environment to
give children opportunities of generalization. The songs were taught in
English class to try to give all participants equality in verbal communication
and to attempt to prevent withdrawal by
some children who experienced language delays (Holzberger, 2001).
Because social isolation may cause
intentional exclusion, developing effective programs for giving children a naturalistic environment for using social
skills is an urgent issue. In addition,
social isolation from early childhood
could be indirectly linked to school bullying, physical or psychological harassment, and abuse as children grow
(Ahmad & Smith, 1994; Batsche &
Knoff, 1994; Olweus, 1993; Smith &
Sharp, 1994).
W' ciaD's the Literature Say About Social SIills interventions?
Many edu,cators and reseaichers have-examined coping- stfategies-to promote!
-social interaction for ,socia llyVisolated chOildren isolated-frompeers at school).:
Social interactions with peers are intimately related to the potential occurrence.
-'of various ypes of pr'blei aicbeha:viorthat affect children's overall life. Social
9-. isolation can.irfluence children's interpe'rsbnal,skills, sodcial cothpetence ,,self-'
--esteem, and cognitive development.
,xResearchers. have_dev'eloped interventions, for socially isolated children, as
77'' weli:as foir children withidisabilitie ,to improve their social 'and communica-.
aging appropriate response behavior-s and i itiating
'tion s',kills, including enc
social interactions. Many educators have found ipeer mediation effective -in',
7teaching .acadermic, communicatidon,. and social skills to children who display
maladap'tive ,behaviors (Diamond,= 2001, Mervis, 1998) :Peer m,ediation also
helps'cthildren without disabilities understand other people and their life situaV' 'tions, including children' who display difficult or.maladaptive, behavior
(Diamond, 2001; Diamond:& Carpenter, 2000).
One. promising approach to improve social-skills in naturalistic. inclusive.
environnie,its iSinclusive peergroup programs Educatrs'have used su-ch pro-- i' grams as social skill building programs for both children and adolescents with
cdisabilitiess (Farmer & Cadwallader,' 2000; Grubbs &Niemifeyer, 2000; Kohlieret.
.bal.'2001) Researchers have also-reported'dancing and-movement (Elliot,.7999
Parish-Plass &-Lufi; 1997i Sch'wartz, 1989) to be effective:iin the follow ing
De'creasing isolation.
Ihcreasing communication skills ,
o Decreasing'bodily,tension.Reducing chron icpain.
= - :
Increasing verbalizatio'n
Purpose of Study
This study had the following purposes.
First, it was to discover whether the
peer-group dance program in the
English class increased the appropriateresponse behavior of the socially isolated children. Second, it was to find out if
the behavior change could be maintained when the intervention was with'drawn for 2 weeks.
:General Summary of Results
This study examined the effects of the
peer-group dancing program for helping
socially isolated children increase their
appropriate behaviors and decrease
Wle urgentljy need to develop
effective programs for giving
children a naturalistic
environment for uising social
inappropriate response behaviors. As
the program was implemented, all the
children showed behaiior change in
both appropriate response behaviors
and inappropriate response behaviors,
though the level of change was different
in each child (see Figures 1 and 2).
Also, the behavior change of two children out of three was maintained for 5
weeks after the program was withdrawn. The other child showed a slow
ascending trend in his inappropriate
behaviors after the program was faded.
The findings suggest that such a procedure would be a valuable adjunct to a
social-skills program for children with
disabilities, as well as socially isolated
children at school. Such a program may
be a cost-effective way to encourage
social skills and widen the range of
activities for children in any educational settings.
Although the peer-group dance program
seems to have been successful in
increasing appropriate response behavTEACHING
iors and reducing inappropriate behaviors, we need to address several limitations. First, observations did not rule
out the possibility that the positive
behavior changes may have resulted
siinply from learning to work with others in a group, not necessarily from the
dancing and singing.
The second limitation was that it is
not clear which aspect of the program
was responsible for changes in the children's behaviors. Several factors may be
responsible for the change. Natural reinforcement during free play after the
structured dancing group may also have
influenced the children's behavior. The
toys in the free-play room may have
been an influential factor and helped to
Ilssen the frequency of inappropriate
behaviors and increase appropriate
response behaviors.
agilplecfi<ats Ci? pFeulooe an5S
The peer-group dancing program may
be an invaluable resource for schoolchildren who have difficulty in being
with peers in a general education subject class, such as reading, writing, or
math. It may be particularly useful
when teachers need the voluntary participation of classmates to be peers for
socially isolated children. Considering
the lack of opportunity for socially isolated children to be fully included in the
peer group at school, this approach may
be promising as a way to provide socialization for children, not only in school
but in other community-based programs
like religious education for young children.
This study raises several issues for
further research:
Ways to promote a school-based
natural peer-group activity or any
other cooperative programs in a
A peer-group dancingprogram
may be a cost-cifective way to
encourage social skills and wviden
the range of anitivities for children
in any educationalsettings.
.Method,and Results of 'Dance-Study
Participants.Three kindergarten boys with disabilities attending an in;lusive class and reported by-their.teachiers as showing social isolation at school participated in the study.'A brief :functional behavioral anaiysis ,ith direct observation determined that the boys' .social isolation was mainly caused. bytheir maladaptive behaviors. .Seveh:children without disabilities,
whose age were 5 to-7 years (thiee'girls and four boys), volunteered as peer-group memberbs in the study. Table 2, page 43,
presents each "target" child's chafacteristics. A pediatric psychiatry hospital provided the disability diagnoses for the children.
Two American teachers worked with the children in the dancing program. One of the two'had experience in woridng
with children-in Africa for 1 year, and.the other had no experience in working with children.
Settings. The.settings included two adjacent robons the 'dance room arid the free-play room. Video-cameras were installed
in both rooms. A TV-monifor was installed in a separate monitoring room. Children-did not know that all their activities M.
both settings wereo'nitored on video. Each 15-minute interval was announced by ringing a bell.
Target Behaviors and DataCollecting. Two ciasses of behaviors were selected as dependant variables. One group was "inappropriate response behaviors.'- The other dependant variable was "appropriate response behavior" All the patterns of
response behaviors wVere under the conditiofi-that:there was no aggressiveness andin contextually appropriate situations.
All the activities during free play were recorded oni-ia videotape, and it was reviewed for data collection in three conditions: baseline, the dancing program; and maintenance. Data were collected by recording the frequency of behavior occurrence for inappropriate behaviors and the percentage of behavior occurrence to the opportunities for appropriate response
behaviors. Two 15-biriute observations werd used recording. A 15'minute o,bservation was for recording data of
inappropriate behaviors and the other one was for-appropriate resjonsebehaviors. (Note:For more iniformation about the
design of the study; correspond with the authors.)
' '
Peer-Group DancingPrograin.After a baseline conditionwith teacher-training sessions, the teachers implemented the peer-,
group dancing program using songs and speech The program focused on dancing and touching peers to the words of a
-song, which consisted of simple rhythmical movement of arms, legs, hands, and so forth. In the dance ioom, the songs were
suhg in turns by the teachers, and then the children imitated the dance. The two songs; "Hokey Pokey" and "Put Your Finger
in the Air," inv6lvedtouching and other gesturesk
After.15 minutes of-dancing time, all the studeAts were asked to move to
a free-play-loom for 20 minutes; In.the-free-play room, childreh playedwith toys right after the dancing program. Every child
was encouraged not to'leave room.
Maintenance. No reinforcement or feedback was delivered to the this condition. All the dancing program procedures wvere withdrawn, and the children were:giveri 30 minutes of free-play time. Data in the maintenance condition were
collected every 3 days for-2 -weeks by the two data recorders:
Results. Figures 1 and 2 represent the frequency that each child'.s inappropriate behaviors (Figure 1) and appropriate
response behaviors (Figure 2) occurred in each session. All the.cliildren showed decreased frequency of the inapprbpriate
behaviors as the program was introduced and increased appropriate behaviors as the program went on.'
-In sum, the peer-group dancing program-seemed to decrease inappropriate behaviors and increase appropriate-respofise
behavior for.all three children.
This programn represents a
practicaleducationial approach
for socially isolated children anzd
onie ithat could be a promising
methtod for other school-based
social skills programs.
classroom should be studied to
develop a more concrete socialacceptance program and curriculum.
* Procedures to enhance generalized
effects across group programs warrant more attention.
* Studies should be conducted on the
effects on peers as they participate in
of inclusion on the part of typically
developing children.
The peer-group dancing program
represents a practical educational
approach for socially isolated children
and one that could be a promising
method for other school-based social
skills programs.
a peer-group dancing program or
cooperative tasks, such as effects on
academic achievement, self-esteem
Ahmad, Y., &SiDitl, P.K. (1994). Bullying in
e s
schools aiid the issue of sex differences. In
and atttude toward socilly isolated
J. Archer (Ed.), Male violence. London:
* Studies are needed on the participatBatsche, G. M. & Knoff, H. M. (1994).
ing children's emotional development
Bullies and their victims: Uiiderstandiiig a
for expanding a positive recognition
pervasive problem in the scliools. Sclool
Psychology Reuiew, 23(2), 165-174. (ERIC
Inappropriat'e Behaviors
SA 3.5
Out-of-seat and ?running around,
grabbing/chewing others. lhair,
playing alone.
- "tn I
Oong 6.1.,
Hyong . 6.8 .
.: .
; I
. i~
. .
SA 3.8
SQ 49.
Out-of-seat and running around,
shouting, hitting, table-banging,
temper tantrum, playing albne.
SA 5.2
SQ 69
Climbing the desk in class,
talking out in class,
out-Qf-seat, pushing/kicking/biting, noncompliant
Note. CA .chronological age, PEP =' psychoeducationalprofile; -VAS
Scale;'SA,- sbcial age;.SQ-
social quotient.
. lrequency of ,
Vinelan'd'Adaptive Scale; PLS
Jnt ndO
Preschool Language
P3arcesn-ge o AprapAufioe
Iesporv7se Seiuciviors
9011 3 1517 19 2123 2s27 293133 35
3 15 17
1113 15 17192123
21 23 25 27
31 33
4 -4
3 5 7
25 27
94,3 3
9 11 13 1517 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 3335
911315171921232527 29333335
9 11 1319 l17
2231 31
Document Reproduction Service No. ED
490 574)
Diamond, K. E. (2001). Relationships among
young children's ideas, emotional understanding, and social contact with classmates with disabilities. Topics in Early
Kohler, F. W., Anthony, L.J., Steighner, S. A.,
& Hoyson, M. (2001). Teaching social
interaction skills in the integrated preschool: An examination of naturalistic tactics. Topics in Early Childhood Special
Education, 21(2), 93-105.
Childhood Special Education, 21(2), 104-
Mervis, B. A. (1998)..The use of peer-pairing
in schools to improve socialization. Clhild
Diamond, K. E., &Carpenter, C. (2000). The
influence of inclusive preschool programs
on children's sensitivity to the needs of
&Adolescent Social Work Journal, 15, 467-
Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What
others. Journal of Early Intervention, 23,
wve know and what we can do. Cambridge,
MA: Blackwell.
Elliot, R. (1999). Child problems and treat-
Parish-Plass, J., &Lufi, D. (1997). Combining
physical activity with a behavioral
approach in the treatment of young boys
with disruptive behavior disorders. Small
Group Researclz, 28, 357-370.
Schwartz, V. (1989). Dance dynamics: A
ment. Sage Family Studies Abstracts,
21(1), 60.
Farmer, T. W., &Cadwallader, T. W. (2000).
Social interactions and peer support for
problem behavior Preventing School
Failure, 44(3), 105-109.
Grubbs, P. R., & Niemeyer, J. A. (2000).
Promoting reciprocal social interactions in
inclusive classrooms for young children.
dance for all people. Jourmal of Physical
Education, Recreation and Dance, 60(9),
Smith, P. K., &Sharp, S. (1994). School bul-
Infants and Young Children, 11(3), 9-18.
lying: Insights and perspectives. London:
Holzberger, S. (2001). Examining the social
behavior of children with language
impairment. ASHA Leader, 6(6), 13-15.
Sang Bok Lee (CEC Intemational Mentber).
Professor, Early Cliildhood Special Education
Departnment; and Jeongil Kim (CEC
International MemTber), Researcher, Special
Education and Rehabilitation Research
Center, Taegu University, Neriri, Kyungsan,
Kyungbuk, lKorea. Sang lloon Lee (CEC
Department of Social Science, Catholic
University of Korea, Yokgok, Wonnmi, Puchun,
Kyungki-do, Korea. Hyo-Shin Lee, Professor;
Department of Early Childhood Special
Education, Taegu
University, Neriri,
Kyungsan, K(yungbuk, Korea.
Address correspondence to Jeongil Kim,
Rehabilitation Science Research Institute,
Taegu University, Kyungsan, Kyongbuk, K(orea
(e-mail: [email protected]
TEACHING Exceptiotial Children, Vol. 34,
No. 5, pp. 40-44.
Copyright 2002 CEC.
Strugging with, BAs, B1Po, end
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The Success of a Model
Shernavaz Vakil
In India, theJ.familyslargely
' members
.disbiitis i..'With:'.tXte
in!crease of woieh in thiiwork
f&rce n .with.fwrjointffam'i,ly systems in the .urban areas,
-many parents ,are concerned'eir' abihlty to take care:of
their .chjildrn 'with; disabiitie
Also j parents have fewf`opportunities .to advocat'e .fo'r their children:^ Meeetings 'are often '-lififi
cult t6. 6-ranize and arei
attended:i'In response to tlioqe
needs, the.Nationai'Institute for
the Mentally Handica'ppe'd'
organized the first, national
meeting of the registered parent
associations? in 1990 (Misra,
As this article points out, in India,
few provisions have historically been
made for students with disabilities. The
responsibility of caring for children with
moderate to severe and profound disabilities generally has been left to parents and the few institutions managed
by voluntary organizations. These
organizations often do not meet the
demand. Only in the past decade: has
the Indian government enacted legisla-
Only in the past decade has thte
Indian government enacted
legislation that has empowered
chlildren with disabilities and
their families.
Evonn Welton
tion that has empowered children with
disabilities and their families. This legislation has also provided for training of
personnel working with children with
This article gives an overview of special education legislation in India and
focuses on the success of one school in
meeting the needs of students with
moderate to severe and profound mental retardation through an integrated
In 1992, India enacted its first piece of
legislation related to special education:
the Rehabilitation Council of India Act.
The major purpose of the Rehabilitation
Council of India Act was to mandate
minimum standards of education for
professionals working with individuals
with disabilities (
The Persons with Disabilities (Equal
Opportunities, Protection of Rights and
Full Participation) Act was initiated in
1995 and implemented in 1998. This
comprehensive, breakthrough legislation provides for education and economic rehabilitation. This legislation
stipulates that the government and local
authorities ensure that every child
under the age of 18 has a right to a free
education. It further emphasizes the
need for an environment and services
that are conducive to learning. The economic rehabilitation section under the
act stipulates that certain posts in various government departments and in the
public sector be identified, and a per-
Radhilke Kalana
centage of them be reserved for people
with disabilities (Chauhan, 1998).
In 1999, The National Trust for
Welfare of Persons with Autism,
Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and
Multiple Disabilities Act was passed.
The focus of this act was to einsure the
welfare of people with autism,; cerebral
palsy, mental retardationi, and multiple
disabilities on a national level (Cardoza,
Readers might find it helpful to coinpare these three acts and their purposes
with two pieces of U.S. legislation
passed in the 1970s. Section'.504 of the
Rehabilitation Act (1973) was the first
attempt at a national civil rights law for
people with disabilities. In 1975, The
Education for All Handicapped Children's Act (Public Law 94-142) was.
passed. This law enabled all children,
no matter how severe the disability,
access to a public educatioii that was
free and appropriate (Smith, 2001).
EducvaMgan POU
4fter'independence in 1947, India mhn2
dated its Universal Education for. All
policy, making education, free and com'
pulsory for all children age 6-14 years
(Saini, 2000). In 'an effort to serve a
mobile and vast population with imited
resources, however, children with disabilities were not addressed. In the
United .States, children with disabilities
are eligible to attend public school and
receive free appropriate services.
Recent U.S. trends focus on various
inclusive settings where children belong
to the general classroom and spend the
whole or part of their day there. In
India, despite The Persons w ith
Disabilities Act (1995), most of the se:
ices seem to be provided to childi ren
with disabilities through private or ncongovernment organizations, where I-he
family has to pay a fee or depend on
charity. Only,a small percentage of clhildren are integrated into general edu cation public schools that are governed by
the Department of Education. Priv ate
schools are often not an option becaiise
they piovide an intense academic curriculum, which is not adapted to meet
the needs of, students with disabilil:ies
(Misra, 2000).
The Ministry of Welfare, with as sistance from the Department of Heal [th,
Labor .and Employment, is responsi ble
for special education schools. Appr roximately 681 of them serve children vsvith
mental retardation. Nongovernm ent
organizations serving children with disabilities exceed the number of goveernrhent schools and receive 90% of the
funds earmarked for children with disabilities (Misra, 2000).
Lack of appropriately trained persor mnel
has been one of the many constraint s in
providing services for children with dis;abilities in 'India. Training progr ams
-were isolated,with little or no collab oration. There were no standard syllabi and
little uniformity in the teaching curr icu' lum at various institutions.
The Rehabilitation Council of IIidia
was developed under the Ministryy of
Social Justice and Empowerment to promote the training of personnel/prc ifessionals worldng with people with disabilities. The following are include d in
its objectives:
The regulation of training policies and
programs in the field of rehabilitat tion,
a Standardization of courses to en sure
that,all programs, whether attac:hed
to a university or not, meet the nninimum qualifications for working, with
people with disabilities.
* Research and collaboration Nith
organizations providing direct seiTvice
to people with disabilities.
The Rehabilitation Council mainttains
uniformity through continuous mon itor-
ing and evaluation of the various programs (
Fuwiily lssues cand hivolveerrent
Each country has its own religious, economic, and cultural differences that
shape its attitude toward people with
disabilities. In India, I many parents
believe that their children with disabilities are a gift-or a punishment-from
God (Misra, 2000). Because of the low
literacy rate, inaccessibility to informa'ion, and poor medical care, the treatment of children with disabilities and
their families is a concern that may be
based on misinformation. In coping
with children with disabilities, parents
face many challenges: the child's behavior problems, lack of acceptance by
extended family members and friends,
and financial constraints. Families also
report the lack of information, lack of
empathy, and incorrect recommendations by their doctors and the medical
profession (Peshawaria et al., 1998).
In India, the family is largely responsible for its members with disabilities.
With the increase of women in the work
force and with fewer joint'family systems in the urban areas, many parents
are concerned about their ability to take
care of their children with disabilities.
Also, parents have few opportunities to
advocate for their children.' Meetings are
often difficult to organize and are poorly attended. In response to those needs,
the National Institute for the Mentally
Handicapped organized the first national meeting of the registered parent associations in 1990 (Misra, 2000).
Most of the services for children with
disabilities in India involve establishing
special schools and providing grants to
special schools run by nongovernment
organizations (Chauhan, 1998). Though'
India has passed legislation to meet the
needs of students with disabilities, these
services have still not been provided to
people with moderate to profound mental retardation. Public schools run by
the government do not meet their
needs. The few children that are integrated into the public schools primarily
demonstrate sensory or physical disabilities (Misra, 2000). People with moderTEACHING
ate, to profound mental retardation are
still largely served by private organizations.
,The S.P.S. Sadhana School is one
model private program that shows how
initiative, dedication, and careful planning by professionals and parents can
meet the needs of this population. There
are currently 36 qualified staff members
and 40 volunteers in the school serving
114 students with moderate to profound
mental retardation. The program has
involved parents and has become one of
the few model schools for providing
services to children and young people
with mental retardation.
According to Khanna (1996), the S.P.J.
Sadhana School for children with moderate to profound retardation is located
at Sophia College, Bombay, India. As a
private school, it cannot depend on the
government for funds. Driven by the
belief that the young adult with mental
retardation can be a productive and
contributing member of society, the
main purpose of the S.P.J. Sadhana
School is to educate and train young
people with mental retardation for
future integration into the mainstream
The approach is a work-related curriculum where the main emphasis is integration into society and economic productivity to the maximum extent possible. The S.P.S. Sadhana School has
made considerable efforts to contact
organizations and seek community
placements for their students.
To ensure student success, staff
members conduct follow-ups to monitor
student progress. Because most families
The S.P.S. SadhanaSchool is one
model private program that shows
how initiative, dedication, and
careful planningby professionals
and parents can meet the needs
of this population.
will be responsible for their children
throughout their lifetime, staff make
efforts to ensure that these children can
contribute to the family at home by performing simple tasks and gaining a certain level of independence. This has
resulted in the development of courses
that are an extension of the prevocational and vocational training offered at
the school level.
The school staff members believe
that success begins with early intervention; thus, children begin school at S
years of age. During their years in
school, they progress through three
major stages, as follows:
Table 1. 6curses Offered at the Voea¶lional Let-el
Course '
Creative Arts
and Crafts
In India, despite The Persons with
DisabilitiesAct (1995), most of
the services seem to be provided
to children with disabilities
throughprivate or nongovernment
48 n
at work
* Social commu*
., .
! ti ..
, a '
nication skills
Adaptive skills
at work
living skills .
Preparing fast
a Nutrition,
e Catering
Health and
* Social commu:'nication skills
e Adaptive,skdlls7
at work
living skills
Handimg df-.
:mhoney and
,. Language
Simple typing
living skills
Work efficiently.
' and office setting.
; .; ,
- Special Skills
e Vocational stage: The school selects chil-
Sociai commu-r Arts ahd crafts
nication skills Tailoring
Adaptive skills
e Embroidery
' To be able to
make food in
large quantities
so that they can
'.'meet bulk orders:
of commonly
eaten foods. .
and social skills.
dren for one of the three vocational courses: creative arts and crafts, fast food and
catering, and office skills. These courses
are offered after a careful analysis of the
Indian market needs and the capabilities
of the students in the school (see Table 1).
The S.P.S. Sadhana School has,
through a lot of research and trial and
error among teachers in the classroom,
developed effective teaching strategies
and educational technology to teach the
complex skills needed at the vocational
training stage. Appropriate use of computers and machines are included as an
important part of the program.
Additional services such as speech,
physical, and occupational therapy are
also provided.
handmade stationery, tailoring,
gift items, and
other, such items.
* Prevocational stage: Learning sldlls
needed to facilitate learning at the
vocational stage. Students learn functional academics, including concepts
of time, money, functional reading,
and daily living skills.
ing, painting,
~ ~~~~~~
. --!
Core Skills
Offers students
trainirig in screenand stencil print-
• Basic stage: Learning simple adaptive
. .
telephonle calls
Working on
the-computer '
Workshop Approach
The school has created two cooperative
business enterprises, or workshop
employment opportunities, with donations and parent involvement. The purpose of these workshops is to include
children who are unable to find employment in the community with an opportunity to be productive. Artistic goods
created with the assistance of personnel
are sold to the public.
Every student in the program has an
integrated vocational training program,
which is individualized and which
seeks to empower the student (see
Figure 1).
The combination of a functional
approach with an emphasis on appropriate behavior allows teachers the freedom and flexibility to respond to the
needs of the individual. Throughout the
program, staff members include instruction in the competency skills essential
for integration into society (see Table 2).
Behavioral Interventions
BehaviorInterventionz Plans. Most stu-
dents at the school demonstrate appropriate social behavior as a result of
intensive behavior intervention programs. The counselor at the school provides a plan, which provides for
rewards and consequences. For extreme
inappropriate behaviors, children are
removed from the classroom to consult
with the counselor. This may result in
the child being given a time out in a
padded enclosure until the behavior
subsides. To ensure consistency, behavior intervention plans are implemented
-1. 'Individir'al abilities anda ........Efficiency and effeci
-, ..
aili.~- i6,Exeta-n
; ;eelStudent
.)e...ands -
,i il
The main purpose of the S.P.J.
SadhanaSclhool is to educate and
train youing people with mental
retardationfor future integration
into the mainstream economy.
potential developed
~.through training
tiveness demanded on
the job Remuneration
for.the job
Approp iate adaptive .
India is still in its early stages. We hope
the information presented here and the
"model" school program can help in the
country's efforts to enable young adults
with moderate and profound disabilities
to be as productive and independent as
!.;,_., ................ r_ -:_! -I.:.
Ttable 2. Competency Skills lnlecgrated into thae Program
Basic Skills -
* Speaking
* Functional literacy
Thinldng Skills
* Makifig decisions
*M5aldng choices
* Generalizing
* Thinking creatively.
* Solving problems
Personal Qualiti'es
Khanna, R. (1996). An innovative vocational
training program for the mentally challenged. Bombay, India: David Printing
by all personnel. Aware that generalization of sldlls to various settings has to
be taught to children with moderate to
profound mental retardation, field trips
are organized. Though most of the field
trips are for one day, children have been
taken on field trips that have been
overnight or longer.
Facing Autism and Integrating
Communication in the Environment
(FACE). By adapting some features of
effective behavior interventions, the
school has created an innovative program for students with autism. The purpose of FACE is to provide an integrated
approach that allows for immediate
intervention of problems. In this strategy, inappropriate behaviors are immedi-
Chauhan, R. S. (1998). Legislative support
for education and economic rehabilitation
of persons with disabilities in India. Asia
and Pacific Journal on Disability.
Retrieved May 7, 2001, from http://
Cardoza, L. (2000). The National Trust for
Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral
Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple
Disabilities Act. Update on Legal Issues:
Autism in India. Retrieved May 7,
2001, from
Misra, A. (2000). Special education in India:
Current status and future directions. The
Journal of International Special Needs
behaviors and communication strategies that
are effective. This appiroach has also
Education, 3, 6-11.
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Rehabilitation Council of India. Retrieved
May 7, 2001, from
been found to increa se appropriate
skills i
behaviors and communi lcation skills in
Peshawaria, R., Menon, D. K(., Ganguly, R.,
Roy, S., Rajam Pillay, P. R. S., &Gupta, S.
ately replaced with app ropriate
children with other seve re disabilities.
Ecological Inventory. As students
approach graduation, staff members
perform an ecological in ventory of their
placements in the work :force. Students
are given a brief perio d of internship
during which they are observed so that
the transition process is smooth.
(1998). A study of facilitators and
inhibitors that affect coping in parents of
children with mental retardation in India.
Asia and Pacific Joumnal on Disability.
Retrieved May 7, 2001, fronm http://www.
Saini, A. (2000). Literacy and empowerment:
An Indian scenario. Childhood Education
Infancy t1hrouighi Adolescence. 76, 381-389.
Smith, D. D. (2001). Introduction to special
Unlike the United StateDs, where every
child is entitled to a free appropriate
public education, education in
edncation: Teachinlg in an age of opportallity
(4th ed.). Needhaiin Heights,
Allyn &Bacon.*
(CEC Chapter #190),
Assistant Professor; and Evonn Welton,
Assistant Professor, Curricular and
Instructional Studies, The University of
Akron, Ohio. Radhike Khanna, Vice
Principal, S.R S Sadhana School for the
Developmentally Handicapped, Bombay,
Maharashtra,IndiaShernavaz Vakil
*To order the book marked by an asterisk (*),
please call 24 hrs/365 days: 1-800-BOOICSNOW (266-5766) or (732) 728-1040; or visit
them on the Web at http://www.clicksmart.
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Address correspondence to Shernavaz Vakil,
Curricularand InstructionalStudies, 28 Zook
Hall, The University of Akron, Buchtel
Avenue, Akron, OH 44325 (e-mail:
TEACHING Exceptional Childreni, Vol.' 34,
No. 5, pp. 48-50.
Copyright 2002 CEC.
TITLE: Special Education Around the World
SOURCE: Teaching Exceptional Children 34 no5 My/Je 2002
WN: 0212100442001
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