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Disability, Culture, and DevelopmentA Case Study of Japanese Children at School$
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Misa Kayama and Wendy Haight

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199970827

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199970827.001.0001

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The History and Policies of Japanese Special Education

The History and Policies of Japanese Special Education

(p.48) (p.49) 3 The History and Policies of Japanese Special Education
Disability, Culture, and Development

Misa Kayama

Wendy Haight

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes Japanese educational policies and history related to special education and considers how the recent implementation of special education for children with “developmental disabilities” is situated within the broader historical and educational policy contexts of Japanese education. The special education reform made it possible for children with developmental disabilities to receive necessary support. Yet it also has created challenges for educators, including experienced teachers, who must integrate individualized services with traditional Japanese education within peer groups and minimize the risk of stigmatization to children with developmental disabilities. In particular, the chapter considers how the new category of “developmental disabilities” was culturally constructed. Why was the Japanese government, typically noted as progressive in its early and elementary school education policies, slow relative to other modern societies in implementing formal special education services for children with mild cognitive and behavioral disabilities?

Keywords:   Japan, historical context, cultural context, policy analysis, special education reform in Japan, Japanese education

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