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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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How Educators Support Children With Developmental Disabilities and Their Peers

How Educators Support Children With Developmental Disabilities and Their Peers

(p.123) 6 How Educators Support Children With Developmental Disabilities and Their Peers
Disability, Culture, and Development

Misa Kayama

Wendy Haight

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes how special education is understood and practiced by educators at Greenleaf Elementary School, including strategies they utilized in their general and special education classrooms, and how children responded to such support. They supported children through creating a “naturally” accepting social ecology through their everyday activities at school. For example, they created a home-like classroom environment by “staying close to children’s kokoro (hearts/minds),” understanding children’s needs through omoiyari (empathy/sympathy), and “raising” all children to respect diverse abilities and show kindness to others. Educators supported the positive peer relationships of children with developmental disabilities including by involving peers in providing support for them, and helping when peer groups experienced problems. Yet some children with developmental disabilities struggled in their peer groups. Educators attempted to guide these children to develop self-confidence and self-esteem, and to secure their voluntary cooperation in school activities.

Keywords:   children’s everyday experiences as a natural learning context, empathy, “raising” children at school, peer struggles, children’s voluntary cooperation, Japanese education

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