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Special Education Today in China

Special Education International Perspectives: Practices Across the Globe

ISBN: 978-1-78441-096-4

ISSN: 0270-4013

Publication date: 16 September 2014


Special education in China has lagged behind regular education for many years, however, the past few decades, the government has made considerable efforts to develop and improve the special education system. While the citizens of China have had a generic moral interest in disability since ancient times, the development of special education schools did not occur until American and European missionaries started schools for the visually and hearing impaired in the 19th century. The next major influence in the development of the special education system occurred with China’s Cultural Revolution in 1978. Interestingly, there is not any exclusive legislation on special education but in the 1980s, the government started Learning in Regular Classrooms (LRC), which is China’s version of inclusion. LRC has progressed rapidly the past two decades; however, the quality of instruction is low due to a lack of specialists, a shortage of personnel, inadequate funding, and limited technology as well as other barriers that are delineated in the chapter. The chapter emphasizes the government’s recent efforts in in-service teacher training, the preparation of preservice teachers, working with families, developing community rehabilitation training programs, and implementing evidence-based practices. Special education in China today is at a good place but it has quite a way from the ideal situation.


Wang, M. and Feng, Y. (2014), "Special Education Today in China", Special Education International Perspectives: Practices Across the Globe (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 663-688.



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