Special Education International Perspectives: Practices Across the Globe: Volume 28
Table of contents(30 chapters)
List of Contributors
Special education in the USA is, in most respects, a 20th century phenomenon and is now governed primarily by federal legislation first enacted in 1975. The federal law in its most recent reauthorization (2004) continues to require a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for all students with disabilities, a full continuum of alternative placements (CAP) ranging from residential or hospital care to inclusion in general education, an individual education plan or program (IEP) for each student identified as needing special education, and placement in the least restrictive environment (LRE) that is thought best for implementing the IEP. Parents must be involved in the special education process. Approximately 14 percent of public school students were identified for special education in 2004–2005, but the number and percentage of students identified in most high-incidence categories as needing special education have declined in recent years (the total for all categories was about 8.5 percent of public school students in 2010). A variety of evidence-based interventions can be used to address the wide range of instructional and behavioral needs of students with disabilities and their families, including transition to further education or work, family services, and teacher education. Special education in the USA may find new sources of support and thrive or may become less common or be abandoned entirely due to criticism and withdrawal of support for social welfare programs of government.
Special Education Today in Canada
This chapter provides an overview of special education in Canada, with specific reference to historical and modern trends and practices. Information regarding demographic trends, legislation and policy, contentious issues, Provincial differences, school and classroom practices, teacher education and professional development, and family involvement are outlined. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the ongoing challenges faced by education jurisdictions in Canada with respect to special education.
Special Education Today in Mexico
This chapter is a presentation of Mexico’s efforts in advancing inclusive education as a vehicle to provide children with special needs a quality and equitable education. It provides a detailed description of the development, realignment of educational practices, and polices necessary to allow inclusive education to succeed. The chapter begins with the origins of special education in Mexico via four stages. Next, the chapter provides a comprehensive classification of disability and the prevalence rates in Mexico. Then, the chapter delineates legislation and public policy that are essential components in providing a quality and equitable special education system. Next, a comprehensive description of special education intervention models follows along with how these models are incorporated in current teacher preparation endeavors. The chapter concludes with a summary of the progress that Mexico has attained in moving toward inclusive education as well as challenges to inclusive education.
Special Education Today in Guatemala
Special education in Guatemala started in the 1940s with the establishment of schools for the blind. While there is a relatively large population of persons with disabilities, the country has an insufficient number of educational and rehabilitation programs because the country is very impoverished. Guatemala has enacted a number of disability laws in the 1990s and early 2000s that enable persons with disabilities to participate in educational services to develop their capabilities and to deter discrimination. The government has three categories of disability, namely, physical, sensory, and intellectual. Most of the special education schools and rehabilitation workshops are in the capital city with few programs in rural areas. Many children with special education needs do not attend school. The government offers public service to families of children with disabilities. In the 1980s, the government formed partnerships with United States universities to help develop service plans for students with disabilities as well as train school personnel in effective instructional methods due to a shortage of licensed teachers. While special education is improving it has a long way to go.
This chapter aims to provide a critical analysis of special needs education within the United Kingdom today. Central to such an analysis is an understanding of the rapidly changing social and political milieu within which special needs education is embedded, including the rapidly changing demographics of schooling, and the devolution of political power into four separate but linked countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Following a discussion of such wider social, political and educational issues, the authors explore the convergences and divergences in policy and practice across the four devolved administrations. The authors describe a plethora of contemporary policy developments within each of the four administrations that speak to the need for special needs education to change in response to 21st century concerns about the problems of access to, and equity in, education for all children. Despite this, the authors remain extremely circumspect about the potential of many of these developments to lead to successful inclusive practices and developments on the ground – and explain why. The analysis in the concluding section focuses on the issue of teacher education for inclusion and some very innovate UK research and development projects that have been reported to successfully engage teachers with new paradigm thinking and practice in the field of inclusive special needs education.
Special Education Today in Spain
The focus of special education around the globe may be to provide specialized instruction to meet unique needs of children to help them achieve their full potential. However, each country around the globe may also have its own unique issues, barriers, legal frames, policies, and practices, as well as a history of its origin and evolution of policies and practices that govern special education in that country. This chapter describes how special education in Spain originated and evolved to its current state. It includes the following chapter sections: origins of special education in Spain; legislative acts; prevalence and incidence of various recognized disability areas; an overview of Spain’s education system including special needs education; current assessment and intervention practices; teacher education practices; family involvement considerations; and future challenges to special education.
Special Education Today in Norway
The rise of special education in Norway dates back to the early 1880s. Originally, special education was strongly influenced by the Age of Enlightenment and religious and philanthropic commitment to disadvantaged children. This chapter describes the development of special education by examining five critical eras, namely, The Era of Philanthropy, the Era of Segregation – Protection for Society, The Era of Segregation-Best Interest of the Child, The Age of Integration – Social Critique and Normalization, and The Age of Inclusion. Also, included are sections on the origins of public education, teacher preparation aspects, approaches to special education, working with families, and important legislative acts that support the right to education for students with disabilities. The chapter also explores the tension that exists today between regular and special education due to Norwegian legislation that emphasizes that students that do not benefit from regular education have a right to special education. The chapter concludes with a discussion about the future challenge to special education, namely, the efficacy of special education.
This chapter provides a comprehensive presentation and discussion of special education in Sweden. The presentation and discussion are tied deeply to the country’s general education system which incorporates social and political aspects as well as beliefs in equity for all.
The municipalities in Sweden have a large degree of independence as such special education can be organized in different ways. Yet, within each municipality’s educational structure is the common theme that students are different therefore teaching cannot be the same for everyone. The following chapter sections provide the reader with a better understanding of Sweden’s general special education system today: legislative acts that ensure equal access to education; the special education context; the history of special education and service in Sweden; the expansion of special education starting in the 1960s and early 1970s; current prevalence data; a clarification of differentiation, inclusion and categorization; teacher preparation advances; problems in schools and student’s difficulties; a description of inclusive education; and current challenges to inclusive education.
Special Education Today in Switzerland
This chapter delineates the development of special education in Switzerland from its early first special needs classes in the 19th century to today’s integrated and inclusive educational system which is promoted via many ventures. Along this developmental path, research revealed not only that self-contained special needs classes were less effective than integrated classes and that the classes contained an overrepresentation of children with migrant backgrounds. However, the movement to an inclusive education system has not always been easy. Included in this path to inclusion are sections on the following: legislative enactments to insure the rights of persons with disabilities, definitions of who is disabled, prevalence data, the influence of a strong private sector on special education practices, the scientific study of special education by researchers and academics, teacher and professional training endeavors, and challenges that remain today.
Special Education Today in Iceland
The purpose of the chapter is to give an overview of special education in Iceland, historically and with reference to modern use of terms, research, policy, legal trends and funding. Recent data is provided on demographic developments amongst children in Iceland and detailed account is given of practices in schools, including collaboration with parents and teacher education. Finally some issues and challenges are discussed that still remain to be solved with respect to meeting the special needs of students in school. One of the findings is that only 1.3% of students attend special schools and special classes and that the term special education has outlived its usefulness except perhaps in the context of the three segregated special schools that still remain in the country. Official papers have replaced it with the term special support. Despite a diversity of views and practices the main implication is that a new model of education is required, in line with that proposed by Slee where the needs of individuals are served in all schools and the binary thinking related to regular versus special education is no longer necessary.
Special Education Today in Ukraine
Special education today in the Ukraine is dramatically different than its early origins which stressed communal guardianship for persons with disabilities to its current movement to inclusive education. The journey to inclusive education was inconsistent due to a variety of elements such as the collapse of the Russian Monarchy, a series of different governments and social-political structures, World War II and membership in the USSR which stressed a unification of the education system. However, special education professionals who worked at the Special Education Pedagogy Institute of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences continued to research and develop a philosophical instructional framework to educate students with disabilities that includes theoretical and practical aspects of inclusive education. This chapter provides a detailed description of this framework as well as prevalence and school placements aspects, classification and assessment parameters, and the impact of legislation for free public education. The chapter concludes with challenges to inclusive education such as attitude modification, infusing necessary teacher instructional strategies, and the incorporation of best practices from special education to regular education settings.
Special Education Today in Russia
Recently, the interaction of mass education and the education of people with disabilities has been widely discussed in Russia. This is positive aspect because for a long time these systems were isolated from the other. There are a lot of reasons for such isolation including the political processes in Russia, the peculiarities of the educational system, and the education and training of general and special education staff.
Lately, some positive tendencies in the development of special education have developed; however, it still needs to be accelerated. For example, recently, a series of legal documents defining the fundamental rights of people with disabilities have occurred as well as the adoption of a state regulatory policy in relation to them. The new law on education, which clearly defines the concepts that had not been fixed in any normative act earlier, has come into force and has improved the opportunities for people with disabilities not only to provide secondary education but also to expand the opportunities for vocational education for them. However, there is still a lot of work to be done.
This chapter will present the system of special education in Russia as it has been shaped throughout the years and will describe the prospects for continued development and existing problems. It should be noted that the Russia’s disability system involves persons with physical and mental impairments for which it has been difficult or impossible to provide education in general education classes.
Special Education Today in Nigeria
Special education and related services began in Nigeria, the most populous nation of Black people in the world, only a couple of decades ago courtesy of the efforts of missionaries from Europe and America. Although the government took over the responsibility of providing special education and related services to individuals in the late 1970s, evidence indicates that the provision of these services is beset by numerous formidable obstacles such as the absence of supporting laws, inadequacies in funding of services, inclusion programs, early identification and intervention services, personnel training programs, facilities, and educational materials. This chapter discusses these issues and focuses on current ways to improve the provision of meaningful special education and related services for people with disabilities in Nigeria.
Special Education Today in South Africa
The chapter on special education in South Africa initiates with a very comprehensive historical account of the origins of special education making reference to the inequalities linked to its colonial and racist past to a democratic society. This intriguing section ends with the most recent development in the new democracy form special needs education to inclusive education. Next, the chapter provides prevalence and incidence data followed by trends in legislation and litigation. Following these sections, detailed educational interventions are discussed in terms of policies, standards and research as well as working with families. Then information is provided on regular and special education teacher roles, expectations and training. Lastly, the chapter comprehensively discusses South Africa’s special education progress and challenges related to budgetary support, staff turnover, and a lack of prioritizing over the number of pressing education goals in the country’s provinces.
Special Education Today in Ghana
The Ghana chapter on special education begins with the history of service provisions for persons with disabilities. It includes information on educational and rehabilitation services, special schools and integrated education. Detailed data is related concerning prevalence and incidence rates and special needs among the Ghana population. This is followed by a comprehensive section on regular and special education teacher roles, expectations, and training. An important aspect of Ghana’s special education is its movement towards inclusive education. The support for this movement comes from the Ministry of Education’s policy, namely, The Education Strategic Plan (ESP), which adopts inclusive education and promotes it as the future special education direction for the country. The chapter provides detailed information on the issues related to the implementation of the ESP plan, four models that have been developed for inclusive education, the progress and effort that Ghana has made towards inclusive education as well as significant challenges that are present.
Special Education Today in Israel
This chapter describes the current state of special education in Israel as well as what the future holds with possible solutions to improve services for individuals with disabilities. Israel is a very complex society and, as such, the educational system is very complex as well. The development of the special education system in Israel will be described as well as the current policies. In addition, different service delivery models will be explained. Inclusionary practices in Israel will be discussed as well as the prevalence and incidence rates of different disabilities in Israel and how they have changed over time. Finally, different strategies and models for implementation of services will be described and the importance of teacher training to meet student needs will be highlighted.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive view of special education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The chapter starts with the origins and attitudes of the Saudi citizens regarding persons with special needs. Next the chapter examines trends in legislation and litigation pertaining to persons who are disabled which led to the government’s passage of Regulations of Special Education Programs and Institutes (RSEPI) in 2001. The RSEPI regulations were modeled after the United States 1997 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Included in the discussion of the RSEPI is a delineation of the Disability Code which is comprised of 16 articles. The author also provides information on prominent educational intervention employed in the Kingdom as well details about the preparation of paraprofessionals and special education teachers. The chapter concludes with the special education progress that has occurred since the passage of RSEPI.
Special Education Today in Turkey
As a result of human right movements, the importance of special needs of individuals with disabilities has become more prominent in many countries in the world. Hence, endeavors of people with disabilities, their family members, and advocates to seek accessible communities and equal opportunities for education, as well as, job placement have been widely accepted as human rights for individuals with disabilities. Consequently, establishing barrier-free environments and inclusive societies for people with disabilities have become important indicators of social development of countries. Besides, since education is considered as a fundamental human right, the importance of providing special education for children with disabilities has been recently realized by many nations (United Nations. (2006). World programme of action concerning disabled persons. New York, NY: United Nations). Turkey is one of those countries that have quite recently started to invest in special education services for its citizens with disabilities. This chapter focuses on the development, as well as the current state of special education in Turkey. Included in this development are the following sections: origins of Turkish special education, prevalence and incident rates, trends in laws and regulations, educational interventions, working with families, teacher preparation, progress that has been made, and special education challenges that exist.
Special Education Today in India
Similar to Western countries, the early origins of special education in India started with Christian missionaries and nongovernmental agencies which stressed a charity model of serving populations such as the visually, hearing, and cognitively impaired. However after its independence from Great Britain in 1947, the Indian government became more involved in providing educational, rehabilitation, and social services. Thus over the past four decades, India has moved gradually toward an inclusive education model. This chapter discusses the implementation of such a model related to the prevalence and incidence rates of disability in India as well as working within family environments that often involve three to four generations. Also included are challenges that an inclusive education system faces in India, namely, a high level of poverty, appropriate teacher preparation of special education teachers, a lack of binding national laws concerned with inclusive education, a dual governmental administration for special education services, and citizen’s and special education professionals strong concern about whether inclusive education practices can be carried out.
Special Education Today in Bangladesh
This chapter provides a comprehensive description of special education in Bangladesh. It begins with the early origins of special education and then proceeds with definitions of and prevalence of current disabilities in Bangladesh. This section is followed by governmental policies and legislation related to the right to education for all students with disabilities. Next, educational intervention methods are delineated along with a description of governmental special schools and teacher training and preparation of special educational professions. Early intervention practices and working with families is also discussed. The chapter ends with the progress that Bangladesh has made and the challenges that remain.
Special Education Today in Australia
This chapter reports the development of special education in Australia. The chapter begins with a discussion of general information about the country. This discussion is important to understand the overall development of special education considering Australia is a young country with a number of events directly influencing educational activities. It then presents some of the key historical milestones in special education in Australia. Information about the relevant legislation and policy reforms that are relevant to people with disabilities is also discussed. Some of the recent national initiatives that have had significant influence for students with disabilities are also discussed. The last part of the chapter delineates challenges that Australia faces related to the education of children with special needs.
Special Education Today in New Zealand
This chapter considers the development and current state of special education in New Zealand. The chapter provides a critique of current policies and practices regarding special and inclusive education for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). It describes how New Zealand has followed similar patterns to other developed countries with regard to how special education facilities and specialist teacher training have evolved, and how the trend towards inclusive education has progressed. It points out that New Zealand has gone further in the inclusion of children with SEND within mainstream schools than most developed countries and that, at the same time, there has been less development of provision for children with SEND in mainstream schools. That has led to a situation where many children with SEND, who are in the lowest 20% of achievers, are not getting the specialist help that they need. As a result New Zealand has one of the largest gaps between high achieving and low achieving children in the developed world.
Special Education Today in China
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.
Special Education Today in Thailand
The field of special education in Thailand is still in its infancy. This chapter provides a retrospect on special education in Thailand reflecting societal attitudes toward people with disabilities from the past to present. It also provides a list of factors impacting this population and members of the community who are involved with their lives. Special education law, definitions of various disability categories, types of educational settings, as well as issues and challenges in the field are discussed. A critical analysis of special education teacher preparation is also provided. Finally, recommendations and conclusions are offered.
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- Advances in Special Education
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- Emerald Publishing Limited
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