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Learning Diversity in the Chinese Classroom

Learning Diversity in the Chinese Classroom: Contexts and Practice for Students with Special Needs

Edited by Shane N. Phillipson
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 520
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  • Book Info
    Learning Diversity in the Chinese Classroom
    Book Description:

    A unique feature of Learning Diversity in the Chinese Classroom is its Chinese context for meeting the educational requirements of children with special needs. At a time when many of the currently available texts in the area have a general perspective, Asian teachers and students have long felt the need for a text that specifically recognizes the local context. Learning Diversity in the Chinese Classroom notes that international trends, including those in many Southeast Asian countries are moving toward inclusive education and special needs, and includes chapters on giftedness, counseling and behavior management. Section 1 of the book describes the context of inclusive education in Asia. Summaries of the special features of the classroom in the region, the conceptions of inclusion and cultural diversity from the perspective of the Asian classroom, and how these are different to the Western classroom are provided. Section 2 focuses on various approaches to meeting the educational and socio-emotional needs of children in the inclusive classroom. The first part is concerned with theoretical underpinnings of the type of need, and the second part describes examples of how a teacher can cater for this type of diversity according to subject, including mathematics, Chinese, English, information technology, and arts. Section 3 widens the perspective and describes a whole-school approach to meeting the educational requirements of children with special needs. A systems approach is taken, whereby the success of the inclusive school is dependent on the functioning of a number of interrelated parts. This section draws from recent case studies which describe the approaches taken by a number of schools that have been successful in implementing inclusive education. Learning Diversity in the Chinese Classroom will appeal to teachers, parents, health professionals who are working with children with special educational needs.

    eISBN: 978-988-8052-49-3
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Wu-Tien Wu

    Inclusive education most commonly refers to students coming together, bringing both their strengths and weaknesses, to build a learning community. It refers to the placement and education of students with disabilities in general education classrooms with students of the same ages who do not have disabilities, which gives them a feeling of belonging with other students, teachers, and support staff. Full inclusion involves the integration of students with disabilities at all times, regardless of the nature or severity of their disabilities. The philosophy of inclusive education is embodied in the slogan, Children that learn together play together.

    Inclusive education should...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    Shane N. Phillipson
  5. Section I: The Chinese Classroom

    • 1 The Regular Chinese Classroom
      (pp. 3-34)
      Shane N. PHILLIPSON

      Schools are places where students come to learn. Behind this truism, however, lies a great deal of diversity. Each school develops a unique culture as a consequence of its importance in the wider community; and, as pointed out in Marsh (2000), the culture of a school has both an anthropological and aesthetic basis, which contribute to its unique character. For Chinese schools, the anthropological basis of a school’s culture originates from its Confucian heritage, including its specific values, rituals and ceremonies, as well as its geographical location and status within the community. Of course, the school’s location and other factors...

    • 2 Critical Issues in Diversity and Schooling within Asia
      (pp. 35-64)
      Suk Ching Stella CHONG

      This chapter explores some of the key issues relating to diversity and schooling in eleven countries in Asia: the ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), plus the People’s Republic of China (China). ASEAN was initially formed in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, and later joined by Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam. The member nations of ASEAN and China (including Hong Kong) represent diverse geographies, histories and demographics, and although they collectively form a significant world economic force, each country continues to strive for its own cultural identity.

      There is...

    • 3 Conceptions and Challenges within the Inclusive Asian Classroom
      (pp. 65-94)
      Hoi Yan CHEUNG and Leng Han Martha HUI

      Although inclusive practice originated in the West at least two decades ago, various conceptions of inclusion in education continue to be adopted around the world. Inclusion has been implemented in one form or another in many countries, with its development in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America generally considered to be the most mature. Inclusion is both a philosophical approach to education — highlighting the need for equitable educational opportunities for all children, irrespective of disability — and an educational practice. As a philosophy, it faces many challenges, particularly from forces which stress the maintenance of high...

    • 4 Classroom Diversity: Towards a Whole-School Approach
      (pp. 95-124)
      Chris FORLIN

      The acceptance of and provision for people with disabilities in community life has changed quite dramatically since Wolfensberger’s proposal in the early 1970s of what has become known as “the normalization principle” (Forlin, 1997). In the intervening period, there have been many international conventions on the rights of people with disabilities, and most developed and developing countries have become signatories to the goals they have set. Most Western countries now have very strong policies and legislation that ensure people with disabilities are included in all aspects of social life and are not discriminated against. For example, physical access to buildings...

  6. Section II: Catering for Learning Diversity

    • 5 Including Children with Motor Disabilities and Health Impairments
      (pp. 127-156)
      Shihui CHEN

      Children with physical disabilities or health impairments are part of the broad group of children with special educational needs. Various physical disabilities and health conditions present challenges to children and their teachers in the classroom, and to the children’s parents. Some of these children may also have cognitive disabilities, constituting a small but nevertheless important group with multiple disabilities; but in this chapter the primary focus is on the child with either a physical (or motor disability) or health impairment, rather than the associated cognitive disabilities discussed in other chapters.

      As it is possible that in any one class there...

    • 6 Specific Language Impairment and Hearing Impairment
      (pp. 157-204)
      Chris R. DOWSON

      Without effective communication and competency in a language system we cannot operate fully in the world as interactive human beings. Communication and language helps define who we are and how we are viewed by others. It follows that those who have difficulties with communication and language may be marginalized in society and unable to realize their full potential. Very few specific language impairments have their origins solely within the student as internal or organic factors such as neurological disorders. Most difficulties occur because of non-organic or external factors such as poor teaching, lack of motivation and language-scarce environments.

      Specific language...

    • 7 Giftedness within the Confucian-heritage Cultures
      (pp. 205-248)
      Shane N. PHILLIPSON and Hoi Yan CHEUNG

      The focus of this chapter is gifted education in several countries and regions with a Confucian-heritage culture (CHC), namely China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. With the growing awareness of the specific educational needs of gifted students in these countries, Western conceptions of giftedness commonly provide the theoretical basis for the education of gifted students. There is a growing understanding, however, that the conception of giftedness and gifted education must be specific to the culture concerned if it is to be implemented successfully (Borland & Wright, 2000). Countries with a CHC and those in the West differ not...

    • 8 Students with Visual and Perceptual Difficulties
      (pp. 249-282)
      Simon LEUNG and Phoebe YEUNG

      Visual impairment poses significant obstacles to a child’s learning because learning is normally dependent on visual information. In order to be able to assist a visually impaired student in the classroom, teachers have to understand the nature of visual impairments and the various effects they have on the child. This chapter explains how visual impairment is defined, and the causes and effects of various visual impairments, and then describes relevant strategies for teachers to work effectively with blind or low vision students in the classroom.

      Visual impairment is defined by two main factors, namely visual acuity and visual field. Visual...

    • 9 Including Students with Intellectual Disabilities
      (pp. 283-306)
      Kim Fong POON-MCBRAYER and Philip MCBRAYER

      To align with the rest of this book, this chapter has a Confucian focus. It starts by reviewing Confucius’ fundamental perspectives on education and disabilities, and their influence in China and other Chinese societies. It then describes the general basics of the field in terms of definitions, causes, and learning characteristics. Next, the development of educational provision for children with intellectual disabilities in Hong Kong is examined. Lastly, the chapter discusses the education of these students alongside the education reform in Hong Kong, and the influence of Confucian ideas in Hong Kong’s educational future.

      The field of intellectual disabilities is...

    • 10 Understanding and Teaching Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
      (pp. 307-358)
      Sivanes PHILLIPSON

      Emotional disturbance (ED) was mentioned as one of the twelve varieties of education disabilities in the USA’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 1990 (IDEA). The IDEA, formerly known as Education for All Handicapped Children (1975), and amended in 2004, advocated the need for students with ED to have equal access to education (US Department of Education, 2004). This line of advocacy has been adopted by many countries around the world including those with a Confucian-heritage culture such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and Korea. In these countries, the term “emotional and behavioral disorder” (EBD) is commonly employed instead...

    • 11 Including Students with Learning Disabilities
      (pp. 359-396)
      Fuk Chuen HO

      The first time that the term “learning disability” (LD) appeared in print was in Kirk’s (1962) article in Educating Exceptional Children where it was defined as:

      a retardation, disorder, or delayed development in one or more of the processes of speech, reading, writing, arithmetic, or other school subject resulting from a psychological handicap caused by a possible cerebral dysfunction and/or emotional or behavioral disturbances. It is not the result of mental retardation, sensory deprivation, or cultural and instructional factors. (Kirk, 1962, p. 263)

      Bateman (1965), his former student, stated that children who have learning disorders are those who manifest an...

  7. Section III: Whole-School Approaches to Learning Diversity

    • 12 Developing Inclusive Schools in Hong Kong
      (pp. 399-430)
      Chris R. DOWSON

      This chapter reports case studies of four Hong Kong schools progressing toward inclusion; see Dowson et al (2003). The study was an important affirmation of the positive effects on schools that undertake a move toward inclusion, as they increasingly achieve quality education for all students. The findings gave strong support for the implementation of inclusion in Hong Kong schools. At the time of the study, schools taking up inclusion were referred to as “integrating” schools and the results helped to define good practice, problem areas and, most important, how the problems may be overcome. Schools were able to get extra...

    • 13 A Chinese Perspective on Guidance and Counseling for Diverse Learners
      (pp. 431-458)
      Betty C. ENG

      This chapter presents a Chinese perspective on guidance and counseling that attends to the emotional, personal and social needs of learners with diverse learning needs through a whole-person and whole-school approach. Framed by the historical and cultural evolution of guidance and counseling in traditional Chinese and Confucian-heritage culture (CHC) in the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong, it discusses Western and Eastern counseling models that are also highly relevant to other Chinese societies such as Singapore and Taiwan.

      The experiences of cultural crossing of a newly-arrived immigrant from mainland China to Hong Kong are used to highlight the tensions...

    • 14 Classroom Management for Children with Diverse Learning Needs
      (pp. 459-486)
      Ming Tak HUE

      At a time when the inclusive classroom is being actively promoted in many countries in Asia, teachers and parents frequently ask how a diverse classroom can be managed effectively. To ensure they create and maintain an effective classroom, teachers have to develop an intellectual framework for thinking not only about how to teach but also about ways of catering for the diverse learning needs of individual students.

      Clearly, teachers are responsible for teaching effectively and making learning meaningful for their students. However, on becoming teachers, they soon realize that teaching is not just about learning how to teach and understanding...

  8. Index
    (pp. 487-504)