Publication Date

Fall 11-2019


School of Education


Education: Special Education


China, special education, cultural views, teachers


Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to understand the cultural perceptions of disabilities and the impact on special education for teachers at schools in China. Teacher education and knowledge of disabilities was studied through surveys and interviews with Chinese national teachers (N = 12). The two main themes found were the shift in view of those with disabilities from disgrace to honor and the need to use the values in collectivism to continue the positive changes in China. Many teachers were found to have a desire to help students with disabilities but felt they did not have enough knowledge. China is taking steps to better help those with disabilities, however, the lack of research on Asian cultures’ impact on special education has made using culturally appropriate and effective methods difficult. Approaching special education from a collectivistic mindset, one that believes educating children with disabilities is good for all of China, is the suggested first step, followed by evaluating current education methods to see how effective they would be in that culture, and providing a general education of disabilities for all teachers.