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Constructing views on students labeled with autism in inclusive classrooms: A comparison of teachers’perspectives between Korea and the United States

  • Journal of Special Education: Theory and Practice
  • Abbr : JSPED
  • 2009, 10(2), pp.257-284
  • Publisher : Research Institute of the Korea Special Education
  • Research Area : Social Science > Education

KEON-HEE KIM 1 HONG, JEONG-SUK 1

1대구대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article is a cross-cultural qualitative study of educators in selected inclusive education classrooms in South Korea and the United States. It examines how educators construct the meaning of autism. The teachers’interpretations of students labeled with autism are similar in some ways but differ in others. The study is based on interviews with educators who have experience with students labeled with autism in inclusive classrooms at preschool and elementary levels in both countries. The data analysis uses the constant comparative method; derived major themes consist of constructed meanings related to inclusive education. Many of the American teachers interviewed viewed students labeled with autism as having different types of learning styles, whereas many of the Korean teachers interviewed indicated students labeled with autism come to be like other students through their participation in classroom groups. This study shows two different constructions of autism based on two different cultural backgrounds.

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