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National culture's influence on inclusive education of children with special needs and learning difficulties in Slovenia and Japan

Jana Šircelj (2017) National culture's influence on inclusive education of children with special needs and learning difficulties in Slovenia and Japan. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    When we hear the word culture we often think of cultural-historical monuments and sights. Not enough awareness is raised, however, about the fact that national culture is a part of every single one of us. It shows in the way we are raised as children, all the way to the forms of our behavior, which are developed in the adulthood. It influences our attitudes and prejudices to others. It influences to what extent we accept others and in what kind of relationship we are to them. When people constitute a type of behavior which – as we discovered – functions in the society, we are reluctant to change it. Consequentially, the culture of the nation changes slowly, for each generation, which is raised in a certain culture, raises a new generation in the same manner. Only when we discover that a certain behavior is not appropriate for us anymore, a need for a new behavior, a new change can emerge. Thus, a thorough change of the society is necessary to achieve a change. In the master’s thesis, I wish to present a couple of very different cultures, Slovene and Japanese, and I wish to show how these cultures influence the performance of inclusive education of persons with special needs. I will present both cultures individually. Due to geographical distance and different historical milestones, the cultures are extremely different in comparison. The culture itself influences the inclusive education in the aspect of decision making and politically formed laws, which should show the desired direction of our behavior and conduct in certain situations. When importing and exporting individual inclusive models, it is necessary to think about the kind of changes will have to be introduced in order for a certain model to be exercised as optimally as possible. The actual performance of the decisions in practice depends on the understanding of the new idea, on cooperation of the society in decisions, on individual’s specific characteristics (his culture) and also on establishing the control over the expected behavior. Slovenes as an individualistic nation still emphasize a more individualistic approach to educational assistance; we take care of our own success, and we are not concerned about the success of others. Due to desire of recognition, however, we accept some new ideas and strategies of inclusion, which we introduce into our school system, in order to offer as much support as possible to children with special needs and learning difficulties. However, we neglect the perspective of other participants too often, for additional education of teachers in this field and the assistance of expert centers is not well established. Japanese, as a collectivistic nation, stress the success of groups significantly. They perform educational assistance in a classroom to a greater extent, and emphasize the unity of the nation. They adopt political and legislative decisions more slowly and think about possible consequences thoroughly before adopting the laws. Even though the inclusive education was enforced in Japan rather late, teachers are now obliged to be educated additionally. At the same time their beliefs help that they accept feedback on their work and improve it continuously. Japan and Slovenia differ in several perspectives: from accepting decisions to acquiring knowledge and the way to improve the school system. However, there is a possibility that due to the growing influence of the mass media, the differences will diminish distinctly. Mass media are introducing some new objectives, ideas, visions, which direct changes on all the levels of the state. New verified strategies emerge and are implemented into the legislation and practice by the countries: they include all from the changes on the level of the society, laws, physical environment and school cultures, to teaching in a classroom and individual assistance to students with special needs and learning difficulties. In the face of these facts, I wish to give some suggestions for more efficient exercise of inclusion in Slovene school system, which would help to achieve optimal inclusion of persons with special needs in the regular elementary schools.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: national culture, inclusive education, children with special needs and learning difficulties, Slovenia, Japan
    Number of Pages: 91
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Marija KavklerMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11559241)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4471
    Date Deposited: 31 May 2017 08:56
    Last Modified: 31 May 2017 08:56
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4471

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