Un convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and the trend of inclusive education in Japan

Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the feature and trends of the policy of Japanese special needs education and inclusive education since UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in December 2006. This paper describes the trends and the features of inclusive education and special needs education in recent years in Japan. Also describing briefly “Promotion of Special Needs Education to Build an Inclusive Education System Directed at Forming a Cohesive Society” was released by the Central Education Council in July 2012. In addition to this main subject, it is clear the explicit social problems of promoting inclusive education through the joint research project of “The Comparative Study of Inclusive Education and Social Development, 2011-2015” This paper argues the direction that should be on inclusive education on the base of building inclusive society. It has been described from the three keywords to promotethe inclusive education on basis of the construction of inclusive society; cultural diversity, social inclusion and social cohesion.

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JOURNAL OF SCIENCE OF HNUE DOI: 10.18173/2354-1075.2015-0105 Educational Sci., 2015, Vol. 60, No. 6BC, pp. 16-21 This paper is available online at UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND THE TREND OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN JAPAN Manabu Kuroda College of Social Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the feature and trends of the policy of Japanese special needs education and inclusive education since UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in December 2006. This paper describes the trends and the features of inclusive education and special needs education in recent years in Japan. Also describing briefly “Promotion of Special Needs Education to Build an Inclusive Education System Directed at Forming a Cohesive Society” was released by the Central Education Council in July 2012. In addition to this main subject, it is clear the explicit social problems of promoting inclusive education through the joint research project of “The Comparative Study of Inclusive Education and Social Development, 2011-2015” This paper argues the direction that should be on inclusive education on the base of building inclusive society. It has been described from the three keywords to promotethe inclusive education on basis of the construction of inclusive society; cultural diversity, social inclusion and social cohesion. Keywords: The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Cascade of variety of learning place, cultural diversity, social inclusion, social cohesion. 1. Introduction The purpose of this paper is to introduce the feature and trends of the policy of Japanese special needs education and inclusive education since UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in December 2006. The Japanese government signed the treaty in September 2007 and ratified it in January 2014. This paper describes the trends and the features of inclusive education in recent years in Japan. It points out the weakness of inclusive education and special needs education in Japan. In addition to this main subject, this paper argues the direction that should be on Inclusive Education. The compulsory education is composed of elementary school education lastsfor 6 years 6-12 years of age, and junior high school education lasts for 3 years 13-15years of age in Japan. Specialneeds education has been positioned in the formal school education system. Special needs education is education for students with disabilities in taking into account of their individual Received May 20, 2015. Accepted August 10, 2015 Contact Manabu Kuroda, e-mail address: kuroda@fc.ritsumei.ac.jp 16 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and The Trend of Inclusive Education in Japan special educational needs, which aims at full development of their capabilities and at their independence and social participation. Special needs education is carried out in various forms, including in resource rooms, in special classes (both are in regular schools), and in special schools named “Schools for Special Needs Education”. Special needs education is defined in the various education acts asthe School Education Act, the Fundamental Law of Education. According to the definition of each law, the type and extent of their disabilityis defined as visual and hearing impairment, intellectual disability, physical disability and emotional disturbance etc. Table 1. Chronological Table of Events of Special Needs Education of Japan Since 1948, the law provided for the establishment the special schools for visually impaired and schools for the hearing impaired. However it was not the educational plans for building special schools for children with physically and/or intellectual disability until 1979. Table 1 is the chronological table of events of special needs education of Japan In recent years, the diversification and seriousness of disabilities have been increasedand the corresponding to the special educational needs has been demanded. In particular, it has been focusing the supporting students with developmental disabilities such as Learning Disabilities (LD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), high-functioning autism. The percentage of enrollment to high school level for students with disabilities increases, however the majority of them go to the special schools. The regular high schoolsare not fully developed for special educational needs. Taking into these circumstances, the School Education Act and other laws were revised in June 2006. The Reform toward “Special Support Education/Special Needs Education” started because the revision of School Education Act became effective in 2007. Figure 1 shows the situation and the number of students with special needs. 17 Manabu Kuroda Figure1. Students of Special Needs Education of Japan The New Courses of Study as the government guidelines of the standard of curriculum of school for special needs education was launched in 2009. In addition, it differs from the Courses of Study of normal education, teachers can be flexibly change the curriculum and class contents in accordance with special educational needs and the developmental stage of each student. Also, special support teaching has various instruction such as in small groups, team-teaching, setting of learning issues and teaching of the combined subjectin keeping with different achievement levels for each student. Moreover the Central Education Council released “Promotion of Special Needs Education to Build an Inclusive Education System Directed at Forming a Cohesive Society” in July 2012. The Japanese government ratified the CRPD in 2014. It is focusing on to promote and to adapt the inclusive education system of Japan. Nevertheless, it has not been considered much state budget as financial expenditure required for this educational reform. 2. Content 2.1. Briefly describe “Briefly describe “Promotion of Special Needs Education to Build an Inclusive Education System Directed at Forming a Cohesive Society” The Central Education Council released “Promotion of Special Needs Education to Build an Inclusive Education System Directed at Forming a Cohesive Society” in July 2012. This report shows the following direction; 1) Creating an inclusive education system in order to realize a cohesive society, 2) Advising families about entering school and selecting a school, 3) Enhancing reasonable accommodation and an educational environment, 4) Developing various places to study and partnerships between schools, 5) Raising the expertise of teacher and staff. 18 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and The Trend of Inclusive Education in Japan Hospital or Home visiting instruction Special school Special class Resource room Regular class with professional staff Regular class with professional support Regular class And this report shows the Cascade of variety of learning placein compulsory education stage for student with special needs in Figure 2. In addition to pursuing to learn together in the same place, it is possible to provide the most accurately adaptation to educational needs, to realize the independence and social participation of each student, and it is important to establish the flexible school system. Figure 2. Cascade of variety of learning place It is necessary to be prepared to the Cascade of variety of learning place as regular classes in elementary and junior high schools, special classes and special schools. And the report has suggested that the students to be received adequate education with "reasonable accommodation" and the government and local government enhance "basic environmental improvement" according to the disability and special needs. Moreover this report has mentioned the need for cooperation among schools. The report is to propose to combine some educational resources as "school cluster" in the community. The special school has a function as center of inclusive education, and tries to accept to the educational needs of children through teachers dispatched to some normal schools, the coordination with some normal schools and the counseling of students with special needs. Although these new items are an indication of the direction of inclusive education in line with the CRPD, the MEXT merely positions the enhancing of current system of school education for the realization of inclusive education. However it is clear to realize that the inclusive education enhance to support for not only children with disabilities but also all children with special educational needs. In order to promote inclusive education with a focus on the regular classroom,it is necessary to reform some points; 1) It should be greatly reduction approximately 20 students from 40 students of the current class-size of primary school as same as EU countries. 2) It should be arranged the special teacher to correspond for some students withspecial educational needs into each class room. 3)As well as change the education curriculum that was packed in excess beyond the progress of children of learning understanding, it should change fundamentally the overly competitive educational environment. 19 Manabu Kuroda Therefore, it needs changing the thoughts of education and the fundamental review of all current issues of school system for developing the inclusive education. Of course, it is inevitable to ensure the budget to prepare teachers and some professionals of various occupations for the school reform and inclusive education system. 2.2. Explicit Social Problems through the Joint Research Project of “The Comparative Study of Inclusive Education and Social Development, 2011-2015” The joint research projects that I serve a representative, it has the theme of “The Comparative Study of Inclusive Education and Social Development, 2011-2015”. This joint research project is researchingfor five years until 2015, we have visited already some countries, Russia, German, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Chile, Thailand and Mongolia etc. Our members have interviewed some researchers, social workers and teachers of special schools, kindergartens and the working organizations for persons with disabilities. Each country has signed or ratified the CPRD, it is necessary to build the inclusive society does not exclude persons with disabilities. They should promote the inclusive education, the employment of persons with disabilities and achieve the concrete measures to realize the full social participation of persons with disabilities. According to our comparative research, it is clear the problems of policies for persons with disabilities are common as some aspects. Each country including Japan has various problems in promoting the social policies for persons with disabilities. The main problems are the following; 1) It is the financial support level is a relatively poor state although it is established the legal system in line with the CRPD. 2) It has a lower priority of the policies for persons with disabilities. 3) There are the regional gaps of the policies of each country. 4) It has delayed to improve the training system of various experts in accordance to special needs and disabilities. 5) The understanding of citizens for persons with disabilities is insufficient, and also it sometimes occur the abuse and social discrimination in the human relations. Further there are some problems in order to promote inclusive education. It is not enough the appropriate support of special educational needs in the normal schools. It is not ready the various educational conditions that children with disabilities receive the special support even if they are enrolled in the normal classroom. There are some problems of teaching methods and educational supports for children with the severe disability, intellectual disability and the autism. Also, on the elementary education level, it is guaranteed the learning in the normal school. On junior high school level, it is often that they cannot receive the adequate support in accordance with special educational needs. They usually decide to transit to special school from normal school on secondary education level. In addition, there are various problems, for example, it is not enough ready for their life course and the employment after school graduation, and also it is not guarantee for the sake of community life of persons with disabilities. Many general enterprises do not employ persons with disabilities, and also the higher education system does not correspond to function sufficiently 20 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and The Trend of Inclusive Education in Japan for persons with disabilities. It is poor conditions for the independent living of persons with disabilities. In particular, it is not guarantee the social support for corresponding with the aging of their parents and "after the death of their parents". 3. Conclusion In conclusion, the background of the promotion of inclusive education is essential to building the inclusive society. Beyond the culture, religion, language and the different of lifestyle of people, there are many challenges for the formation of the society to welcome the diversity. The challenges are actualized, on the other hand there area lot of latent contents. In such challenges, the poverty and social exclusion are deeply connected, it is easy to fall into the chain of poverty for persons with disabilities and without the experience of education. Therefore, we must recall the theme of “Education forAll” again. Then we can set next three keywords for the promotion of the inclusive education and the construction of inclusive society; 1) cultural diversity 2) social inclusion 3) social cohesion The meaning of three keywords is to ensure the dignity of people on the basis of diversity, to reject any social exclusion and to facilitate actively work together the joint action. Considering the results, we should create the joint activities and social movements in a variety of fields for fostering inclusive education on the base of building inclusive society in acceptable the CPRD. Note: This study is a part of the research results was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 23252010, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A). REFERENCES [1] Cecil R. Reynolds, 2000. Concise Encyclopedia of Special Education, second edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. [2] Kunihiko Tamamura, Sadao Shimizu, Manabu Kuroda, Keiji Mukai, 2015. The keyword book of Special Needs Education. Create Kamogawa Publisher (only Japanese). [3] Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan ( [4] 2014, National Institute of Special Needs Education. The basic book of Special Needs Education of Japan, new and revised edition. The Earth Kyoikushinsya Co., Ltd. (only Japanese) [5] OECD, 2011. Perspectives on Global Development 2012: Social Cohesion in a Shifting World. OECD Publishing 2011 [6] Sadao Shimizu, 2012. The Recommendations for Inclusive Education. Create Kamogawa Publisher (only Japanese) [7] Special Needs Education Division, Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), 2015. Promotion of Special Needs Education for Developing an Inclusive Education System, NISE Bulletin Vol. 14 March. [8] Special Needs Education Division,Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau, MEXT, 2012. Policy Trends of Special Needs Education in Japan. NISE Bulletin Vol. 11 March 21
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