The stigmatization of children with disabilities at school is a culturally widespread social justice challenge. The paper is the second of a two-part series. In the first paper (Haight, Kayama, Ku, Cho, & Lee, 2016), we described the problem of stigmatization from the perspectives of experienced elementary school educators in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the US. In this paper, we focus on the solutions provided by these same educators; specifically, their perspectives on socialization practices to minimize stigmatization and support the development of self for children with disabilities and their typically-developing peers. We conducted cross-cultural analyses of individual, semi-structured, audio recorded interviews with 26 Japanese, 43 South Korean, 16 Taiwanese and 18 US educators, including school social workers. Educators from all research sites described socialization practices to support children with disabilities and their typically-developing peers. For children with disabilities, US educators focused on individualized support provided in private to minimize stigmatization. East Asian educators intentionally involved peers in supporting children with disabilities. For typically-developing peers, educators described cultivating empathy (Japan), providing formal disability awareness programs (South Korea), teaching moral values (Taiwan) and respecting individual differences (US). We discuss these socialization practices within educators’ sociocultural-historical contexts. Educators’ perspectives can be used to develop culture- and stigma-sensitive intervention programs for children with disabilities and their peers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by the Spencer Foundation ( 201500056 ) and Gamble-Skogmo endowment ( University of Minnesota ). The authors also would like to thank Kelly Evans for her help with data collection.
- Cross-cultural analyses
- Elementary school aged children