Culture and Special Education in Taiwan

By Kang, Ya-Shu; Lovett, David et al. | Teaching Exceptional Children, May/June 2002 | Go to article overview

Culture and Special Education in Taiwan

Kang, Ya-Shu, Lovett, David, Haring, Kathryn, Teaching Exceptional Children

Special Education Around the World

What are the characteristics and qualities of special education services in Taiwan? In this article, we provide summaries of two recent surveys conducted in Taiwan (Kang, 2001; Kang, Haring, & Lovett, 2001):

* The first survey was a needs assessment completed by 134 directors of early childhood programs.

* The second survey was completed by 109 parents of young children (birth to 7 years old) in early intervention or early childhood programs who were receiving special educational services.

We have presented the survey results within a historical context, with particular attention to the way traditional culture affects special education services.

Historical Foundations

In Taiwan, people have viewed education with deep respect for centuries; however, this respect has not always carried over to the education of students with disabilities. Historically, China developed an educational system based on classical texts that were open to all, and advancement was based on the individual student's ability to pass standard examinations. Thus, without regard to a person's station in life or social status, a student could advance through his or her own efforts to learn. The only major limitations were the individual's own intellect, discipline, and desire.

For more than 25 centuries, the Chinese people have been guided by the teachings of Confucius in both their societal and personal development. The basic principle of Confucian philosophy is to develop the human personality to its fullest extent (Chen, Seitz, & Cheng, 1991). Confucius's teachings center on the development of proper relations among people by educating individuals on how to live moral, harmonious, and peaceful lives. The essence of Confucianism is to provide all people with an education that includes both basic knowledge and moral precepts.

Current Special Education Efforts

In 1984, Taiwan mandated early childhood special education. Even though Taiwan's early childhood special education program has existed for well over 10 years, little research exists on the nature of early childhood special education services. Available research showed that because of lack of information and resources, most young children with severe disabilities remained at home and did not receive educational services (The Red Cross Society of China, R.O.C., 1990). Few young children with disabilities went to special preschools, hospitals, social welfare institutions, or organizations to receive available education or therapy (Wang, 1996).

Disconnected educational, medical, and social programs, each providing separate services, may compound the problems of the child and the family (Wang, 1993). For example, doctors or therapists provide medical treatment or rehabilitation without coordination with educational services. Schools likewise offer educational programs without adequate attention to social or medical needs. Separate delivery systems operate under separate administrative structures in education, health, and social welfare; thus, it is difficult to establish an integrated approach.

In 1997, a new special education law (Department of Education of the Republic of China, 1997) stipulated that all relevant departments of government develop regulations for active implementation of special services for preschool children. The purpose of this law was to ensure that by 2003 all young children with disabilities attend school starting at the age of 3.

Currently, most children who receive early childhood special education are 3-- 6 years of age. Medical care, rather than educational or therapeutic consultation, may be the only service families receive from professionals during the child's first 3 years (Wang, 1993). These medical or rehabilitation services to young children with more severe disabilities, are provided only on request of the parents. Most intervention programs are provided by private interest groups; only a few of them are government supported (Wang, 1993). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

Culture and Special Education in Taiwan


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.