Special Education in South Korea

By Park, Jiyeon | Teaching Exceptional Children, May/June 2002 | Go to article overview

Special Education in South Korea


Park, Jiyeon, Teaching Exceptional Children


Special education in South Korea has made great strides both in number and quality of programs for the past 25 years since the enactment of Special Education Promotion Act in 1977. Few publications, however, provide updated portraits of special education in South Korea.

This article presents the current status of special education in South Korea in terms of legislation for special education, early intervention/early childhood special education, elementary and secondary education, and personnel preparation. It also discusses current issues with future directions in the special education of South Korea.

Geographic and Demographic Perspectives

Korea, located on the northeastern section of the Asian continent and at the east of China and the west of Japan, has five thousand years of history and culture. About 69,450,000 Koreans live in this country; among these, 47,275,000 people live in South Korea (Korea National Statistical Office, 2000). Because little is known about special education in North Korea, this article focuses only on special education in South Korea.

In South Korea, people with disabilities are expected to (but not forced to) register at the local government office to allow federal and local governments to establish an efficient welfare system based on the number of people with disabilities and their disability conditions. According to the 6-tier system that categorizes the severity of disability conditions into six groups, a tier number (between Tier 1 and Tier 6) is given to each registered person with disabilities by disability-diagnosis agencies. Tier 1 represents the most severe disability conditions; and the largest amount of benefits are given to the persons who belong to the Tier 1 group.

As of 2000, the number of people with disabilities who were registered at local government was 972,087 (Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare, 2000). The number of registered people with disabilities, however, is far less than the real number of people with disabilities. This disparity results from several factors: parents' unwillingness to register their children with disabilities at an early age, limited definitions of disability categories, insufficient benefits even after getting registered, and a lack of announcement about the registration process. When unregistered people with disabilities are considered, it is estimated that there are about 1,449,000 people with disabilities (about 3% of the population) in South Korea (Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare, 2000).

Historical Perspectives

As an ancient Korean tradition, people with disabilities have been provided with care and assistance by the governments (e.g., Korea dynasty, Cho-Sun dynasty), as well as by their parents or neighbors, though no systemic education was offered to them until late 19th century. Christian missionaries from the United States and European countries tremendously contributed to the early development of special education. At the time, children with visual or hearing impairments were the primary recipients of special education. In 1894, Rossetta Sherwood Hall taught a girl with blindness, which was the first effort to provide special education for a child with disabilities. She also established the first special school for children with hearing impairments in 1909.

Education for children with other disability conditions started in the 1960s when the first personnel preparation program for special education professionals was established at Han-Kuk Social Work University (later renamed as Taegu University) with several special schools affiliated to the university.

The most significant landmark in the history of South Korea special education was the enactment of the 1977 Special Education Promotion Act, which mandated free special education and related services, such as physical therapy, speech therapy, and medical services, for children with disabilities (Seo, Oakland, Han, & Hu, 1992). …

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
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
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

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Special Education in South Korea
Settings

Settings

Typeface
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

Style
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, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

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.