Special Educational Provision in the People's Republic of China

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As the educational system within the People's Republic of China continues to develop and mature, schools offering specialised curricular and instructional alternatives to their ordinary counterparts will be called upon to play an increasingly important supportive role. While educational specialisation and diversification are currently at a nascent stage, a preliminary glimpse of the process allows us to form at the very least a first impression concerning the efficacy of modernisation efforts in educational terms. We can observe the extent to which issues concerning the uniqueness of curricular form and function are clearly articulated, and we can look for the formation of constituencies and interest groups which can be called upon to lobby in favour of the development of those specialised programmes. At the same time, broadly defined social and economic issues which address questions concerning the relationship between education and upward mobility, employment opportunity and social welfare are implicitly raised through an analysis of China's 'other' schools. This paper will look at two distinctly divergent cases: education for the disabled; and education which promotes sports and athleticism. The attempt is to discern the general boundaries within which educational specialisation is occurring. The cases are illustrative in that they speak to general issues of social policy in bi-polar voices; juxtaposed, they clarify rather than obfuscate the social context in which policy formation occurs.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalComparative Education
StatePublished - 1988


  • Education

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