Special Education ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-7-2019


The purpose of this study was to examine the knowledge and desires of parents of middle school students with ID regarding inclusive education practices and laws in South Korea. I interviewed seven mothers of children with ID who attended South Korean middle school. Three themes emerged including (a) mother-teacher communication, (b) particular knowledge that suppressed further desires for inclusive education, and (c) culture-based advocacy for inclusive education. I discussed these findings based on Confucianism, collectivism, social and medical models of disability, and Rawls’s theory of justice. The mothers neither knew about inclusive education laws nor valued the laws. Instead, they used Confucian advocacy strategies for their children’s legal rights. Their desired laws were relevant to quality of teachers and disability awareness of typically developing children. The mothers’ Confucian approach to disability, education, and morality seemed to make them settle for mere physical integration and antidiscrimination of their children with ID, and did not support their desires for inclusive education practices necessary for the children’s functional and academic development and belonging to peer groups without having pull-out special education. Their desired practice was a teacher-led partnership. These findings might indicate the need for a paradigm shift for these mothers to advocate for what they desired beyond what is currently available for the children’s inclusive education.


Inclusive education, adolescents, intellectual disability, inclusive education laws, inclusive education practices, South Korea

Document Type




Degree Name

Certificate in Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Ruth Luckasson

Second Committee Member

Susan Copeland

Third Committee Member

Megan Griffin

Fourth Committee Member

Jan Armstrong