Inclusive Education and Communication Impairment in Early Childhood: A Perspective from Japan

Stephanie Yagata
page. 9~23 / 2019 Vol.13 No.3


In this article I argue that notions from special education research in the West, such as individualized education and early intervention, are increasingly globally pervasive but may not be taken up in expected ways. I share a close read of an interview I conducted with a preschool director in Japan, exploring her perspectives on intervention for children with mild communication impairments. In an analysis of our conversation, I explore themes of purposeful restraint from intervention, implementation of direct interventions, and individualizing education through whole-class activities. I will use our conversation as a starting point for proposing how we–early childhood educators, teacher educators, and researchers across the globemight draw from diverse philosophies and practices in education and special education to challenge increasingly standardized notions of intervention and (dis)ability in early childhood education and care. I suggest that the perspectives on intervention discussed by this preschool center director in Japan are useful in provoking questions about novel ways intervention might be conceptualized.

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