AuthorBrouillette, W. Ronald
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractSpecial education development progresses through predictable stages as a result of social, political and economic forces. These influential forces are conveyed through efforts of agencies and individuals from within and outside the nation. Despite these efforts, approximately 2% of the estimated 140 million disabled children in developing nations receive an education (UNESCO, 1988). A case study in Mauritius investigated the interrelationships among forces influencing special education development for the benchmark years 1976, 1982 and 1991. The study employed six methods for data collection: (1) a document search, (2) personal communications, (3) an inventory of resources and a survey of needs, (4) the researcher's participation, (5) a survey questionnaire, and (6) an interview questionnaire. There were eight major findings of the investigation: (1) A relationship exists between economic growth and special education development. This finding supports a Resource Hypothesis posited by Putnam (1979). (2) Economics is not the only force influencing special education development. Interviewed leaders regarded social forces as somewhat more influential than economic and political forces. Additionally, analysis of 480 events related to special education revealed that 55% were social/political and 45% were economic. (3) The vast majority (96% to 98%) of the estimated 32,186 children with disabilities in Mauritius were not enrolled in special education. (4) Special education development in Mauritius adhered to sequential pattern of development as suggested in UNESCO's (1974) Developmental Stages Hypothesis. (5) The per pupil costs for special education students was 1.6 times less expensive than for pupils in ordinary education. This contradicts findings that special education is more expensive than ordinary education (Hegarty, 1990). (6) Ideologies and individual efforts are the most influential social forces. The role of religion, culture and social advocates, especially parents, has largely affected special education development in Mauritius. (7) Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are more influential than government agencies in special education development. NGOs were involved in 62% of the events studied. (8) International assistance is highly influential in special education development. International agencies were involved in 44% of special education events in Mauritius between 1976 and 1991.
Degree ProgramSpecial Education and Rehabilitation