The Japanese Journal of Special Education
Online ISSN : 2186-5132
Print ISSN : 0387-3374
ISSN-L : 0387-3374
Practical Research
Peer Interactions and Cooperative Learning Between Junior High School Students With Intellectual Disabilities and Their General-Education Peers: Effects on Interpersonal Attraction and Physical Skills
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2021 Volume 59 Issue 2 Pages 83-94


The present report summarizes findings from a program designed for cooperative learning through peer interaction. The participants were junior high school students with intellectual disabilities (n=24) who were attending a school for children with special needs and their peers (n=21) who were attending a general-education school. The program was held throughout 1 year and was comprised of 3 phases: 4 sessions of introduction using cards and recreational activities, 3 sessions of interactive sports activities, and 3 sessions of making posters to present their activities. Questionnaires were completed 4 times, including the pre- and post-surveys, by 5 of the students with special needs and by all 21 of their peers. For control and comparison, the same questionnaires were completed 4 times by 191 general-education students who did not participate in the program. The interactive sports activities were videotaped and then evaluated by 14 third-party adults. The results from the questionnaires and the third-party evaluations showed that (a) the students with special needs and their participating peers at the general-education school mutually developed positive attitudes through the program, and (b) the peers' interpersonal attraction increased not only toward the students with special needs, but also toward other individuals with disabilities in the general population. Teachers' evaluations of the interactive sports activities suggested that the physical skills of both the students with special needs and their peers improved.

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