A systematic review of classroom interventions to promote social inclusion for preschoolers with special needs in inclusive educational settings

Kwan Lan Vicky TSANG, Wai Kuen Libby CHENG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Three dimensions of social inclusion are identified: social relationships, social acceptance status and social interaction. Ten intervention studies in social inclusion for preschoolers with special needs between 2006 and 2016 were sought from 4 databases, ProQuest, Science Direct, Academic Search Premier, and PsycINFO and reviewed using Reichow's criteria for identifying evidence-based practices (EBP) and the newly-developed ecological validity indicators. The review investigated: (i) the construct validity, (ii) the utility validity, (iii) the EBP ratings and (iv) the ecological validity of the reviewed studies. All reviewed studies focused on evaluating the effect of intervention on improving social interaction skills of the preschoolers with special needs. The effect of intervention was primarily assessed from a child-centered intra-personal perspective. EBP assessment yielded 2 strong, 4 adequate and 4 weak studies. Ecological validity showed 100% studies scored 'full' in social interaction; 20% scored 'partial' in social acceptance; and none (0%) measured social relationship. Past social inclusion intervention studies investigated primarily from the dimension of social interactions. Furthermore, interventions targeted primarily at children with special needs but not their counterparts, such as their typically developing peers or teachers. Our findings calls for an adoption of inter-personal assessment measures across multiple stakeholders and longitudinal studies across multiple measures. This shift to an ecological framework will have a significant impact on the future development of social inclusion practice as it implies every stakeholder in our community of diversity needs to learn how to interact with one another to bring about true inclusion. Copyright © 2017 Scholarlink Research Institute Journals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-89
JournalJournal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies
Volume8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Citation

Tsang, V., & Cheng, L. (2017). A systematic review of classroom interventions to promote social inclusion for preschoolers with special needs in inclusive educational settings. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, 8(2), 74-89.

Keywords

  • Social inclusion
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Ecological validity
  • Preschool
  • Systematic review

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