The integration of children with disabilities in mainstream early childhood settings is a common practice in many developed and developing countries world-wide. A number of key points have been raised concerning such integration, including the increased attention to civil education about the rights of persons with disabilities, training for teachers, and close communication between the government and the mainstream schools. This paper presents a qualitative study of these critical issues in the context of integrated early childhood centres in Hong Kong. These centres operate under an integration policy inherited from the British colonial period. This policy lies within the larger philosophical context of Confucianism with its commitment to excellence, which makes for an intensely competitive schooling environment. Thus, the story presented in this paper is a collection of multiple perspectives of parents with and without children with disabilities, teachers, and school principals on the topic of integration. Looking at the bigger picture, we argue that rather than simply inheriting a policy that is prone to bureaucratic machinations, the policy must be adopted and owned within the local settings if it is to work properly. The implications of this study resonate with integrated education in settings that may be very different from the ones described herein. Copyright © 2013 Educational Review.
CitationLai, Y. C., & Gill, J. (2014). Multiple perspectives on integrated education for children with disabilities in the context of early childhood centres in Hong Kong. Educational Review, 66(3), 345-361.
- Integrated programme
- Children with disabilities
- Mainstream early childhood centre
- Attitudes and perceptions of teaching staff and parents