Special school personnel are isolated: Professional development approaches for collegiality

Ping Ying Eria LI, Jeffrey R. DAY, Nicholas Brace CRAWFORD

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The purpose of the present study was to explore, from an insider perspective, the work experience of local special school personnel. A qualitative methodological approach was taken and a semi-structured interviewing technique was adopted. An opportunity sample of five Principls, six teachers and three school social workers from six local special schools for students with mild mental handicap participated in this study. Data were analyzed using a constant comparative method and content analysis. The findings seem to suggest that the special school teachers in this study faced the dilemma of having competing roles within the school and that they could function as either a categiver or an educator. The two most pronounced themes that emerged from the data are that the local special school personnel in this study appeared to be isolated in terms of feedback and support and the five Principals were regarded as the only leaders to provide directions for the development of their schools. The results therefore demonstrate the need to develop intra- and inter-school support networks for local special school personnel to become more responsive to the needs of the classeroom community. A number of recommendations for improvement in teacher education and in-service training are also discussed. Copyright © 2000 The Hong Kong Special Education Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-52
JournalHong Kong Special Education Forum
Publication statusPublished - 2000


Li, E. P.-Y., Day, J., & Crawford, N. (2000). Special school personnel are isolated: Professional development approaches for collegiality. Hong Kong Special Education Forum, 3, 31-52.


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