The Hong Kong government policy of integrating young children afflicted with mild mental disabilities or those that have mild-to-moderate physical disabilities into the territory's mainstream kindergarten has been in operation since the late 1980s. The intention has always been to provide these children with a caring, but integrated educational environment with non-disabled children. This pilot study aims to elicit the perception of teachers towards the integration policy for disabled children in Hong Kong's mainstream kindergartens. One to one semi-structured interviews were conducted in three mainstream kindergartens that offered such programme for disabled children. A total of nine teachers participated in the study. The findings indicate that the integration policy in mainstream kindergartens has been poorly implemented. The results are based on: the limited number of places available for disabled children, restricted access to finance for those kindergartens offering an integrated programme, few professional support staff, a lack of teacher training, a weak support network for parents with disabled children, poor public education, insufficient and unclear instructions for the implementation of the programme, a lack of planning for the transition to primary schools from integrated kindergartens, and an inadequate system of evaluation and monitoring. Nevertheless, despite these drawbacks, teachers of mainstream kindergartens offering an integrated programme widely acknowledge that integrated programme provides some intangible benefits to disabled children as well as the people with whom they interact such as their parents, their non-disabled peers, and their non-disabled peers' parents. Copyright © 2005 Common Ground, Yuk Ching Eva Lai.
|The International Journal of Learning
|Published - 2005
CitationLai, Y.-C. E. (2005). Teachers' perceptions of integration policy for disabled children in mainstream kindergartens in Hong Kong: A pilot study. The International Journal of Learning, 12(4), 123-128.
- Teachers' perceptions
- Integration policy
- Disabled children