The evolution from integration to inclusion: The Hong Kong tale


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As a worldwide movement, some forms or stages of inclusive education have been experimented and/or mandated in various countries since the mid-1970s. Integration was piloted in Hong Kong in 1997 and remains the official rhetoric and policy. Three developmental phases of inclusive education, namely, integration, integration in transition to inclusion, and inclusion, are described in this article according to the defining characteristics of integration and inclusion. Issues in policies and practices as reported in various studies are described to illustrate the development of each phase in Hong Kong. Based on a critical review of the said defining characteristics, current policies and practices which offer insight into the indicators signifying the migration to inclusion, I argue that Hong Kong has entered the stage of inclusion and that it was achieved by public pressure for improvement of practices instead of policy directions. This article concludes with recommendations made to sustain effective practices of inclusion. Copyright © 2012 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1004-1013
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


Poon-McBrayer, K. F. (2012). The evolution from integration to inclusion: The Hong Kong tale. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 18(10), 1004-1013.


  • Integration
  • Inclusive education
  • Special education policies
  • Hong Kong
  • Learning disabilities


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