A Pilot Study of Integrating Disabled Children into Hong Kong Mainstream Kindergartens: Perceptions of Teachers and Parents of Mainstream Kindergartens without Integrated Programme
Government policy to integrate mildly disabled children into Hong Kong’s mainstream kindergarten has been in operation since the late 1980s. The intention was to provide such young children with an integrated environment for caring and educating among non-disable children.
This pilot study aimed to elicit teachers’ and parents’ perceptions of an integrated programme for disabled children in Hong Kong mainstream kindergartens. One to one semi-structured interviews were conducted in two mainstream kindergartens which did not offer an integrated programme. A total of six teachers and six parents participated in this study.
The findings indicate that some teachers (67%) and parents (83%) never heard about this programme. The findings also show that teachers and parents were reluctant to allow such a programme to operate in their kindergartens, unless it was compulsory for them to do so. This concern was based on the fear that the reputation of the kindergartens might somehow be ruined by the operation of an integrated programme, resulting in lower student enrollment. In addition, they also worried that the learning pace of the non-disabled children might be affected. To conclude: despite the integration policy in mainstream kindergartens has been operating for the past 15 years, discrimination in Hong Kong society remains a fact of life.
Yuk-ching LAI (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China)
Lecturer in Education
School of Early Childhood Education
The Institute of Education
I am a lecturer at School of Early Childhood Education, the Hong Kong Institute of Education. I have been committed myself to the teacher training for seven years. My research interests have been in the area of early childhood special education, physical education, and personal and socail education.
Person as Subject
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)