The policy of inclusive education (IE) regulates schools to provide educational opportunity to all students (regardless of learning disabilities) to study in the mainstream regular schools. However, there has been no consistent findings regarding the outcome of IE. Among the various factors associated with the efficacy of IE, teachers’ perception of IE was identified to play an important role. This study examined teachers’ perception of IE and adopted the revised scale on Sentiments, Attitudes, and Concerns about Inclusive Education (SACIE-R) as the measuring instrument. A questionnaire that included items on socio-demographic characteristics, self-evaluation regarding inclusive practice, and SACIE-R was put online in an institution of higher education in Hong Kong. Teachers were invited to participate anonymously and voluntarily. A total of 107 teachers (age mean = 49.9 years, SD = 11.3, 49.5% were males) responded. The data showed that teachers, particularly those with religious affiliation and longer teaching experience, felt comfortable interacting with students with disabilities. However, there were rooms for promotion of positive attitudes and reducing concerns about IE. Consistent with Western studies, teachers’ self evaluations on confidence, knowledge, experience, and adequacy of training in IE were rather poor. Poor self-evaluation implicated lower levels of self-efficacy which was detrimental to the management of IE. Furthermore, unsatisfactory self-evaluation was associated with negative perception of IE, which also constitute a barrier to effective implementation of IE. In-service trainings were suggested to promote teachers’ self-evaluation and perception of IE. Implications of the findings for effective management of IE were discussed.
Hoi Nga Ng, Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong
Kam Weng Boey, Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong
Chi Wai Kwan, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong