The attitudes of mainstream primary school teachers toward inclusive education: a perspective from the People’s Republic of China
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Inclusive education is one of the most important current trends in the theory and practice of education. Though China has carried out many experiments on how to integrate children with special educational needs to learn in regular classrooms near their home since middle of the 1980s, inclusive education is still facing lots of developmental challenges. The purpose of the study was to identify mainstream primary school teachers’ attitudes toward inclusive education. The study was also designed to examine whether these teachers perceived themselves capable of implementing inclusive education in their regular classrooms, and what support they most needed to help them carry out inclusive education in practice. One questionnaire was designed to obtain the needed data and was distributed to mainstream primary school teachers involved in inclusive programs and working in 36 public schools in China. An analysis of the collected data indicated that these teachers had negative but contractive attitudes toward inclusive education, and that they felt they were not capable of implementing inclusive education in their regular classrooms. The study ended with research-based recommendations for future practice.
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