04 SES 15 C, Comparative Inclusive Education Research: Global, National and Local Perspectives (Part II)
Symposium Part II, continued from 04 SES 14 C
Lewin and Wang (1994) explained that China’s vast regional variations makes it challenging to conduct research that is thoroughly representative of the country. Thus, the study intends to explore factors that contribute to the successful implementation of inclusive practices within one inclusive preschool in Shanghai. I chose Shanghai to explore since it is the forefront of inclusive educational reform and practice in China. While examining studies exploring the successful inclusive practices in different preschools, the key role of community-based support stands out (Gómez-Zepeda et al. 2017; Prengel 2017), which is well supported by theories and empirical studies. Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ‘ecological theory’ emphasizes the importance of school and community partnerships. Specifically, this theory states that children’s learning and development are influenced significantly by the contexts of home, community, and school and that when continuity between these is improved they exert more positive influence on children’s development. Empirical studies show community involvement in schools emphasizes the need for intersectional collaboration of all vital actors in the school and the community members to promote inclusive education together (Gómez-Zepeda et al. 2017). Thus, this study aims to identify the community-based support factors that contribute to inclusive practices in the researched preschool in Shanghai, China. A qualitative case study design was applied. Seven in-depth interviews, ten intensive (15 minutes each) participatory observations during children’s ‘free play’, as well as the preschool’s website news (09.2017-11.2017) were systematically examined to analyse the potential factors that contribute to the inclusive practices of the researched kindergarten. An inductive approach to qualitative content analysis was applied to analyse the data (Mayring, 2014). Data from the interviews were analysed by noting patterns and themes and clustered according to those themes. Data from the observations and website were then utilized to support or refute the developing patterns and themes from the interviews. The study identified active involvement of community members from the classroom, the kindergarten, and the community as core factors. Shadow teachers (resembling ‘support teachers’) and Baoyuyuan (resembling ‘aide teachers’), while being positively perceived and involved in activity designs, support more inclusion. The key role of the principal stands out for being the instructional leader who is critical to the implementation of inclusion. Those successful experiences will provide valuable guidelines for kindergartens in other countries. Future research should examine and compare whether those factors can be identified from inclusive settings in other countries and develop universal guidelines for inclusive practice internationally.
Bronfenbrenner, Urie (1979): The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Gómez-Zepeda, Gabriela/Petreñas, Cristina/Sabando, Dorys/Puigdellívol, Ignasi (2017): The role of the Support and Attention to Diversity Teacher (SADT) from a community-based perspective: Promoting educational success and educational inclusion for all. In: Teaching and Teacher Education 64, pp. 127-138. Lewin, Keith/Wang, Ying Ji/Qu, Heng Chang (1994): Implementing basic education in China: Progress and prospects in rich, poor and national minority areas. Paris: UNESCO, International Institute for Educational Planning. Loreman, Tim (2007): Seven Pillars of Support for Inclusive Education. In: International Journal of Whole Schooling 3, 2, pp. 22-38. Mayring, P. (2014). Qualitative content analysis: Theoretical foundation, basic procedures and software solution. Prengel, Annedore (2017): Individualisierung in der „Caring Community“–Zur inklusiven Verbesserung von Lernleistungen. In: Leistung inklusive, pp. 13-27.
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