, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 355-369

Issues of teacher education and inclusion in China

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Abstract

Since the 1980s, children with disabilities in China have been integrated into general education settings; the practice is termed sui ban jiu du, literally “learning in a regular classroom” (LRC). The term LRC means “receiving special education in general education classrooms”, and it is regarded as a practical form of inclusion in China. This paper provides context for understanding the issues of teacher education and inclusion in China by comparing the concept of LRC in China to the international concept of inclusive education. It discusses the challenges for and development of LRC at the levels of policy and practice. The main issues involved in teacher education for special/inclusive education are discussed in relation to the culture and context of current policy and its implementation, teachers’ attitudes toward LRC, the professional competence of LRC teachers, the shortage of qualified teachers, and the lack of a national system for special education certification. The final section considers strategies to develop high-quality inclusive education in China from the perspectives of policy development, professional development, and the development of procedures for policy implementation.

The authors thank Professor Lani Florian for her valuable comments.