Comparative stakeholder perspectives of inclusive education in four regions of China

Maria del Mar Badia Martin*, Rosa Fortuny Guasch, Hongan Zhou, Erhuo Gu

*Corresponding author for this work

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The European project INCLUTE (Promoting inclusive education through curriculum development and teacher education in China) European Union (Proyecto Erasmus +) 561.600-EPP-1-2015-CN-EP helps to contribute the demand for highly educated teachers at the primary school level can be tackled, and universities in China can be encouraged to take European standards into consideration. This project is innovative because it focuses on the topic of inclusive education for supporting teacher training for Chinese primary school teachers. The Confucian pedagogical ideal of “learning without discrimination” still predominates among Chinese educators nowadays. However, over the last thirty years, government stakeholders have underscored the need to implement inclusive education policies, following the Western model. Thus, the Chinese educational system has started to implement the “learning in the classroom” policy – a halfway alternative between Confucian traditional pedagogy and the Western notions of inclusive education. Nonetheless, little is known about the Chinese perspectives on, and expectations about, inclusive education. Accordingly, the present study aims to identify the Chinese stakeholders’ perception of inclusive education through a survey, an interview and a focus group out of a sample of 8,412 subjects composed of primary school teachers, government officials and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) workers from Guanxi, Sichuan, Chongqing and Tibet. The results of this study suggest that Chinese education stakeholders conceptualize inclusive education as a philosophical idea related to new methodological strategies, but that it is not associated with disabilities, education for all or the educational community. The weaknesses and strengths of inclusive education are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-38
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of New Education
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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