Document Type: Conference Papers
Conference: 2015 Quality Childhood Conference International (QCCI) Enhancing Quality Childhood Education: Synergizing Global Efforts (2015: The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China)
Although a substantial body of studies has been focusing on exploring approaches to enhance the learning of children with special educational needs (SEN) in kindergartens, considerably fewer studies have been conducted to test early childhood educators’ confidence levels in early identifying and facilitating the learning and social development of children with SEN. This study took the initiative to conduct a large scale survey in the Chinese context, seeking to develop a good understanding of teacher preparation for identifying and supporting children with SEN. Over 5000 early childhood educators from 519 kindergartens and kindergarten-cumchild care centres (KGs) in Hong Kong participated in this survey study. Specifically, we examined these teachers’ confidence levels in terms of early identification and intervention through a wide range of instructional activities. We also investigated external needs these teachers perceived to be critically important for supporting SEN children. The role of integrated programme (IP) in these surveyed KGs on teachers’ confidence levels in supporting children with SEN was also examined. Implications of findings of the current study to early childhood education, improvements of existing facilities and resources to support teachers’ professional development are discussed.