This study aimed to investigate how the special educators perceive their stress and professional development amidst Education Reform 2000 in Hong Kong. A conceptual framework was constructed to probe the external and internal influences of education reforms upon teachers in special schools. A combined inquiry was used to complete the task. For knowing external environment influences, two methods were employed. Historical study was selected to scrutinize 21 official documents that were closely related to the education reforms. Document analysis was chosen to examine 21 local theses, surveys, or reports on teacher stress, and to categorize 409 relevant news clippings related to the education reform, teacher stress, and professional development. As to internal influences, three methods were utilized. First, a four-section modified questionnaire was sent to 159 teachers in special schools, among them 92 teachers responded (57.9%) for data analysis. Second, 11 individualized semi-structured interviews were conducted, which were categorized into four administrative teachers, three experienced teachers and four novice teachers to triangulate the findings of quantitative analysis. Third, a focus group discussion with six experienced teachers was held to collect further relevant data.
Results were found in data or evidences on four foci. As for the education reforms, most teachers realized that the influence of education reform was complex. The frequent changes in educational policies, which were relating to class structures, curricula, teachers' qualification and composition, existence and stability, quality assurance and accountability, operation style, and provision of special schools, had affected the schools' operations and teachers' lives. Regarding teacher stress, all levels of teachers in special schools were working at a high level of stress. The stressors of professional investment, school organizational variables, personal variables, and work-related stressors