Emphasis on quality
Funded research projects of The Hong Kong Institute of Education have been emphasising teacher education. In the last two years more than 84 per cent of internally and externally funded research projects have involved teacher education and development.
Prof Cheng Yin Cheong, Director of the Institute’s Centre for Research and International Collaboration, said: “Hong Kong is moving towards a knowledge-based society with our development depending on quality citizens.
“We are making efforts to ensure educational practice is being informed by research and is developed as world-class teaching and learning in Hong Kong schools.
“With the support of research, we can create a knowledge base for the most effective and proactive approaches in equipping our Hong Kong teachers.”
Study into special education needs
Researchers at The Hong Kong Institute of Education are concluding the territory’s first large-scale study of special education for children with learning difficulties.
Among findings are that students placed in lower ability groups and “resource classes” disagree with banding, and would prefer to be in the mainstream of the classroom. Parents have mixed attitudes towards banding but most teachers support it on the grounds that it facilitates teaching.
Central to the two-year study being completed in October is the transition of children with special needs from primary to secondary schools. Views and information have been drawn from parents and teachers as well as students.
Previously only pilot studies into the subject have been made by government, and higher degree work by students.
Three government reports produced over the last five years focused on the need for school reforms and outlined concerns on equity and excellence in schools.
Meanwhile, government has had a long-standing policy of integrating children with special educational needs into mainstream classes.
The research studied the capacity of special education in Hong Kong in terms of provision, strength, staffing, resources, structure, training, and career prospects.
It also attempted to identify the source and shaping of values and beliefs which underpin public policy on special education.
The project provides a basis for comparative studies in special education with cities and provinces in mainland China, as well as providing a foundation for follow-up studies with the same students in later years.

Principal Investigator: Nick Crawford
Centre for Special Needs and Studies in Inclusive Education