“Castles in the Air”: Kindergarten Directors’ Perspectives on Inclusion in China
Although the Chinese government has set forth policies to support the inclusion of children with disabilities in regular educational settings, inclusion is still far from a reality for many children. Even in inclusive settings, there is still a dearth of knowledge about how inclusion is being implemented. The purpose of this paper is to present findings from a follow-up study with directors of inclusive kindergarten programs in Beijing, China. The goal is to understand how children with disabilities are included in regular kindergartens through the lens of26 associate directors and directors of inclusive kindergartens.The data were collected through open-ended interviews; analysis relied on both deductive and inductive thematic coding. The results suggest while there were more opportunities for children with disabilities to access inclusive early childhood programs in Beijing, children with disabilities were not full participants in activities. Support for programs to provide quality inclusion is also lacking. The results have implications for practice and policies in order to improve the quality of inclusive early education in China.
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