Engaging Families: A Case Study of an Elementary Inclusive School in Hong Kong

  • Lusa LoEmail author
  • Kam Keung Lui
  • Tak Wai Leung
Part of the Advancing Inclusive and Special Education in the Asia-Pacific book series (AISEAP)


As the principle of including all students with diverse needs and providing them with equal opportunities to learn emerged decades ago, inclusive education has become a global movement of education reform in many countries, including Hong Kong (HK). Due to the structure of the educational system in HK, test scores are considered as the main variable to determine a student’s learning ability. Parents are under immense pressure in making sure that their children are making progress in classes and are in need of information about how to assist them. However, support for parents is often limited. This chapter will share how one elementary school in HK has successfully supported students with disabilities and their parents. Teacher, teacher assistant, and parent survey results consistently indicated that the school not only supported their students/children in inclusive classrooms but also ensured that parents were frequently informed of their child’s progress and engaged in the development of their child’s academic career.


Inclusive education Elementary school Hong Kong Students with disabilities Family and school partnership 


  1. Adams D, Boyd K, Cunningham D, Gailunas-Johnson A, Sprague K, Williams S (2003) Including every parent: a step-by-step guide to engage and empower parents at your school. Project for School Innovation, BostonGoogle Scholar
  2. Bryan T, Burstein K, Bryan J (2001) Students with learning disabilities: homework problems and promising practices. Educ Psychol 36:167–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chan S, Chen D (2011) Families with Asian roots. In: Lynch E, Hanson M (eds) Developing cross-cultural competence: a guide for working with children and their families, 4th edn. Paul H. Brookes, Baltimore, pp 219–298Google Scholar
  4. Education Bureau (2008) Operation guide on the whole school approach to integrated education. Author, Hong KongGoogle Scholar
  5. Education Bureau (2017a) Student enrolment statistics, 2016/17. Author, Hong Kong. Retrieved from
  6. Education Bureau (2017b) Teacher professional development on catering for students with special educational needs (SEN). Retrieved from
  7. Education Bureau (2018) Primary one admission for September 2018. Author, Hong KongGoogle Scholar
  8. Fehrman PG, Keith TZ, Reimers TM (2015) Home influence on school learning: direct and indirect effects of parental involvement on high school grades. J Educ Res 80:330–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Henderson A, Mapp K (2002) A new wave of evidence: the impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, AustinGoogle Scholar
  10. Ingersoll B, Dvortcsak A (2006) Including parent training in the early childhood special education curriculum for children with autism spectrum disorders. Top Early Child Spec Educ 26:179–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jeynes WH (2007) The relationship between parental involvement and urban secondary school student academic achievement: a meta-analysis. Urban Educ 42:82–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lian M-G (2008) Backgrounds and efforts in enhancing inclusive education in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States. Paper presented at the Special and Inclusive Education Seminar, Taipei Municipal University of Education. Taipei, TaiwanGoogle Scholar
  13. Lian M-G, Tse C-Y, Li A (2007) Special education in Hong Kong: background, contemporary trends and issues in programs for learners with disabilities. J IntAssoc Spec Educ 8:5–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lo L (2009a) Chinese American children, families, and special education. In: Zhan L (ed) Asian American voices: engaging, empowering, and enabling. National League for Nursing, New York, pp 107–122Google Scholar
  15. Lo L (2009b) Collaborating with Chinese families of children with hearing impairments. Commun Disord Q 30:97–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lo L (2010) Perceived benefits experienced in support groups for Chinese families of children with disabilities. Early Child Dev Care:405–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lo L, Cheng TF, Chan KC (2014) School-based parent support group: empowering Hong Kong parents of children with disabilities to be advocates. In: Lo L, Diana HM (eds) Promising practices to empower culturally and linguistically diverse families of children with disabilities. Information Age Publishing, CharlotteGoogle Scholar
  18. Marzano RJ, Pickering DJ (2007) The case for and against homework. Educ Leadersh 64:74–79Google Scholar
  19. Michael R (2004) Let’s talk integration! Paper presented at the Hong Kong Red Cross 50th anniversary special education and rehabilitation services conference. Hong Kong, ChinaGoogle Scholar
  20. Milsom A (2007) Interventions to assist students with disabilities through school transitions. Prof Sch Couns 10:1096–2409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (2003) Parenting a child with special needs. Author, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  22. Poon-McBrayer K (2005) Full inclusion for children with severe learning difficulties: ideology and reality. J Int Spec Need Educ 8:19–26Google Scholar
  23. Sheehey PH, Sheehey PE (2007) Elements for successful parent-professional collaboration: the fundamental things apply as time goes by. Teach Except Child Plus, 4, Article 3. Retrieved from
  24. Shen J, Dai E (2006) Population growth, fertility decline, and ageing in Hong Kong: the perceived and real demographic effects of migration. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong KongGoogle Scholar
  25. Simpson RL, Peterson RL, Smith CR (2011) Critical educational program components for students with emotional and behavioral disorders: science, policy, and practice. Remedial Spec Educ 32:230–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. The Board of Education (1996) Report of the sub-committee on special education. Author, Hong KongGoogle Scholar
  27. The Legislative Council Commission (2014) Subcommittee on integrated education (Reports). Retrieved from
  28. Twoy R, Connolly P, Novak J (2008) Coping strategies used by parents of children with autism. J Am Acad Nurse Pract 19:251–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Warger C (2019) Five homework strategies for teaching students with learning disabilities. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA
  2. 2.San Wui Commercial Society SchoolHong KongChina

Personalised recommendations