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Wong, M. E., Poon, K. K., Kaur, S., & Ng, Z. J. (2015). Parental perspectives and challenges in inclusive education in Singapore. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 35(1), 85-97.
Relatively little work has focused on inclusive education in Singapore. This study examines the experiences and perceptions of parents whose children with disabilities are attending mainstream secondary schools in Singapore. Data was drawn from interviews with 13 parents of children with mild disabilities. Our findings reveal that parental perspective on inclusive education in Singapore is not only about classroom support but also reflects a deeper concern about whether their children with disabilities will emerge from school as contributing individuals in society. While parents strive to effectively include their children with disabilities in mainstream classrooms, there were dichotomies in their (a) understanding of disabilities, (b) expectations of school support, and (c) expectations for their child with disabilities. Given that academic and social prowess is a critical prerequisite to have a shot at
entering the meritocratic Singapore society, the tension parents experience is to gauge a reasonable amount of pressure to exert on their children, the school and themselves as they assert their children’s educational entitlements within an imperfect but evolving state of inclusion.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Asia Pacific Journal of Education. The published version is available online at
0218-8791 (print)
1742-6855 (online)
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