Learned helplessness in inclusive music classrooms: Voices of Hong Kong primary schools music teachers

Marina Wai-Yee Wong, Department of Education Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University
Maria Pik-Yuk Chik, Department of Education Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University


© 2015 Taylor & Francis. In Hong Kong, inclusive education is concerned with educating all students, including those who are categorised as having special educational needs (SEN). This qualitative study reports three challenges faced by primary schools music teachers required to implement inclusive education. The first two challenges echo those reported internationally - the lack of subject-specific pre- and in-service SEN training and insufficient school-based SEN support for music teachers. The third challenge is the key role of a societal mindset that, by valuing SEN interventions against other educational values, justifies discriminatory training and resourcing. It is against this mindset that these teachers argue and that explains why inclusive education in Hong Kong's primary music classrooms becomes a pathway for both SEN students and their teachers to learned helplessness.