Teachers’ beliefs about peer social interactions and their relationship to practice in Chinese inclusive preschools
As previous research indicated that children with special educational needs are at risk of social exclusion, this study investigated the link between teachers’ beliefs about children’s social peer interactions and their teaching practices. Using a qualitative case study examining seven teachers from four inclusive classes at one preschool in Shanghai, data from interviews and participatory observations were triangulated. Three degrees of (in)consistencies when combining interviews (teachers’ beliefs) and observations (teachers’ practices) were identified: high consistency, some (in)consistency and high inconsistency. Four critical contextual factors explain these inconsistencies: challenging classroom compositions, whole-group teaching, lack of parents’ support and an academic-performance orientation. Indications for future inclusive teacher training were developed.