interest and patience in the mainstream curriculum, or resist conventional teaching styles and practices. On the other hand, the relationship/concept that they discover may be perceived as a kind of fallacy by their peers, which would make them feel frustrated and gradually become estranged from their classmates.

(b) Affective Characteristics

Gifted students can concentrate intensely on things that interest them and carry out investigations persistently. They are seldom satisfied with their own performance since they pursue perfection in everything. They also value fairness, justice, right and wrong, and criticise people and things frequently. They often behave obstinately, hence, peers may not accept them. Furthermore, gifted students normally have high expectations for both themselves and others. This will easily lead to frustration and disappointment, and greater difficulty for them to establish good relationship with their peers.

(c) Creativity

Gifted students are curious and always have original and novel ideas.

They are bold to attempt and investigate, active to express views, fearless to hold dissenting views, having a sense of humour, and in favour of pursuing perfectionism and achievement. Generally speaking, gifted students may have an extremely strong aspiration for achievement. Some students may fully concentrate on attainment of perfectionism and hence become unrealistic. In addition, if their sense of humour and peculiar thoughts are not accepted by their peers, the resultant lonely and solitary feelings may affect their confidence and self-image.

(d) Leadership

Gifted students love to direct or lead other people, and will perform with a high degree of self-confidence. They can function as leaders in group activities. Nevertheless, gifted students may occasionally be

confused of their roles and those of adults. Therefore, they may lose their rightful naivety.

(2) Assessment of Gifted Students

It is necessary to use a variety of assessment tools to assess a gifted student because of students’ diverse characteristics and learning needs.

The assessment tools include standardized intelligence tests, creativity tests, academic achievement tests, behavioural checklists/questionnaires, assessments of schoolwork, etc. Assessment should also take into account the information collected from teachers, parents, peers, the students themselves and professionals. When assessing a gifted student with special educational needs, special care should also be taken in choosing the appropriate test and in interpreting the assessment findings to avoid under-representing the child’s real potential.

(3) General Teaching Principles

(a) Understand and analyze gifted students’ personality traits, strengths, interests and learning styles. In addition, provide them with appropriate learning opportunities, which are geared to meet individual needs and can facilitate further exploration and development of their potential.

(b) Create a warm, safe, accepting, democratic and stimulating learning environment for gifted students to develop their creativity, higher order thinking skills and personal-social competence.

(c) Fully utilize the resources within and outside the school. These include parents, social workers, community services and support from other professional organizations.

(d) Foster communication and cooperation with parents, value parents’

understanding of the learning objectives of gifted education programmes, and the characteristics of gifted students in order to help

them hold reasonable expectations on the programmes and their children.

(e) Teachers sometimes need to provide counselling to gifted students (especially those with emotional/behavioural and/ or learning problems) to help them understand their own potentials, establish self-direction, enhance self-esteem and improve their social skills.

(f) Provide students with more flexible learning approaches through school-based policies to cater for individual development and needs.

Teachers can use flexible grouping, differentiated curriculum and assignments, project learning and independent studies, etc., in the classroom to facilitate students’ learning progress or expanding their scope of learning. Teachers can also consider other learning approaches, e.g. curriculum compacting, accelerating learning, extended or enriched curriculum, advanced placement, grade/subject skipping, mentorship programme, after-school special programmes, etc. to maximize their potential.

(4) Teaching Strategies

(a) Provide more challenging learning materials with a rich content and a variety of topics. Meanwhile, design teaching materials and learning tasks of varying levels and difficulties to meet the needs of students with different abilities.

(b) It is possible to start with exploratory activities, intended to develop interpersonal relationship and independent research skills, then followed by project work and self-actualisation. For instance, start with the theme ‘Who am I?’ to help gifted students understand themselves. When they show an interest for deeper investigation, the theme can be further extended to ‘My family and I’, ‘The community and I’, or ‘How to actualise my ideal?', etc.

(c) Adopt diversified teaching strategies to enhance gifted students’

learning interest and mastering of various skills and abilities. For examples:

• By using open-ended questioning techniques, learning/ interest centre, differentiated tasks/worksheets, independent projects, etc., to reinforce gifted students’ exploratory skills, higher order thinking skills and creativity.

• By providing flexible learning opportunities and freedom on the choice of learning.

• By training gifted students’ critical thinking and questioning techniques through activities such as debates, simulated reporter interviews, group competitions, etc.

• By encouraging active investigation to train their spontaneous learning and group collaboration skills by providing project learning with attractive and challenging themes.

• By frequently adopting various self-evaluation methods and nurturing gifted students’ self-reflection ability through self-appraisal or peer evaluation. Besides, teachers may provide feedback during students’ self-evaluation and reflection process.

(d) Infuse the core elements of gifted education such as higher order thinking, creativity, personal and social competence, etc., into existing subjects as the basis of learning. Furthermore, help students better master learning and skills including problem-solving process/decision making skills, target setting, time management, analysis and reasoning, data collection and investigation, etc., through after-school activities.

(e) Matched with specific themes and learning objectives, arrange various grouping combinations and let gifted students serve as group

programmes to let gifted students of homogeneous ability learn together. Members of small group can come from different grade levels or classes. Programme contents can include affective education, or thinking skills, project learning or academic subjects (such as science, mathematics, etc.).

(f) In addition to the formal curriculum, arrange a variety of extended or enriched activities for gifted students such as visits, community services, viewing movies, individualized teaching, independent studies, mentorship programmes, etc., to reinforce their learning experiences in different areas.

(g) Set aside resource rooms or learning corners in the school library or classroom which provide books, teaching materials, computers or internet, equipment for experiments, etc., to let students explore specific topics, or carry out creative activities individually or in groups.

(h) Arrange mentorship programmes according to gifted students’

individual interest to provide students with opportunities to learn or work with professionals of related fields, e.g. school librarians, university tutors, social workers, professionals of business and commerce fields, or parents of a related profession.

Apply Multi-modality Teaching Develop Potentials to the Full

Chapter Six

Liaison with Specialists, School Personnel, Parents and the Community

6.1 As frontline workers, teachers are in a better position to identify students’

special needs and offer initial assistance. By working closely with other school personnel (such as school social workers, student guidance officers/student guidance teachers) and specialists in the community (such as speech therapists, educational audiologists, educational psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and visiting peripatetic teachers/advisory officers for the hearing- and visually impaired), an interdisciplinary approach for identifying and diagnosing special needs, designing and evaluating relevant educational programmes, as well as placement of these students can be achieved.

6.2 Teachers should strengthen communication with students' parents through Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) and other activities such as Parents' Day, parent-teacher meetings and extra-curricular activities involving parents. Such communication will help parents understand the learning progress, difficulties and needs of their children. Teacher should listen patiently to the parents' expectations and concerns, as well as liaise with the school and specialists, with a view to providing appropriate guidance and support for students with special educational needs.

6.3 For services provided by the Education Department for students with special educational needs, teachers may refer to the fact sheets on Special Education and Special Education Services as well as the Information Guide to Support Services for Students with Special Educational Needs in Ordinary Schools. By joining lectures, seminars and workshops organized by the Education Department, teachers can have a better understanding of the services and facilities of special education in Hong Kong. They can also learn more about teaching concepts and guidance strategies and share their teaching experience with other teachers.

6.4 Furthermore, teachers should maintain a close link with the community. They should make the best use of the facilities and resources available to support their teaching. By broadening the students' life and learning experiences and helping them to develop social and communicative skills, teachers can help students with special educational needs to integrate into the community. Teachers should also build up a good relationship with the community, and enhance public awareness of and support for integrated education.

Home and School are One In Spirit and in Work

Chapter Seven Conclusion

7.1 Students with special educational needs may encounter different kinds of adjustment problems in classroom learning, most of which can be reduced if the school and learning environment is favourable to their integration. The school ethos is one of the crucial factors in helping these students to adapt to social life.

7.2 Schools assume definite role in promoting positive attitudes towards students with disabilities and special educational needs. It is the responsibility of educators to nurture students, and instil in them this important idea.

7.3 To provide quality education, individual needs of students should be attended to. We must practise the principle of equal opportunities in education. Below are some of the essential elements:

• School Policy

To formulate a policy of whole school participation and equal opportunities, so as to provide suitable facilities (e.g. school passages) and flexibility in admission arrangements, curriculum, teaching and assessment to cater for student diversity and individual needs.

• School Culture

To adopt a whole school approach and to foster an inclusive school culture for achieving the goal of Education for All, as well as developing students' potential to the full.

• Professional Development

To provide training for teaching and non-teaching staff to enable them to better understand the principles and requirements of equal opportunities in education, and to strengthen teachers' professional knowledge and skills in identifying and teaching students with special educational needs.

• Teacher Collaboration

To work out in collaboration an appropriate curriculum, including diversified teaching methods and regulated assessments, in meeting students’ varied needs.

• Peer Support

To promote a warm and caring environment through classroom learning, extra-curricular activities and peer tutoring, so as to enhance the learning opportunities of students with special educational needs.

• Home-school Cooperation

To enhance home-school cooperation, parents’ understanding and acceptance of students with special educational needs through meetings, activities and daily contacts.

• Optimal Use of Resources

To optimise the use of school resources, community services and public facilities, so as to reinforce the guidance and support for students and promote public awareness of and support for integrated education.

7.4 With joint efforts of school personnel and parents, support from specialists and the public, equal participation and optimal integration of students with special educational needs can be achieved.

Establish Inclusive Culture Foster Whole-Person Education

Hong Kong Special Education Services Enquiry

For further information on special education, please contact the Special Education Resource Centre:

Room 102, G/F Perth Street

Special Education Services Centre 6 Perth Street, Homantin


Tel No.: 2760 6203 Fax No.: 2761 0976 Web Site: Email:

For enquiries on special education services, please contact the following special education services centres:

North Point

Special Education Services Centre 323 Java Road, 3/F

North Point Hong Kong

Tel No. 2561 3441 Fax No. 2516 7854

Perth Street

Special Education Services Centre 6 Perth Street

Homantin Kowloon

Tel No. 2760 6101 Fax No. 2711 9644

Ha Kwai Chung

Special Education Services Centre 77 Lai Cho Road, 4/F

Kwai Chung New Territories

Tel No. 2307 6251 Fax No. 2744 5315


Education Commission (2000). Learning for life, learning through life – reform proposals for the education system in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Printing Department.

Education Department (2000). Understanding and helping children with special educational needs (A guide for teachers). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Printing Department.

Equal Opportunities Commission (2001). Disability Discrimination Ordinance: Code of Practice on Education. Hong Kong: Equal Opportunities Commission.

Hong Kong Government (1995). White Paper on Rehabilitation - equal opportunities and full participation: a better tomorrow for all. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Printing Department.

國立教育資料館 (1996)。《教育資料集刊第二十一輯:資優教育專輯》。


萬明美 (1996)。《視覺障礙教育》。台北:五南圖書出版公司。

香港教育署課程發展處 (1997)。《為有特殊教育需要學生擬訂的目標為 本課程:中國語文科學習綱要》(試行本)。香港:香港政府印務局。

香港教育署 (1999)。《學業成績卓越學生校本課程試驗計劃:檢討報告 書》。香港:香港政府印務局。

何淑嫻、陳維鄂、曾淑雯、李淑嫻 (2000)。「香港小學生特殊學習困難 行為量表」(研究版)。香港:香港中文大學及香港教育署。

香港教育署 (2001)。「教學建議:幫助有特殊學習困難的學童」。香港:


Appendix I Examples of Remarkable Success of Handicapped Persons

1. With the help of textbooks and reference materials, teachers can instil in students a positive attitude towards disabled persons. They can help students realize how disabled persons worked strenuously to achieve success and eventually won recognition and acclaim. Some typical examples are:

• Ludwig van Beethoven, with profound hearing loss, and yet his contribution to music is monumental.

• Thomas Alva Edison, with hearing loss, and yet made important inventions in science.

• Helen Keller, an outstanding writer with multiple handicaps in vision, hearing and speech.

• Franklin D Roosevelt, a polio patient who later became the President of the United States of America.

• Christopher Brown, a famous writer with cerebral palsy.

• Stephen Hawking, a leading physicist with motor neuron disease.

• Erik Weihenmayer, a mountaineer with visual impairment who reached the summit of Mt. Everest in 2001, and became the first sightless person ever to stand on the top of the world.

• Temple Grandin, a scholar with autism, now Associate Professor of the University of Colorado.

• Hu Yi-zhou (胡一舟), mentally handicapped, gave his first performance

as a conductor in China in 1999. He has since performed with over 10 Chinese and overseas philharmonic orchestras.

• Hsing Lin Tsi (杏林子), a famous writer of Taiwan who insisted on writing despite suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and paralysis. With a positive and optimistic attitude in life, Hsing set up the Eden Disabled Trust Fund Committee to look after the welfare of the disabled.

• Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Jose Feliciano and Andrea Bocelli are blind musicians.

2. In Hong Kong, many disabled persons have achieved great success and made remarkable contributions to academic studies, professional development, artistic creation and social services. The performance of our disabled athletes is also outstanding in many international competitions.

• Dr Stevenson Fung (馮漢源), visually impaired, was awarded Doctor of Science by the University of Oxford and is now a lecturer of the University of Hong Kong.

• Leung Tsau-tin (梁洲田), visually impaired, set up the world’s first daily newspaper for the blind in 1990 and now the Division Head (Rehabilitation) of the Hong Kong Society for the Blind.

• Chong Chan-yau ( 莊 陳 有 ), visually impaired, graduated from the University of Hong Kong, and obtained a Master Degree in Britain. He was selected one of the 10 Outstanding Young People in Hong Kong in 1991 and is now the Executive Director of Oxfam Hong Kong.

• Vincent Mok Wai-sun ( 莫 維 新 ), mentally handicapped, set up the

Chosen Power, the first self-help organization of mentally handicapped persons in Asia in 1995. Mok is the President of this organization till now.

• Benny Cheung Wai-leung (張偉良), won 4 gold medals of wheelchair fencing in the 1996 Paralympics, and was appointed the Sports Ambassador of Hong Kong in 1997. Cheung was selected one of the 10 Outstanding Young People of the World in 1998.

• Liu Tung-mui (廖東梅), a painter with cerebral spasm, published her Album of Paintings in 1998. Liu has held many art exhibitions and participated in the International Festival of Arts with the Disabled.

• Fung Ying-ki (馮英騏), a contestant of wheelchair fencing who won a gold medal of Foil in the Paralympics in 1998 and a gold medal in the World Cup International Garda in 1999. Fung was awarded the Medal of Honour for his outstanding achievement by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

• So Wah-wai (蘇樺偉), an athlete who has won many gold medals in the Disability World Athletics Championship and the Disability Europe Athletics Championship. He has set two world records and was awarded the prize of Hong Kong Outstanding Leader in 2000.

• Dr Margaret Chung (鍾惠玲), a patient of lupus erythematosus with a doctorate in Chemistry. Currently Honorary President of the Regeneration Society, Dr Chung adopts a positive attitude after contracting the disease. She assists people with chronic diseases to

overcome difficulties and rebuild confidence.

3. The Ten Outstanding Disabled Persons Awards are awarded to disabled persons in recognition of their outstanding achievements. The Selective Placement Division of the Labour Department also runs the Outstanding Disabled Employees Award to commend disabled employees with outstanding performance.

4. With strong determination and tenacity, many disabled students overcome great difficulties and hardship and eventually achieved remarkable success in academic studies, sports as well as development of personal interests and potentials.

Appendix 2 Supplementary Teaching Materials and Resources

The Special Education Resource Centre provides the following items for reference:

(I) Leaflets, pamphlets, curriculum guides and teaching kits issued by the Education Department:

1. Information Sheet on Special Education

2. Information Sheet on Special Education Services 3. 中 、 小 學 輔 導 教 學 服 務 中 心 簡 介

4. 身 體 弱 能 學 童 輔 導 教 學 服 務 簡 介 5. 匡 導 班 簡 介

6. 言 語 治 療 服 務 組

7. 教 育 心 理 學 家 服 務 組 簡 介 8 如 何 幫 助 過 度 活 躍 的 兒 童 9. 如 何 協 助 子 女 有 效 學 習

10. 關懷子女 輔助成長

11. 家長百寶箱

12. 助聽器的認識

13. 耳模的認識

14. 聽覺是甚麼

15. 弱聽的級別

16. 弱聽的類別

17. 你孩子的聽覺有問題嗎

18. 人工耳蝸簡介

19. 無線調頻系統

20. 學前弱聽兒童輔導及訓練服務

21. 如何幫助你的弱聽學童

22. 弱聽學童巡迴輔導服務

23. 融合教育通訊

24. Guide to Curriculum for Hearing Impaired Children (1996) 25. Guide to Curriculum for Visually Impaired Children (1996) 26. Guide to Curriculum for Mentally Handicapped Children (1997)

27. 「同一天空下」教材套 (1997)

28. 「平等齊參與•展能創明天」教材套 (1997)

29. Guide to Curriculum for Maladjusted Children (1998)

30. Guide to Curriculum for Physically Handicapped Children (1999)

31. 「群育學校 院舍服務」光碟 (1999)

32. 「融合教育活動教材套」(1999)

33. Towards Integration CD-ROM (2000)

34. 提升學習動機:榆樹計劃初中學生輔導課程 (2000)

35. 香港小學生特殊學習困難行為量表 (2000)

36. 教學建議:幫助特殊學習困難的學童 (2001)

37. 「學得生動 教得輕鬆」光碟 ─ 如何幫助有讀寫困難的學童 (2001)

38. 《幼稚園兼收弱能兒童計劃指引》(2001)

39. 「融合教育之自閉症篇」光碟 (2001)

40. 「融合教育之聽覺受損篇」光碟 (2001)

41. 「學童聲線護理」光碟 (2002)

42. 潛能未展的資優 ─ 家長篇 (2002)

In document Understanding and Help Students with Special Educational Needs A Guide to Teaching (Page 63-98)

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