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Teacher professional development for disability inclusion in low- and middle-income Asia-Pacific countries: An evidence and gap map
Assessment and Reporting
  • Syeda Kashfee Ahmed, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
  • David Jeffries, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
  • Anannya Chakraborty, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER India)
  • Toby Carslake, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
  • Petra Lietz, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
  • Budiarti Rahayu, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER Indonesia)
  • David Armstrong, RMIT University
  • Amit Kaushik, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER India)
  • Kris Sundarsagar, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER Malaysia)
Publication Date
Developing countries, Inclusive education, Low income, Middle income, Special education, Regular and special education relationship, Intervention, Teacher education, Evidence based practice, Professional development, Disabilities, Primary secondary education, Systematic reviews

The protocol for this evidence and gap map (EGM) has been published online (first published on 09 November 2021) and can be retrieved using the following link:


In the Asia‐Pacific region, around one‐third of the children who are out‐of‐school have a disability and given that teacher readiness and capability are key contributors for inclusive education, it is high time for a mapping of disability inclusive teacher professional development (TPD) interventions in this region. The key objective of this evidence and gap map (EGM) is to locate evidence on interventions for in‐service TPD focussing on education for the inclusion of students with a disability in low‐ and middle‐income countries (LMICs) in the Asia‐Pacific region. A broad range of bibliographic databases and repositories were searched electronically to identify the evidence published between January 2000 and December 2021. Key search platforms included the British Education Index (BEI), Education Research Complete (ERC), Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), SCOPUS, 3ie Development Evidence Portal (Evidence Hub) and the Campbell Collaborations Systematic Reviews and EGMs portal (Better evidence for a better world). In addition, potential program evaluations/impact reports, reviews, case studies, and program descriptions/summaries were sought through ‘snowballing’ based on searching bibliographies and reference lists of papers located during the search process, as well as specific searches of relevant grey literature. To be eligible for inclusion, studies had to contain sufficient details about TPD interventions that support early childhood educators and kindergarten to Year 12 teachers to understand the needs of students with disabilities and aid them to create inclusive mainstream classrooms and/or provide improved support for students with disabilities in special education settings. A total of 820 records were entered into the MS Excel file in which the entire data extraction process was managed. All records were screened against the predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data were extracted independently by two reviewers and any differences were resolved through consultations. All included studies and their characteristics were extracted from the MS Excel file and uploaded to the ACER server in.csv file format. The interactive, online EGM is available here: Fifty studies from 16 countries out of the 41 LMICs in the Asia‐Pacific region were identified, whereby Thailand had the largest number of studies with evidence (7) followed by China, Vietnam, and India (5 each). Two main gaps in research about professional learning were identified. First, only three studies reported interventions aimed at supporting mental health among students with a disability. Second, no studies were found that reported on how teachers could support positive student behaviour. These gaps are important because research has persistently suggested that experiencing disability is an important risk factor for young people developing mental health conditions. This report illustrates the critical value of evaluating and publishing evidence from disability inclusive TPD interventions in LMICs, including any that are ongoing, or are components of highly resource intensive large‐scale education sector programs.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Campbell Systematic Reviews
Citation Information
Syeda Kashfee Ahmed, David Jeffries, Anannya Chakraborty, Toby Carslake, et al.. "Teacher professional development for disability inclusion in low- and middle-income Asia-Pacific countries: An evidence and gap map" (2022)
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