Educators have increasingly implemented remedial education in elementary and secondary schools throughout Taiwan as a systemic approach toward closing achievement gaps. However, students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and those in remote areas have shown little improvement in academic achievement. This issue raises the question of how educators are providing needed learning support to disadvantaged students in school and classroom settings. Thus, this study applies grounded theory to investigate teachers’ reactions to the remedial education policy in Taiwan, to have a reflective assessment on the policy, and to provide suggestions for policy implementation. The findings suggest that teachers’ responses to this government-imposed, centralized approach—classified as “cosmetic compliance,” “professional commitment,” and “try-out participation”—vary widely based on whether their ideological underpinnings are consistent with the government’s policy intent to close achievement gaps, and on whether they are equipped with professional knowledge and practical strategies to support the effective implementation of remedial education. Based on the findings, this study develops an interactive systemic model for more effectively implementing the remedial education policy, which illustrates a conceptualization that educational practitioners can hold professional autonomy while improving teaching and learning for low-achieving students.
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