Teachers’ Knowledge and Attitude towards Inclusive Education: Basis for an Enhanced Professional Development Program

Richel Constantinopla Dapudong

Abstract


The success of inclusion or organised placement of children with disabilities in mainstream classrooms largely depends on teachers’ attitudes towards students with special educational needs (SEN) and their knowledge on how to properly educate them. In quite a number of studies, the attitude of teachers towards educating students with SEN has been put forward as a decisive factor in making schools more inclusive. If mainstream teachers do not accept the education of these students as an integral part of their job, they will try to ensure that someone else (often the special educational needs teacher) takes responsibility for these students and will organise covert segregation in the school (e.g. the special class). This study uses descriptive survey method to investigate international school teachers’ knowledge and attitude towards inclusive education of SEN students in the Eastern Seaboard region of Thailand in the school year 2013-2014. Fifty-two male and female general education and special educational needs teachers who work full time in four international schools in the region completed the Modified Opinions Relative to the Integration of Children with Disabilities (MORID) survey. The respondents had moderate knowledge on inclusive education and revealed neutral attitude towards inclusion. There is a need for schools to provide more special educational needs training, sufficient learning support providers and educational resources as well as in-depth specialisation courses that provide specialised practices for implementing the SEN strategies in their classrooms as well as offering teaching strategies on how to bridge theory and practice. Learning Support Programmes and the actual delivery of these programmes should be developed in terms of individual education plan (IEP) provision, curriculum modifications and classroom adaptations that are appropriate for students with special educational needs.

 

Keywords: knowledge, attitudes, inclusive education, inclusion, special educational needs students

 

 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v4i4.6116

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