An assessment of management practices in inclusive classrooms: a study of selected primary schools in Kazungula and Livingstone districts of southern province in Zambia.

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Mwendalubi, Dubeka Moono
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The University of Zambia
The purpose of the study was to assess the management of inclusive classroom practices in selected schools of Kazungula and Livingstone districts of Southern Province in Zambia. The objectives of the study were: to assess facilitators in the management of inclusive classroom practices; to establish management practices employed by facilitators in inclusive classrooms; and barriers to effective management of inclusive classroom practices. The target population was District Education Standard Officers, Special Education Standard Officers, members of Staff from Community Based Rehabilitation, members of the multi-disciplinary team, head teachers, class teachers and parents of learners with learning barriers in the study districts. A case study research design supported by qualitative data collection techniques was used in the study. The sample comprised of 18 participants, consisting of: two District Standard Education Officers, two Education Standard Officers-Special Education, two members of staff from Community Based Rehabilitation Project, two head teachers, two members of the multidisciplinary team, two parents of learners with disabilities and six inclusive classroom teachers. Purposive sampling procedure was used to select all the participants. Thematic analysis was used to analyze data which involved organizing data through use of open, axial and selective coding of the data before presenting the emerging themes. Primary data was collected through focus group discussions and interview guides as well as observation checklist. Secondary data was collected through use of documentary analysis. The findings revealed that teachers in inclusive classes were using variety of management strategies to manage learners. These ranged from use of multi-tasking, preparatory approaches to meet the demands of learners, use of attention drawing to tolerance and patience building approaches. The study further revealed that involvement of parents, teachers, multi-disciplinary teams, administrators, community and regular monitoring and supervision by Ministry of General Education officials, and availability of basic inclusive materials through the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) project, contributed significantly to effective management of learners and practice in inclusive classes. The study equally revealed that there were barriers to effective management of inclusive classroom practices which needed to be addressed such as over-enrolment, unfriendly curriculum, the rigid learning environment, inadequate financial resources, limited human capital, and attitudinal barriers beside social factors like poverty, high divorce rates and chronic illness which negatively affected the management of inclusive practices in the study v schools. The study recommended the strengthening of pre- and in-service training of teachers with particular attention to teachers acquiring sufficient knowledge and skills in inclusive classroom management practices. In addition, inclusive classes should be made much smaller to allow teachers to effectively apply a wide range of management approaches in handling learners in inclusive class settings. More finances with the support of the government, cooperating partners and local communities should be secured to improve the learning environment in order to ease the current management stress surrounding inclusive practices in schools. Key words: Inclusion, Classroom practices, Classroom Management, Teachers, Learning, Barriers and Factors.
Inclusion-- Classroom practices , Classroom Management , Teachers-- Learning-- Barriers and Factors.