Teachers' views on inclusive practices : a case study of basic schools in Kasama district, Zambia

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Mandyata, Joseph Mwape
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the views of teachers on inclusive practices in basic schools in Kasama District, Zambia. In the present study, inclusive practices referred to an arrangement in which pupils with disabilities learn together with other pupils in ordinary schools. Studies undertaken in other countries such as Australia, Israel and the united States of America have shown that the arrangement had been problematic in that many disabled pupils struggle to learn in ordinary schools. This could have been due to a gap between teachers' opinions in ordinary schools and the way inclusion was practiced. A gap theory used in the study suggested that teachers were more likely to use effective teaching behaviour in inclusive schools when inclusion was perceived positively (Stanovich and Jordan, 1998). The study therefore, was carried out to investigate the nature of teachers' views on inclusive practices in basic schools in the district. 124 respondents participated in the study. Respondents consisted of ordinary teachers (N=60), special education teachers (N=32), head-teachers (N=09), deputy head-teachers (N=09) and senior teachers (N-14) from basic schools in the district. Questionnaires and interviews were used to obtain information from respondents. Frequencies, percentages and chi-square test were used to analysis the quantitative data obtained. Responses from interviews were coded and grouped to establish the emerging themes in the study. The study found that teachers were not in favour of including pupils with disabilities in ordinary schools, type of training was not a potent factor in teachers' acceptance of pupils with disabilities in ordinary schools, location of a school, length of service of a teacher, educational resources and information on inclusive practices were significant in teachers' acceptance of pupils with disabilities, and teachers preferred pupils with learning difficulties, physical impairments and partially sighted for inclusion in ordinary schools. The study recommended that: • pre- service and in- service teachers should be provided with relevant skills and knowledge on inclusive practices in schools through short and long training programmes. • teachers, head-teachers, deputy head-teachers and senior teachers should be sensitized so that their levels of awareness on inclusive practices, is increased. • existing facilities and distribution of resources should be strengthened to enable inclusive practices to be run smoothly. • Ministry of Education, parents, local communities, line ministries and nongovernmental organizations should work together in ensuring the success to inclusive practices in schools.
Teachers of handcapped children -- Kasama , Teachers -- attitudes -- Kasama