An investigation into teachers' attitude towards inclusive education in basic schools:A case of Kabwe District

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Cheelo, Charles Mwiinga
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The purpose of this study was to investigate basic school teachers' attitudes towards the general concept of Inclusive Education in Zambia, to establish the existing collaboration between mainstream classroom and special education teachers in regular basic schools, identify the factors that influenced the implementation of the inclusive practices in the school system and to uncover the differences in attitudes that existed among various subgroups. The study was a descriptive survey design. Both qualitative and quantitative research paradigms were used to gather information from general and special education teachers. The sample consisted of 105 teachers at seven purposively selected regular basic schools practising inclusion in Kabwe district.The analysis had review that, in general, teachers had positive attitudes towards inclusive education. They agreed that it enhanced social interaction. Thus, it minimised negative attitudes towards pupils' with special educational needs. Teachers who had experienced inclusive programmes and therefore, had continuous active experience of inclusion had possessed more positive attitudes towards inclusive education. The findings also showed that collaboration between the mainstream and special education teachers was important and that there should be a clear guideline on the implementation of Inclusive Education. The results of the study found that teachers' attitudes appeared to be strongly influenced by various factors such as the nature and severity of the disabling conditions. The study recommended that: 1. The Ministry of Education should move their thinking about professional development away from low (INSET) level technical responses towards longerterm effective practitioner training. 2. The idea of having simply more people or more inclusive basic schools or materials were not enough; rather, the Ministry of Education should monitor how the resources were being utilised. This issue should be addressed in the school level within a whole-school policy and at the district, provincial and national educational levels through a reorganisation of the management and support services. 3. Regular school-based and district-based INSETS should be conducted regarding pupils with special needs. 4. The Ministry of Education should ensure continuous provision of adequate resources to inclusive classes if the policy of inclusion is to achieve its intended goals. 5. The Ministry of Education should ensure the involvement of Educational Psychologists in inclusive education would give new directions and theory andpractice.
Inclusive Education , Basic Schools