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Inclusive Education

In: Social Issues

Submitted By kiralkar
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Proposal to Conduct Research on

Factors influencing Primary School Teachers’ Attitudes toward Inclusive Education in the Cayo District.

Student

Karen Cruz

University of Belize

Submitted to: Dr. Somanadevi Thiagarajan

Lecturer, Research Methods

University of Belize

July 23rd 2014

Contents
1.Introduction 3
2.Statement of the problem &sub-problems ………………………………………………………………………………………….5
3. Hypothesis and Questions Hypothesis and /or Questions……………………………………………………………………7
4 Delimitations………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..8
5 Definition of terms……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….8
6. Importance of the study…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….11
7. Literature Review .................................................................................................................................12
8. Methodology 16
9. Timeframe 18
10. Bibliography 19

Introduction

For many teachers, students entering general education classrooms are just more difficult to deal with due to the many complex issues that they bring from different aspects of their lives. Teaching children who come to school hungry, stressed out, angry and sleepy interferes with the transfer of learning, even more, if the issues are compounded by other challenges such as language, speech, brain and other disorders. Today’s classrooms are more diverse as education is more inclusive (Mckay, 2012, p.1). The term “inclusion” have recently emerged to address the changing philosophy and school practices in order to better meet the needs of students with disabilities (Deng, 2008).

“The exclusion of children and adolescents from the education system is a complex issue that has been widely researched and analyzed in recent decades”(Vaillant,2011).The conception of No Child Left Behind 2007 was newly introduced to Belize’s educational setting, so the concept of inclusive education is an almost new phenomenon. The new movement toward No Child Left Behind 2007 and inclusive education has led general education schools and teachers to prepare for students with disabilities. This inclusive movement accompanied by Belize’s Education Rules (2000) to protect individuals with disabilities, however, has been faced with various challenges in Belize’s education system. It is mandated now that children with disabilities become more involved with the general education curriculum as a result the roles of the general education teacher became significantly important.

Attitudes about inclusion are extremely complex and vary from teacher to teacher and school to school (Fakolade & Tella, 2009). Although the movement towards “inclusive education” was viewed as a part of human rights agenda, many general education teachers continued to have reservations about supporting the widespread placement of individuals, with disabilities in general education schools. Fakolade and Tella(2009) explained that the debate on supporting or criticizing inclusive education revealed that inclusive education is viewed as the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving equal educational opportunities and on the other hand, inclusive schools will not adequately meet the needs of the disabled and those children with disabilities will receive more attention and therapy in segregated schools rather than in inclusive schools(p.60).

These challenges continue to affect the attitudes that general educators have toward inclusive education. Teachers feel inadequate, unprepared and fearful to work with learners with disabilities in the regular classroom and display frustration, anger, and negative attitudes towards inclusive education because of the lack knowledge, training and resources. It should be noted that special education and inclusion are in dire need of and demand for special equipment, adequate and specially trained teachers, incentives for available specially trained teachers, and proper administration and supervision (Fakolade & Tella, 2009). In the intentions of providing a quality education, the need for good quality teachers must be considered. As the problems of educational access, that is, “inclusion” are solved, attention must also be concentrated on improving the quality of the teaching profession (Vaillant, 2011).

The teacher is a vital partner in the development and success of inclusive education. The attitudes of the general educators and the quality of instruction they offer to students with or without disabilities contributes to the success of inclusion. Because teacher’s attitudes may influence the quality of instruction students receive, it is important to know the factors influencing these attitudes. This study seeks to identify the factors that affect the attitudes of Cayo District Primary School teachers’ toward inclusive education.

Statement of the problem& sub-problems

Problem Statement

Inclusive education has become one of the greatest challenges in our school systems today. Children with learning disabilities are being included in the regular classroom setting to get a fair chance of the education system. The organization NARCIE (National Resource Center for Inclusive Education), which was established in 2007, collaborates with other organizations to ensure that all children are included in the education system through inclusive education and controls the risk of children being excluded from the classrooms. In Belize we are faced with struggles dealing with intellectual disabilities just as other parts of the world. Some of these disabilities included, visual and hearing impairment, speech disorder, cognitive, physical and social development

Sub-problems

• Children with disabilities were seen as incapable of learning and as a result were stereotyped by society. Inclusive Education ensures that all children is to be included in the classrooms and are given that right to learn in a regular classroom setting. The Ministry of Education, who works along with NARCIE, has participated in the Meso-American Project for Inclusion (2002) works in ensuring a better appreciation for the rights of all students and growing sensitivity of general public, especially parents and teachers.

• Some teachers have a negative mentality towards inclusion and see it as a burden for them. With our growing progress in inclusive education in our schools, there has been a complex challenge that teachers have been experiencing with these inclusion.

• The majority of the students in a classroom are children without disabilities which makes children with special needs as a minority

• The Ministry of education has also lacked in providing special skills and training for teachers to deal with children with learning needs as well as providing a resourceful classroom to help them with the teaching of their students.

The growing need for teacher specialized training in special education is of great importance as well as better classroom resources. This will make the classroom environment more acceptable for teachers to teach. Most teachers are frustrated with the lack of materials to help with inclusion in the classroom. Due to these factors, it has influenced teacher’s attitudes towards inclusive education.

Research Questions and Hypotheses

The following research questions and hypotheses guide the study.

1. Do teachers hold a positive or negative attitude towards inclusion?

Hypotheses

i) The majority of teachers will hold a negative attitude towards inclusion in the classroom.

2. Do the gender, cultural background, and educational qualification affects teacher’s attitudes?

Hypotheses

i) Based on the gender, there are no differences in the attitudes towards inclusive education among Cayo District primary school teachers.

ii) Based on the cultural background, there are no differences in the attitudes among Cayo District primary school teachers.

iii) Based the educational qualifications, there are no differences in the attitudes among Cayo District primary school teachers.

3. Are general education teachers, teaching in schools with inclusive education, equipped with the proper training for students with special needs?

Hypothesis

i) General education teachers are teaching students with special needs without the proper training.

Delimitations

Since the study will be done in Cayo District, it will not include primary school teachers from the entire country. The study is limited to only teachers from the Cayo District hence a generalization cannot be made about the attitudes of teachers from the other districts toward inclusive education and what factors affect these attitudes.

Also we chose the five main denominations which are the Catholic, Government, Seventh Day Adventist, Methodist and Other from several other managements because they constituted 91.3% of the total schools in the Cayo District.

This study will be not be conducted at the end of the school year because teachers may get frustrated and this will affect the data collected. Hence it will be done at the beginning to get better participation and feedback.

Definitions of terms

Attitude- “A psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree if favor or disfavor” (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993, p. 1). Further analysis of this conception requires a definition of “psychological tendency” which is referred to as “a state that is internal to the person… a type of bias that predisposes the individual toward evaluative responses that are positive or negative (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993, p. 1- 2).

Belizean Education- Is rooted in a colonial history. In Belize children begin their education at pre-school or kindergarten then move on to primary or elementary school later secondary school then junior- high and later to university.

Denominational Schools - Are managed by different religious denominations without the influence of the government; however the Government of Belize provides financial assistance.

Disabilities- For the purpose of this specific study, the term disability is defined as stated in the IDEA Act of 1992. “The only way students with special needs can receive individual instructional activities and related services is by meeting the eligibility criteria for one of the disabilities categories listed under IDEA”. “ These categories include visual impairment, hearing impairment, deafness and blindness, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, mental retardation, specific learning disabilities, serious emotional disabilities or language impairment, multiple disabilities, traumatic brain injury and autism” .

Inclusion - The controversial practice, sometimes called “full inclusion,” of educating children with disabilities alongside their non-disable peers, often in a general classroom in their neighborhood school. The Individual with Disabilities Education Act requires that disable children be educated in the “Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)” possible (Education Week, 2004).

General Education - A set of educational experiences that a child would receive in a school or school district were that child enters at the kindergarten or the first grade level (Infant 1), and proceed through school without being labeled „handicapped‟ or in need of special services (Lilly, 1988).

Government-aided school - A school in receipt of a granting-aid from the Government in accordance with the provisions of Belize‟s Education Act (Belize Education Rules, 2000).

Government Schools in Belize - Schools maintained wholly from the General Revenue (Belize Education Rules, 2000).

Primary school - A school recognized by the Ministry of Education as providing instruction and training suited to the ages, abilities and aptitudes of children between the ages of five years and fourteen years (Belize Education Rules, 2000).

Private Schools - Schools that are neither a government school nor a government-aided school (Belize Education Rules, 2000).

Special Education - “Special Education is, specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducive in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings and instruction in physical education” (IDEA, 1997, p. 12).

School - “An institution that provides preschool, primary or secondary education; an “institution” refers to educational institutions providing some form of schooling” (Belize Education Rules, 2000).

Teacher - Means “a person appointed by the manger or managing authority of a school for the purpose of instructing students” (Belize Education Rules, 2000).

Importance of the study

The main purpose of this research is to identify the factors that are affecting primary school teachers in inclusive classroom in the Cayo district. The research must always be high quality in order to produce knowledge that is applicable outside of the research setting with implications that go beyond the group that has participated in the research. The study will provide data on inclusive education towards teachers’ attitudes in the classroom in Cayo District, which indicate some factors that may or can affect the attitudes of primary school teachers toward inclusive education. This will establish the importance of inclusive education training and support which will promote the importance of teachers and educators. However, all avenues of education are not being fully explored; therefore, a study on inclusive education and teachers’ attitudes will contribute positively to Belize’s educational system and more specifically inclusive education. This study provides adequate help in rectifying some of the issues that parents of children with disabilities encounter upon attempting to enrol their children in regular schools.
Furthermore, a good research produces results are examinable by peers, methodologies that can be replicated, and knowledge that can be applied to real-world situations. We work as a team to enhance our knowledge of how to best address inclusive education in the classroom.

Literature Review

Inclusive education is a continuous challenge as various factors affect to what extent teachers are willing to educate children with disabilities in general classroom settings. The purpose of the study is to examine the factors influencing the attitudes of Cayo Primary School teachers towards inclusive education. Through an examination of related literature the research provides an in depth examination of several areas. The literature analysis includes a conceptual framework relating to the attitudes, attitude formation components of Primary School teachers towards inclusive education. The effects of inclusion on educators and related inclusion literature in various studies carried in placed like China, Nigeria, Finland Turkey and Latin America are discussed throughout.

Research findings conducted by Fokolade,Adenaji and Meng concluded that Primary School teachers have negative and positive attitudes towards inclusive education .Fakolade and Adeniji(2009) revealed that Nigerian female teachers have more positive attitude towards the inclusion of students with special needs than their male counterparts and professional qualified teachers tend to have a more favourable attitude toward the inclusion of special need students than non-professional qualified teachers. Meng(2008) noted that Chinese urban teachers were more negative towards inclusion than rural ones.

Classroom teachers feel inadequate when children with special needs are included in a regular classroom because of the lack of knowledge, lack of special education training. Teachers are expected to integrate many programmes into the lives of the children in order to accommodate the special needs children in general classroom settings because teaching requirements are beyond traditional classroom classrooms (Fakolade &Adeniji,2009). This is the reason why teachers would not be willing to implement inclusive education in their classrooms. Factors influencing teaching choice are made even more complex because there is a lack of respect for the profession which in turn leads to teacher’s attrition in special and inclusive education (Feng, 2010, p.22).

An analysis of the effects of in-service teacher training on Turkish preschool teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion was investigated. Teachers indicated that their attitudes to inclusion reflected a lack of confidence and that education should focus on inclusion during the early childhood years (Secer, 2010). Turkish teachers’ prejudices about inclusive education may be cited among the reasons for the ineffectiveness of the education. This includes a lack of practise in inclusive classes, not all teachers receiving INSET courses provided by the Ministry of National Education and the short duration of these courses.

Although the type and degree of need, and the adaptive behaviour of the child who needs special education are very important, the most appropriate period for children with SEN to be taken into an inclusive programme is the preschool years. In a research the effects of self-monitoring package on homework completion and accuracy of students with disabilities in an inclusive general education classroom was studied. Students are given daily homework throughout a baseline and during the intervention the participant is being monitored at home and at school using the computer to do homework; the teacher monitor the students daily conference to see if the student rather spend most of his/her time on the computer than to just do homework without a computer (Falkenberg &Barbetta, 2013). After the observation was over the teacher took one student from the group and he noticed that the performance was improved that; that person can do her work without using a computer.

Teachers support the notion of educating students with disabilities in special schools or classes in comparison to the arrangement of general classrooms (Meng, 2008). If an education system is driven to an inclusive education system, teachers and administrators need to work together because inclusive education will bring challenges. A research on the current challenges facing inclusive education in Latina America and some possible solution to the problem was done. According to Vaillant (2011), teachers play an important role in providing education that is inclusive for all. It was studied in Latin America that inclusive education does not respond to the needs of students.

Both the inclusion of students in the classroom and exclusion from the classroom were investigated and analyzed by researchers over the past years. However, the main focus was on the teachers and their performance in the classroom to prove success in learning with inclusive classrooms. According to Terigi,Perazza and Vaillant (2009) recent studies in Latin America focus on issues of inequality and education in light of the processes of social and economic transformation and their effects on vulnerable groups of children and young people who are, for various reasons, less likely to remain in the system and complete their basic education .

It was suggested that teachers play a big role in the students’ performance in the classroom and with more incentives and reward systems for them, and then they will be more motivated to take up the challenge of an inclusive classroom (Takala, 2007). Research in special schools in Helsinki, Finland indicated that learning support for classroom teachers as well as classroom assistants is becoming an important factor in inclusive classrooms. Marjatta, who is the author of the article and the professor in special education at the University of Helsinki, did her research within fourteen classroom assistants who work with inclusive and mainstream classrooms. The results gathered by the research were that the tasks of the classroom assistants in these classrooms varied depending on the age group of the students. It was noted that classroom assistants who worked in inclusive classrooms needed more support than the ones who assisted in a mainstream classroom.
Elementary teachers, both general education and special education, and their building administrators were studied to determine their perceptions toward inclusive education in a school system which had been implementing inclusion for 2 years. Recent efforts at reform in education have engendered considerable debate about the primacy of place in the education of students with disabilities (Deno, 1970; Dorn, Fuchs, & Fuchs, 1996; Dunn, 1968; Kauffman & Smucker, 1995; Keefe & Davis, 1998; Will, 1986). As inclusion requires the collaboration between general and special education, researchers must analyze the phenomenon of classroom teachers' and building administrators' perceptions about including students with disabilities in general education settings.

According to Pinar and Sucuoglu and Bülbin(2013) if interaction, cooperative and social skills are implemented in an inclusive classroom this will increase and reduce student’s behaviour. The teacher however, states that these skills are something that should have been thought at home because they don’t have sufficient time to teach this at school. Moreover, with these skills students will be able to be friendlier and more open in the classroom.

Early identification of children who need special education is crucial. The earlier a child's needs are identified, the earlier the child can be accommodated in an educational programme that meets those needs. Starting education in early childhood, an important stage in life, will serve as a foundation for subsequent stages of education. Lastly, In order for inclusion to be successful, teachers need to develop positive attitudes towards inclusion.

Methodology

Participants

The target accessible population for the study was general education primary school teachers from the Cayo District. Of the total number of registered primary school teachers in Cayo District, 242 are males and 580 are females. The teachers also vary according to demographical variables such as age, place of birth and ethnicity. The population of teachers in Cayo District also differs according to the level of experience of contact, grade level taught, teaching experience and educational qualifications.

Sample Size

In order to generate sampling population, the researcher selected five of the major primary schools in the Cayo District to participate in the study. These are Government managed-G, Roman Catholic-RC, Seventh Day Adventist-SDA, Mennonite- M and Other –O. From the five schools, 100 participants will be selected with each group having 20 participants in a proportionate ratio of 2:1 of women to men in each group.

Data Collection

For each of the five participating schools an appropriate number of surveys were issued to the participants of the schools. The surveys were placed in sealed envelopes. Each participant also received a consent form attached to their survey informing them about the study. The researcher issued the survey during assigned meeting pre-arranged with each principal. Participants are give one week to complete the survey and once completed, these will be collected and placed in responsive envelopes.

Description of Instrument

The quantitative instrument used in this study is a modified version of The Principals and Inclusion Survey(PIS) originally developed by Cindy Praisner(2000). It was later modified by Ramirez (2006) in her study entitled “Elementary Principals Attitude towards the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in the General Education Setting”. The latest modification of this instrument was by McKay (2012) to make it more suitable both for the Belizean context and the purpose of the study. For the purpose of this study, the instrument design was changed; some questions were reworded, added or removed.

Data Analysis

Descriptive statistics were used to address the research questions and three null hypotheses for the study. The data collected will be analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).

Timeframe

Submission of Research Proposal July 2014

Ethical approval August 2014

Piloting of the study instrument September 2014

Surveying October 2014 –November 2014

Data analysis December- January 2014

Write up of report February- April 2014

Bibliography/References

Belize Education Rules 2000. Retrieved July, 1, 2014 from http://www.moe.gov.bz/ .
Daane, C. J., Beirne-Smith, M., & Latham, D. (2000). ADMINISTRATORS' AND TEACHERS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS OF INCLUSION IN THE ELEMENTARY GRADES. Education, 121(2), 331.
Deng, M. (2008). The attitudes of primary school teachers toward inclusive education in rural and urban China. Frontiers Of Education In China, 3(4), 473-492. doi:10.1007/s11516- 008-0031-5
Dorn, S., Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. S. (1996). A historical perspective on special education reform. Theory Into Practice. 35(1), 13-19.
Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes: Forth Worth, TX: Harcourt, Vrace, Jovanovich.
Education Week 2004. Retrieved July 1, 2014 from http://www.eduweek.org/ew/issues/no-child- left-behind
Fakolade, O., Samuel O. A., & Tella, A. (2009). Attitude of teachers towards the inclusion of special needs children in general education classroom: the case of teachers in some selected schools in Nigeria. International Electronic Journal Of Elementary Education, 1(3), 155-169.
Feng, Y. (2012). Teacher career motivation and professional development in special and inclusive education: perspectives from Chinese teachers. International Journal Of Inclusive Education, 16(4), 331-351. doi:10.1080/13603116.2010.489123
Hastings R. P., & Oakford, S. (2003). Student teachers attitudes towards the inclusion of children with special needs. Educational Psychology , 23(1), 87-94.

IDEA (1992). Individual with Disabilities Education Act. Washington: DC.
IDEA (2004). Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Washington: DC.
Kauffman,J.M.& Smucker,K.(1995). The legacies of placement:A brief history of placement options and issues with commentary on their evolution.In J.M.

Keefe, C. H., & Davis, R. (1998Will, M. (1986). Educating children with learning problems: A shared responsibility. Exceptional Children, 52, 411-415.). Inclusion means... NASSP Bulletin 82(594), 54-64.
Mckay, M.(2012). Factors influencing Belize district primary school teachers’ attitudes toward inclusive education.
Pinare, E., & Sucuoglu, B. (2013). The Outcomes of a Social Skills Teaching Program for Inclusive Classroom Teachers. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 13(4), 2247- 2261. doi:10.12738/estp.2013.4.1736
Praisner, C. (2000). Attitudes of elementary school principals toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classes. (Doctoral dissertation, Lehigh University,2000). UMI Proquest Digital Dissertation, DAI-A 6/8/10 p. 2661

Ramirez, R. (2006) Elementary Principals’ Attitudes Toward the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in the General Education Setting, Retrieved July,15,2010 from http://beardocs.baylor.edubitstream/2014/4849/1RoxyRamirez EDD.pd.f

Seçer, Z. (2010). An analysis of the effects of in-service teacher training on Turkish preschool teachers' attitudes towards inclusion. International Journal Of Early Years Education, 18(1), 43-53. doi:10.1080/09669761003693959
Takala, M. (2007). The work of classroom assistants in special and mainstream education in Finland. British Journal Of Special Education, 34(1), 50-57. doi:10.1111/j.1467- 8578.2007.00453.x
Vaillant, D. (2011). Preparing teachers for inclusive education in Latin America. Prospects (00331538), 41(3), 385-398. doi:10.1007/s11125-011-9196-4
Will, M. (1986). Educating children with learning problems: A shared responsibility. Exceptional Children, 52, 411-415.…...

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