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Friday, 29 March 2013 17:52

The Perception Of Education Stakeholders About Inclusion Affects Inclusion Of Special Students In Regular Classrooms Featured

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The Perception Of Education Stakeholders About Inclusion Affects Inclusion Of Special Students In Regular Classrooms


Introduction

I choose to examine how perception stakeholders have about inclusion affects inclusion of special students in regular students as inclusion is a concern in many countries including United States. Though countries have passed legislations to encourage inclusion of disabled children in the general classroom, disabled students are not fully included in regular classes.  The inclusion of students with disabilities in the general classroom has been affected by various factors like teachers, principals, parents and students attitudes about inclusion.  The factors have derailed the inclusion of students in various schools as stakeholders do not work together to include disabled students. Inclusion of disabled students is a collective process, and stakeholders should work jointly to create an inclusive environment.  I think examining the topic will help develop solutions that can be used to solve the problem and include special students (Creswell, 2003).


 Hyohothesis: The perception of education stakeholders about inclusion affects inclusion of special students in regular classrooms?

 The hypothesis will show that the perception of stakeholders regarding inclusion impacts the inclusion of special students in general education in different ways. The stakeholders include teachers, students and leaders.  The studies reviewed have shown that stakeholders in education affect inclusion of students negatively if they have a bad perception about the inclusion of disabled students.    Lack of commitment and strong leadership among leaders affects the inclusion of disabled students as leaders do not change policies, procedures and philosophies. Also, special and general education teachers are unable to work together as they do not have skills and experience.


General educators are unable to deliver instructions to special students because they do not have the experience, skills and knowledge to deal with the students. Students hinder inclusion in general education classes if teachers do not provide instructions well and modify them to suit their needs. Parents do not support the inclusion process when their children are being included. Parents consider various things when selecting schools for their children. They look at the capability of the institutions to satisfy the requirements of their children, communication among other things. Thus, teachers and leaders influence inclusion of students by influencing parents decisions (Creswell, 2003).


 The participants will be teachers, students and school leaders from different schools in the country. A total of 175 participants will be used. The participants will consist of special educators, general educators, principals and students.  A total of 50 special educators and 50 general educators will be used. Also, 25 principals and 50 students will be used to examine the topic. The participants will be selected random selection method. Participants will be selected from the schools randomly. The teachers will be selected according to experience. Special educators and general educators should have more than1 year experience in teaching students in a regular classroom.  The students will be from 5th, 6th and 8th grade. The principals should have managed the school for the last 3 years.  Data will be collected using interviews.  Face to face interviews will be used to gather data. The interview questions will be based on the topic being examined and literature review.   Interviews will give the participants an opportunity to reflect on their experiences. 


The internal and external variables will be controlled to ensure the results are valid and reliable. The internal variables are perception of teachers, students and principals (independent) and the integration of special students in general classroom (dependent). The external variables that might affect the study are the participant’s mortality, reliability and accuracy of research tools. The internal variables will be controlled through randomization. In this case, all the participants are supposed to be selected.  The external variables will be recorded and included in research findings to enable the reader to make their own conclusions.  Using random method to select the participants will improve the internal and external validity of the study as the results will be generalized to the population being studied. This will ensure the internal and external factors do not affect the internal and external validity of the study. The research will take 6 months. This will give the investigator time to gather data, analyze it and make conclusions (Creswell, 2003).


 Literature review

 The articles reviewed had a common theme. The articles examined inclusion of students in general education classroom and factors that affected inclusion (Festus, 2011). The articles specifically focused on how the attitude and beliefs of the stakeholders about inclusion impacts inclusion of disabled students in general education classes. Examples of the stakeholders that were identified are special educators, general educators, students, principals, parents and government. The attitude of the stakeholders affected the development of an inclusive environment. This is because they did not work together to provide instructions to special students (June &Kathryn, 2007). The general educators found it hard to provide instructors to students because of their perception about disability and inclusion. Also, special educators provided instructions to special students as they had skills and knowledge. They understood the students better than general educators.  Some of the principals and parents did not support inclusion of students in general classes as they thought it was not beneficial to students.


A wide range of journals were used in the study   and had different information.  The journals that had the most useful information are Research andPractice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, Academic journals, Teacher Education Quarterly, Journal of the International Association of Special Education and Education & Treatment of Children.  Additionally, some of the researchers did a considerable world in the inclusion of special students in general education classes. Examples are Sarah (2009), Erica and Alvarez (2011) and Christine (2006).  The researchers examined how the perception of different stakeholders influenced inclusion of students in the regular classroom well.  They conducted studies in different countries on the subject and provided useful information. The findings are important for policy makers, educators, students, government and parents. The information can help stakeholders work together to create an appropriate environment for inclusion of special students (Elzein, 2009).


 Research steps

 The following steps will be followed when carrying out the study. The first step is the identification of the participants. The participants will be selected using random method as stated above (Creswell, 2003). The second step is asking for permission from the institutional review board to carry out the research and educating the participants.  The participants will be educated on the benefits of the study and also limitation. Educating the participants will give them a chance to decide for themselves before they participate in the research. The third step is data collection.  The participants will be interviewed to collect data.  The fourth step is analyzing the data.  Data collected will be analyzed using statistical methods. The data will be coded before being analyzed. Using a statistical method will make it easy for the researcher to show the relationship between the independent and dependent variable. Lastly, the researcher will make a conclusion after interpreting the data (Creswell, 2003).


 Findings

            The researchers examined how the beliefs of different stakeholders like teachers, students, leaders, schools, government and parents concerning inclusion affected inclusion of students.  I learned various things about my proposed topic from the research findings. First, I learned that all stakeholders are important in inclusion of disabled students in general education (Festus, Mateba, Kagendo &et al, 2012). The stakeholders should stop blaming one another and instead work together I order to include students in the general education classes. Second, I learned that the attitude the stakeholders have towards inclusion can be changed to create an inclusive environment.


Providing training to teachers and parents can improve their perception about inclusion and facilitate inclusion of special learners (Christine, 2006).  Also, changing the education training for teachers can improve inclusion of students as teachers have appropriate skills.  The findings from the studies are useful as they can help develop strategies to include special students. The researchers have identified a wide range of solutions to the problem. First, getting support from principals can help in creating an inclusive environment. Principals should give inclusion of special students priority so as to meet their needs.


Second, providing training to teachers on inclusion and changing the teachers training programs can help in inclusion of students. Third, making modification and accommodation in instructions, teaching methods and assessment helps in inclusion of students (Erica&Alvarez, 2011).  Fourth, encouraging collaboration between teachers, parents, students, school, and government helps solve the issue.  Finally, encouraging collaboration between special and general education teachers is important in including special students in general classrooms. The information that surprised me is how the stakeholders have affected inclusion through their beliefs and attitudes.  There was no sufficient information on the inclusion debate and perception and attitudes of the stakeholders and their effect on inclusion (Causton-Theoharis & Theoharis, 2008).


 Conclusion

 I faced various challenges when reviewing the literature and preparing the study. The inclusion of special students in general education class room is a broad matter, and there are many topics that are linked with the inclusion of students. The attitude of stakeholders about inclusion and benefits of inclusion. Other topics are debate on inclusion of students and strategies that can help in inclusion of students. Getting articles on stakeholder’s perception and attitude and their effect on the student’s performance was not easy. This is because researchers have examined every stakeholder differently. It is hard to get a study that addresses a number of stakeholders. Also, there are no many articles on perception and attitudes of students. 


Reviewing the literature and completing the study was time consuming as I had to search for articles from different databases to be able to complete the study. Also, I had to read a wide range of articles to find those which were suitable for my study. If I were to do this project again, I would narrow my topic so as to make the research process easy. I would focus on a single stakeholder instead of multiple to be able to get information. In addition, I would prepare phrases that I can use to search for articles from the database.


 Reference

Causton-Theoharis, J., & Theoharis, G. (2008). Creating inclusive schools for all students. School Administrator, 65(8), 24-25.

Christine, S.L. (2006). Principals' Perspectives on Inclusive Elementary Schools. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p70-82

Creswell, J.W.(2003). Research Design. Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Approaches. SAGE

Elzein, H.L. (2009). Attitudes towards inclusion of  children with  special needs in regular education. A case study from parents perspectives. Academic journals

Erica, M., Alvarez, M.P. (2011). Less Afraid to Have Them in My Classroom Understanding Pre-Service General Educators' Perceptions about Inclusion. Teacher Education Quarterly, Vol. 38 Issue 4, p135-155

Festus, O., Mateba, H., Kagendo, M., &et al. (2012). Making Inclusion Work in General Education Classrooms. Education & Treatment of Children ,Vol. 35 Issue 3, p477-490

Festus, O.E. (2011). Maximizing Access, Equity, and Inclusion in General and Special Education. Journal of the International Association of Special Education, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p10-16,

June, D.E., &Kathryn, P. (2007). Inclusive Education. What Makes It a Good Education for Students With Moderate to Severe Disabilities. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p16-30

John,O.,&Stephen,H. (2008).Perceptions of students with mild disabilities to the academic and social support mechanisms used in regular classrooms. International Journal of Disability, Development & Education, Vol. 55 Issue 3, p227-237

Greg, C., &Sarah, J. (2009). Beginning Teachers' Views of Their Collaborative Roles. Preventing School Failure, v53 n4 p235-244

Meng, D. (2008). The attitudes of primary school teachers toward inclusive education in rural and urban China. Frontiers of Education in China,Vol. 3 Issue 4, p473-492,


 

Last modified on Friday, 29 March 2013 18:03
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