Basic school teachers' attitudes towards inclusive education in Ghana
ABSTRACT Attitudes towards Inclusive Education are extremely complex and vary from one teacher to another. This is because traditionally, children with Special Education Needs (SEN) have been segregated into separate learning environments. This practice is now being questioned by teachers who believe it is an infringement of the rights of children with SEN. The proponents of Inclusive Education (IE) are of the opinion that including students with disabilities into mainstream classrooms would maximise their learning experiences. The present study examined the attitudes of basic school teachers in mainstream classrooms towards Inclusive Education in Ghana. It also assessed the best learning environment for children with different levels of disabilities. In all, 400 mainstream classroom teachers in urban, peri-urban and rural areas were sampled. The instrument titled Moberg Scale (Moberg & Hannu, 2003) was used to collect data for this study. The results of the study showed that teachers generally have little experiences and knowledge of SEN. The study further revealed that teachers largely do not support Inclusive Education. It was also discovered from the study that teacher background variables such as age, gender, teaching experience, location of school, level of school, and teacher qualification influence teachers’ attitudes towards IE. The type and severity of disability affected the preferred educational environment teachers recommended for children with SEN. Generally, pupils with severe disabilities were thought to be best educated in segregated schools whereas their counterparts with moderate disabilities were recommended to receive education in mainstream classrooms. However, teachers were ready to receive children with severe specific learning difficulties (in writing, spelling, mathematics, reading etc) in mainstream classrooms. ...
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