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Know how to teach me: setting up an inclusive classroom

A study on preparing teachers for inclusive education in India
PhD ceremony:Ms M. (Meenakshi) Srivastava
When:January 11, 2016
Supervisor:prof. dr. S.J. Pijl
Co-supervisor:dr. A.A. (Anke) de Boer
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Behavioural and Social Sciences
Know how to teach me: setting up an inclusive classroom

Education For All has been an important objective in the Millennium development goals which were set internationally. The goals aim at making all children attending school irrespective of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or special educational needs (SEN). In developing countries providing education to all children is a big challenge because many children are not attending school. This especially counts for children with special educational needs.

The general aim of the current study was to prepare teachers for educating children with special educational needs in regular school settings. By means of a literature study it was found that clear policies, schools, teachers and parents are each important factors in implementing inclusive education. Furthermore, it found that although several developing countries had clear educational policies to include children with SEN. Teachers, however, did not have positive attitudes, knowledge about SEN and knowledge about teaching methods to include this group of children. 

The empirical part of this study focused on preparing teachers to include students with SEN in regular schools on three aspects namely: teacher’s attitude, their knowledge about SEN and knowledge about teaching methods in Jaipur (India). Three aspects about regular teachers to address the SEN in their classrooms were measured by means of a questionnaire. An in-service training programme for regular teachers was designed and implemented. Consequently, training programme was evaluated for its short and long term effectiveness. Short term effects of the training showed that teachers had positive attitudes, increased their knowledge about SEN and teaching methods after the training. With regard to long term effects, half of the participants attended a refresher course and half of them did not. The results showed more positive attitudes and increase in knowledge about SEN at participants who attended the refresher course.

The outcomes of current study show that training programmes are promising in preparing teachers in developing countries to implement inclusive education by which Education For All can be achieved.