Teachers’ Perceptions of Inclusive Education in Mainstream Primary Schools in the United Kingdom

By Anthony Thorpe and A. Q. M. Shafiul Azam.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Worldwide inclusive education has been established as a significant policy direction with respect to including children with disabilities in regular or mainstream schools. Teachers are now expected to rise to the challenge of accommodating a range of students in the classroom. Yet how can teachers be supported to accomplish this challenging task in the classroom? Is it only a matter of resources or are teachers’ views about inclusion crucial for successful implementation of policy? How can developing countries seeking to introduce inclusive education policies go about the task? This paper draws upon a small scale study involving two mainstream primary schools in the United Kingdom. The study sought to uncover teachers’ perceptions of inclusive education in order to give insights into the reality of inclusion policy and practice. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and the analysis of policies. The findings of the study reveal that teachers’ personal characteristics, their views of the support available, their understanding of inclusion and school practices all contribute to the successful implementation of policy.

Keywords: Inclusive Education, Policy, Special Education Needs, Teachers, Primary Schools

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.163-172. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 651.564KB).

Dr. Anthony Thorpe

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Roehampton University, London, UK

Roehampton University, London, UK.

A. Q. M. Shafiul Azam

Assistant Director, Policy and Operations, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Dhaka, Bangladesh

A.Q.M Shafiul Azam is a mid-level manager in field of Education in Bangladesh. At present he is working as the focal person for Access and Inclusive Education Cell in the Directorate of Primary Education, Bangladesh. Recently he has completed his M A SEN from Roehampton University, UK under Erasmus Mundus scheme. He started his career in 1991 as a teacher in a Non Govt. Degree college where he served for about 3 years. As a Lecturer in English he taught English language and literature to the different higher level students Then he joined Bangladesh Civil Service in November 1993. Ever since his joining, he has been involved with teaching in different government colleges as Lecturer in the Department of English where he served for more than 4 years. Then he worked for about 6 years as an Education Planning Administrator in the primary education sector of Bangladesh. He went back to teaching again and served as Assistant Professor in the Department of English. After that he worked in the Ministry of Establishment. With a mixed experience of teaching in the class room and working as an Education planner he has recognized the necessity of proper education policy in Bangladesh.

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