Inclusion awareness among mainstream teachers in rural schools of Zimbabwe
Keywords:Inclusion awareness, Mainstream teachers, Rural schools
Inclusion awareness among mainstream school teachers is critical in view of the global trend of educating children with special needs within mainstream schools. This study sought to interrogate the extent of inclusion awareness among mainstream teachers in rural schools of Zimbabwe. The study presupposes that inclusion awareness is a precursor to successful implementation and practice of inclusion. The study is predominantly quantitative and employed a single cross-sectional descriptive survey design to elicit data using a structured questionnaire from 50 teachers. The teachers were sampled via quota and coincidental sampling techniques from 30 schools spread across 5 districts of Zimbabwe. The results of the study indicate that, although many of the mainstream teachers had merely heard or read about inclusion, they had not studied or trained in it and hence lacked in-depth knowledge and insight of the philosophy. From this analysis, the conclusion of the study was that there was a lack of inclusion awareness among mainstream teachers in rural schools of Zimbabwe. On the basis of this conclusion, the researcher recommended in-service staff development workshops for practising mainstream school teachers and administrators, deployment or re-designation of specialist teachers to work as consultants, incorporation of a comprehensive module on inclusion into the curriculum for current teacher trainees, enactment of school level policies on inclusion and large scale studies on inclusion awareness and its implications.
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