International Science Index


Awareness and Attitudes of Primary Grade Teachers (1-4thGrade) towards Inclusive Education


The present research aimed at studying the awareness and attitudes of teachers towards inclusive education. The sample consisted of 60 teachers, teaching in the primary section (1st – 4th) of regular schools affiliated to the SSC board in Mumbai. Sample was selected by Multi-stage cluster sampling technique. A semi-structured self-constructed interview schedule and a self-constructed attitude scale was used to study the awareness of teachers about disability and Inclusive education, and their attitudes towards inclusive education respectively. Themes were extracted from the interview data and quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS package. Results revealed that teachers had some amount of awareness but an inadequate amount of information on disabilities and inclusive education. Disability to most (37) teachers meant “an inability to do something”. The difference between disability and handicap was stated by most as former being cognitive while handicap being physical in nature. With regard to Inclusive education, a large number (46) stated that they were unaware of the term and did not know what it meant. Majority (52) of them perceived maximum challenges for themselves in an inclusive set up, and emphasized on the role of teacher training courses in the area of providing knowledge (49) and training in teaching methodology (53). Although, 83.3% of teachers held a moderately positive attitude towards inclusive education, a large percentage (61.6%) of participants felt that being in inclusive set up would be very challenging for both children with special needs and without special needs. Though, most (49) of the teachers stated that children with special needs should be educated in regular classroom but they further clarified that only those should be in a regular classroom who have physical impairments of mild or moderate degree.

[1] Avramidis, E., Norwich, B. (2002). Teachers' attitudes towards integration / inclusion: a review of the literature. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 17(2), 129-147.
[2] Bhatnagar, N., & Das, A. (2013). Attitudes of secondary school teachers towards inclusive education in New Delhi, India. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs.
[3] Blau, I., Peled, Y. (2012) Teachers' openness to change and attitudes towards ICT: Comparison of laptop per teacher and laptop per studentprograms Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, Volume 8. IJELLO special series of Chais Conference 2012 best papers
[4] Burke, K., Sutherland, C. (2004). Attitudes towards inclusion: Knowledge vs. Experience. Education, 125(2), 163-172.
[5] Cassady, J. M. (2011). Teachers' Attitudes toward the Inclusion of Students with Autism and Emotional Behavioral Disorder. Electronic Journal of Inclusive Education. Vol 2 (7).
[6] Charles, S. (2011) Basic school teachers’ attitudes towards inclusive education in Ghana. (A Master’s Thesis in Education) University of Jyväskylä – Finland. ( 123456789/27280/URN%3aNBN%3afi%3ajyu- 2011070711134.pdf?sequence=1)
[7] Corps, H., Ceralli, G., and Boisseau, S. (2012). Inclusive Educaion : A policy paper. A handicap International Publication.
[8] Costello, S., Boyle, C. (2013). Pre-service Secondary Teachers’ Attitudes towards Inclusive Education. Australian Journal of Teacher Education. Vol 38 (4).
[9] Cowne, E. (2003). Developing Inclusive Practices The SENCO's Role in Managing Change. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis.
[10] Das, A., Kuyuni, A., Desai, I. (2013) Inclusive education in India: Are the teachers prepared? International Journal Of Special Education Vol 28, No: 1.
[11] Forlin, C., Chambers, D. (2011). Teacher preparation for inclusive education: increasing knowledge but raising concerns. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 39(1), 17-32.
[12] Glazzard, J. (2011) ‘Perceptions of the barriers to effective inclusion in one primary school: voicesof teachers and teaching assistants.’ Support for Learning, 26 (2), pp. 56–63.
[13] Khan, T. (2011) Investigation of secondary school teachers’ attitudes towards and knowledge about inclusive education in Bangladesh. Unpublished master’s dissertation, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
[14] Leyser, Yona and Kirk, Rea(2004) 'Evaluating Inclusion: an examination of parent views and factors influencing their perspectives', International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 51: 3, 271-285
[15] Maria, U. (2013) Teachers’ perception, knowledge and behaviour in inclusive education. Procedia – Social and Behavioural sciences Volume85 (2013), Pages 1237-1241. DOI:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.736
[16] McFarlane, K., Wolfson, L. M. (2013) ‘Teacher attitudes and behavior toward the inclusion of children with social, emotional and behavioral difficulties in mainstream schools: an application of the theory of planned behavior.’ Teaching and Teacher Education, 29, pp. 46–52.
[17] Mumthas, S. Shamina, E. (2011). Are the prospective teachers at secondary level aware about inclusive education? Paper presented at a National seminar on Quality Concern in Education, University of Calicut, Calicut, India.
[18] Myers, J., Bagree, S. (2011) Making Inclusive Education a Reality. Sightsavers Inclusive Education Policy Paper, ISSN No. 2223-7763
[19] Nutter, M. E. (2011) Teaching Students with Disabilities: perceptions of preparedness among preservice general education teachers. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Northcentral University.
[20] Pace, D. (2003). Increasing awareness and understanding of students with disabilities. Academic Exchange, 205-214.
[21] Subban, P., & Sharma, U. (2005). Understanding Educator Attitudes Toward the Implementation of Inclusive Education. Disability Studies Quaterly Volume 25 (2)
[22] Torombe, R. (2013) Teachers’ experiences in implementing inclusive education policy in Papua New Guinea: A study of two primary schools in the national capital district. Unpublished master’s dissertation, University of Waikato, New Zealand
[23] UNESCO. (1994). The Salamanca statement and framework for action on special needs education. Paper presented at the World conference on special needs education: access and quality, Salamanca, Spain.
[24] Winis, C. (2013) Determining the Attitudes of Elementary School Teachers towards the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities: A Case Study of Three Elementary Schools in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea. Unpublished master’s dissertation, University of Waikato, New Zealand.