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Presented at ISEC 2000

The Attitudes of South African Teachers Towards Inclusion: Implications for Teacher Education in the New Millennium'

James L Marais - University for Christian Higher Education, South Africa

Abstract

The paper describes a study that was conduced in South Africa in 1998 concerning the attitudes classroom teachers hold towards including learners with special needs in regular school classrooms. The survey focused on areas such as the role of regular teachers, their attitudes and knowledge about inclusion, collaboration and team teaching, recourses, the rights of learners, and family support.

The Monahan, Mario and Miller (1994) survey was used for the purposes of the survey. This twenty-five statement instrument is designed to measure teachers' attitudes towards learners with disabilities.

The results of the present study suggest that the attitudes of teachers with little experience of inclusive education towards the placement of learners with special needs in regular classrooms, may not be different from those of established practitioners. The majority (more than 80%) is respondents agreed that the education of learners with special needs is not the primary responsibility of the regular education teacher.

Careful planning and the training of the decision-makers and the teachers will be important to ensure that those learners who really need it, receive differentiated curriculums.

Courses should confront issues of inclusive teaching and accommodation of diversity in education. The shaping of positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities will need to form an extremely important aspect of training.

 

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