Teacher preparedness for inclusive education
AbstractSince the report of the National Department of Education, “Quality Education for All” was published in 1997, it has became evident that inclusive education is going to be the way forward in special (and regular) education. Both the Consultative Paper on Special Education (30 August 1999) and the Draft White Paper on Special Education (23 March 2000), which appeared subsequently, point strongly in the direction of inclusion. This investigation focused on the preparedness of teachers for this new policy of inclusion. An eventual sample of 2 577 Free State teachers was utilised from the total of 12 education districts. Through a comprehensive questionnaire an effort was made to ascertain the knowledge, skills and attitudes of teachers towards inclusive education - this measure was utilised to determine (and deduce) their level of readiness for inclusion. The results of the investigation indicate that a huge effort will have to be made by policy makers and provincial education departments to effect a paradigm shift towards inclusion. It appeared that respondents still think in terms of past specialised education models that were utilised in previous eras. They also appear to be mindful of South African related problems, and apparently do not exhibit adequate knowledge on inclusive education.
(South African Journal of Education: 2001 21(4): 213-218)
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