Teachers’ perceptions of and attitudes towards the benefits and challenges of the new inclusion model for Special Education Teaching
Smith Conaty, Julie Anne
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The new inclusion model for special education teaching has brought significant change in the epistemology of SET and the roles and responsibilities of the mainstream class teacher. This study examines current literature pertaining to ‘Inclusion’ and the delivery of SET in post-primary schools. It seeks to investigate teachers’ perceptions and attitudes towards the benefits and challenges of the new SET inclusion model. Possible benefits of this research include the enhancement of teaching practices in terms of differentiation of teaching and learning and the promotion of a culture of inclusion in the mainstream classroom. It is hoped that this research will provide information on best practice in planning, implementing, and reviewing the new model for educators and management teams. Based on the literature review a case study approach was used as the best way to answer the research questions. A mixed methods approach was adopted for the study. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected using a questionnaire administered to qualified, practicing post-primary teachers. The questionnaires were analysed using thematic analysis, (Braun and Clarke, 2006), establishing 5 key themes for a focus group interview. The study was carried out in four post primary schools in the north west of Ireland. The research found that participants believed the new inclusion model has many benefits for SEN pupils. The findings imply that teachers are somewhat familiar with the new model but are unsure of their roles and responsibilities within that model. The results highlighted the need for significant, consistent, targeted continuous professional development to implement the new inclusion model. Recommendations include the need for training, the establishment of a SET core team, consistency of teacher and timetabling and the allocation of planning time to allow for collaborative practice.
- Theses - Business LYIT 
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