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Teachers' attitudes to inclusion in Ghana

By Emmanuel Kofi Gyimah

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to survey the attitudes of teachers in Ghana towards children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities in relation to the UNESCO (1994) Salamanca Statement on inclusion. Using random sampling techniques, five. hundred and forty trained and un~rained mainstream Primary School teachers were selected from three of the ten regions of Ghana to respond to questionnaire items composed of educational placement options and bi-polar emotional reactions. Sixteen. of the participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide consisfing of scenarios on the assessment results ofchildren with SEN and disabilities. The results, including chi-square analysis, showed that teachers in Ghana were generally positive towards the inclusion of children with SEN and disabilities. Their greatest 'concern, however, was with children with sensory disabilities (that is the deaf and blind) and severe to profound intellectual difficulties. In some of the SEN categories, statistically significant diffe~ences were found between teachers in terms of gender, level of teaching experience, knowledge ofhow to teach children with SEN and disabilities and the location of school in terms region or level of urbanisation. However, no differences were found between teachers in attitudes to inclusion in terms of age, qualification or length of teaching experience. Further, the results showed that irrespective of a teacher's gender, level of experience and/or knowleage of SEN and disabilities, teachers generally experienced anxiety, dissatisfaction and worry in teaching children with SEN and disabilities. On the basis of the fmdings, conclusions were drawn that global agendas are subject to national and local interpretation. It therefore sounds logical' for research and . policies to be context specific. This way, attitudes could be better understood and policies and regulations on SEN fashioned to meet local situations and standards

Publisher: School of Education (Leeds)
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:222

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