Teachers' attitudes towards working with students with special educational needs in mainstream classes in Egypt
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Recent developments in education have focused on exploring different ways of responding to the diverse learning needs of students. The international trend has been to move towards an inclusive approach based on democratic principles in education, including students with special educational needs in mainstream schools and classrooms. Egypt, an initial signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, has not escaped the prominence of inclusive education on the international education agenda. No legislation on inclusion in schools has been promulgated in Egypt. Furthermore, information is lacking regarding teachers' attitudes towards working with students with special educational needs in mainstream classes, despite the fact that teacher attitude are instrumental in determining the success or failure of inclusive education. The aim of the research, therefore, was to identify teachers' attitudes towards inclusive education. For the purpose of this study, a non-experimental quantitative research design with specific reference to survey research was chosen. The population consisted of teachers in five schools in Alexandria and Cairo and a questionnaire was designed. Data was analysed using the statistical programme SPSS (14.0 for Windows). Results indicate that teachers in Egypt have serious reservations about the feasibility of accommodating students with special educational needs in their classrooms. Curriculum development, educational support, funding opportunities, as well as the training of teachers, need to be addressed in order to facilitate the development of inclusive educational strategies.
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