Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 60755
Training as Barrier for Implementing Inclusion for Students with Learning Difficulties in Mainstream Primary Schools in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Mohammed Alhammad

Abstract:

The movement towards the inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream schools has become widely accepted practice in many countries. However in Saudi Arabia, this is not happening. Instead the practice for students with learning difficulties (LD) is to study in special classrooms in mainstream schools and they are not included with their peers, except at break times and morning assembly, and on school trips. There are a number of barriers that face implementing inclusion for students with LD in mainstream classrooms: one such barrier is the training of teachers. The training, either pre- or in-service, that teachers receive is seen as playing an important role in leading to the successful implementation of inclusion. The aim of this presentation is to explore how pre-service training and in-service training are acting as barriers for implementing inclusion of students with LD in mainstream primary schools in Saudi Arabia from the perspective of teachers. The qualitative research approach was used to explore this barrier. Twenty-four teachers (general education teachers, special education teachers) were interviewed using semi-structured interview and a number of documents were used as method of data collection. The result showed teachers felt that not much attention was paid to inclusion in pre-services training for general education teachers and special education teachers in Saudi Arabia. In addition, pre-service training for general education teachers does not normally including modules on special education. Regarding the in-service training, no courses at all about inclusion are provided for teachers. Furthermore, training courses in special education are few. As result, the knowledge and skills required to implemented inclusion successfully.

Keywords: Inclusion, training, Saudi Arabia, learning difficulties

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