Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1720

Search results for: mainstream schools

1720 Disablism in Saudi Mainstream Schools: Disabled Teachers’ Experiences and Perspectives

Authors: Ali Aldakhil


This paper explores the many faces of the barriers and exclusionary attitudes and practices that disabled teachers and students experience in a school where they teach or attend. Critical disability studies and inclusive education theory were used to conceptualise this inquiry and ground it in the literature. These theories were used because they magnify and expose the problems of disability/disablism as within-society instead of within-individual. Similarly, disability-first language was used in this study because it seeks to expose the social oppression and discrimination of disabled. Data were generated through conducting in-depth semi-structured interviews with six disabled teachers who teach disabled children in a Saudi mainstream school. Thematic analysis of data concludes that the school is fettered by disabling barriers, attitudes, and practices, which reflect the dominant culture of disablism that disabled people encounter in the Saudi society on a daily basis. This leads to the conclusion that overall deconstruction and reformation of Saudi mainstream schools are needed, including non-disabled people’s attitudes, policy, spaces, and overall arrangements of teaching and learning.

Keywords: disablism, disability studies, mainstream schools, Saudi Arabia

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1719 The Factors Affecting Pupil Psychological Well-Being in Mainstream Schools: A Systematic Review

Authors: Chantelle Francis, Karen McKenzie, Charlotte Emmerson


In the context of the rise in mental health difficulties amongst pupils, this review explores the factors that have been indicated as affecting psychological well-being in mainstream school contexts. Search terms relating to school-based psychological well-being were entered into five databases, and twenty-two studies were included in the review. The results suggested that pupil psychological well-being is affected by both direct and indirect factors. The former included a sense of belonging and inclusion, relationships with teachers, and academic attainment. The latter included family socioeconomic status, whole-school approaches, and individual differences factors, such as gender and Special Educational Needs. The implications for policymakers and practitioners are discussed.

Keywords: psychological wellbeing, mainstream schools, special educational needs, school-based wellbeing

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1718 Training as Barrier for Implementing Inclusion for Students with Learning Difficulties in Mainstream Primary Schools in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Mohammed Alhammad


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, learning difficulties, Saudi Arabia, training

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1717 Barriers That Special Education Teachers Faced When Working with Students with Intellectual Disabilities in an Inclusion Schools

Authors: Faris Algahtani


Every child has a right to education. This is one of the laws in the constitution and it empowers every child to access knowledge but it does not, however, allocate special interest to the rights of education for children with disabilities. It also does not address the challenges that teachers of such children face while trying to educate them. This study was conducted at government schools of Saudi Arabia. As the teaching profession is the most valuable profession and deserves to have its challenges tackled. This paper explores the challenges that teachers face as they try to teach students who have intellectual disabilities (ID). It looks at the daily challenges of a teacher who has to teach both children with disabilities and those without. The literature review shed light on the various aspects of mainstream education from the classroom to the outside environment to the teachers involved in mainstream education. The study employed qualitative methods in which Focus Group Discussions were utilized and Twenty (N=20) special education teachers were randomly sampled from primary schools through 6 groups of teachers from 6 different schools were interviewed through semi-structured interviews with the aim of drawing collective perceptions rather than personal perceptions about the challenges. The study found that most teachers had similar perceptions about the challenges that teachers face as they educate students with intellectual disabilities. The study recommends that The Ministry of Education should consider increasing the availability of special needs courses, workshops and conference for special education teachers.

Keywords: intellectual disabilities, inclusion, mainstream schools, disabilities, special education teachers

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1716 The Role of Teaching Assistants for Deaf Pupils in a Mainstream Primary School in England

Authors: Hatice Yildirim


This study was an investigation into the role of teaching assistants (TAs) for deaf pupils in an English primary school. This study aimed to provide knowledge about how TAs support deaf pupils in mainstream schools in England. It is accepted that TAs have an important role in the inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream schools. However, there has been a lack of attention paid to the role of TAs for deaf pupils in the literature. A qualitative case study approach was used to address the research questions. Twelve semi-structured classroom observations and six semi-structured interviews were carried out with four TAs and two teachers in one English mainstream primary school. The data analysis followed a thematic analysis framework. The results indicated that TAs are utilised based on a one-on-one support model and are deployed under the class teachers in the classroom. The classroom activities are carried out in small groups with the TAs and the class teacher’s agreement, as per the school’s policy. Findings show that TAs carried out seven different roles in the education of deaf pupils in an English mainstream primary school. Supporting the academic and social development of deaf pupils is TA`s main role. Also, they record pupils’ progress, communicate with pupils’ parents, take on a pastoral care role, tutor pupils in additional support lessons and raise awareness of deaf pupils’ issues.

Keywords: deaf, mainstream primary school, teaching assistant, teaching assistant`s roles

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1715 Positioning a Southern Inclusive Framework Embedded in the Social Model of Disability Theory Contextualised for Guyana

Authors: Lidon Lashley


This paper presents how the social model of disability can be used to reshape inclusive education practices in Guyana. Inclusive education in Guyana is metamorphosizing but still firmly held in the tenets of the Medical Model of Disability which influences the experiences of children with Special Education Needs and/or Disabilities (SEN/D). An ethnographic approach to data gathering was employed in this study. Qualitative data was gathered from the voices of children with and without SEN/D as well as their mainstream teachers to present the interplay of discourses and subjectivities in the situation. The data was analyzed using Adele Clarke's postmodern approach to grounded theory analysis called situational analysis. The data suggest that it is possible but will be challenging to fully contextualize and adopt Loreman's synthesis and Booths and Ainscow's Index in the two mainstream schools studied. In addition, the data paved the way for the presentation of the social model framework specific to Guyana called 'Southern Inclusive Education Framework for Guyana' and its support tool called 'The Inclusive Checker created for Southern mainstream primary classrooms.

Keywords: social model of disability, medical model of disability, subjectivities, metamorphosis, special education needs, postcolonial Guyana, inclusion, culture, mainstream primary schools, Loreman's synthesis, Booths and Ainscow's index

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1714 A Comparative Analysis of Courtship among Non-Mainstream Gays and Lesbians

Authors: Marian Ubaldo, Venise Gonzales, Aileen Lovendino


In response to an identified need in the psychological literature for current research on topics related to same-sex lived experiences, the study aims to give knowledge about Non-mainstream Gay and Non-mainstream Lesbian, or those homosexuals who do not conform with norms, in relation to courtship than to focus on heterosexuals’ courtship. Moreover, the aim of this study is to explore the experience of courtship as it is mediated by the personal meanings that Non-mainstream Homosexuals attribute to it. Also, a comparison of courtship between Non-mainstream Gays and Non-mainstream Lesbians covers the study. A total of ten self-identified Non-mainstream gay and lesbian participated in the study and was interviewed with an open ended question. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used in the study to capture the quality and texture of individual lived experiences. The results revealed similarities and differences in the lived experiences of Non-mainstream Gays and Lesbians when compared. The research findings have found that the research participants lived experiences in relation with Courtship are somehow similar and only differ in terms of sexual attraction. Non-mainstream Gays tend to follow a more sexual dating script while Non-mainstream Lesbians builds relationship through friendship or follows a ‘friendship’ script. Findings were compared with literature on dating and relationships with a large population of Gays and Lesbians to identify points of consistency and inconsistency. The implication of the results and recommendation for future researcher were given.

Keywords: non-mainstream gays, non-mainstream lesbian, courtship, heteronormativity, dating script

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1713 Students with Hearing Impairment and Their Access to Inclusive Education in Nagpur City, India: An Exploratory Study

Authors: Avanika Gupta


Education plays a significant and remedial role in balancing the socio-economic fabric of a country. Inclusive education is considered as the most appropriate mode of teaching students with hearing impairment (SwHI) by various national and international legislations. But inclusive education is still an evolving concept among the disability studies scholars and policy makers in India. The study aimed to examine accessibility of SwHI in mainstream schools if there are special provisions for SwHI. The study also intended to identify if the provisions are same for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Using stratified random sampling technique, a school was selected from each of the six administrative zones of Nagpur city. All the selected schools had primary and secondary level education and were co-educational in nature. Interview with principals of these schools and focused-group- observation method showcased lack of accessibility for SwHI in attending schools. Not even a single school had a hearing impaired student, either deaf or hard-of-hearing depicting the double marginalization of SwHI. This is despite the fact that the right to education is a fundamental right in India, and national legislation on disability has special provisions for ensuring educational opportunities to SwHI. None of the schools even had an Indian Sign Language (ISL) instructor. Both observations seemed cause and effect of one another. One of the principals informed that they have seats for all students with disabilities but they usually lie vacant due to lack of awareness among the parents. One school had 2 students with locomotive impairment while another had a student with visual impairment. Principals of two special schools were also interviewed to understand the reason behind the low enrollment rate of SwHI in mainstream schools. Guardian preference, homogeneity, relatable faculty, familiar environment were some of the chief reasons mentioned. Few suggestions for the policymakers, teachers, guardians and the students are also recommended so that Indian education system could become inclusive in true sense.

Keywords: deaf, hard-of-hearing, inclusive education, India, Nagpur, students with hearing impairment

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1712 Equity and Diversity in Bangladesh’s Primary Education: Struggling Indigenous Children

Authors: Md Rabiul Islam, Ben Wadham


This paper describes how indigenous students face challenges with various school activities due to inadequate equity and diversity principles in mainstream primary schools in Bangladesh. This study focuses on indigenous students’ interactions with mainstream class teachers and students through teaching-learning activities at public primary schools. Ethnographic research methods guided data collection under a case study methodology in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) region where maximum indigenous peoples’ inhabitants. The participants (class teachers) shared information through in-depth interviews about their experiences in the four selecting schools. The authors also observed the effects of school activities by use of equity and diversity lens for indigenous students’ situations in those schools. The authors argue that the socio-economic situations of indigenous families are not supportive of the educational development of their children. Similarly, the Bangladesh government does not have enough initiative programs based on equity and diversity principles for fundamental education of indigenous children at rural schools level. Besides this, the conventional teaching system cannot improve the diversification among the students in classrooms. The principles of equity and diversity are not well embedded in professional development of teachers, and using teaching materials in classrooms. The findings suggest that implementing equitable education; there are needed to arrange teachers’ education with equitable knowledge and introducing diversified teaching materials, and implementing teaching through students centered activities that promote the diversification among the multicultural students.

Keywords: case study research, chittagong hill tracts, equity and diversity, Indigenous children

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1711 Applying a SWOT Analysis to Inform the Educational Provision of Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Authors: Claire Sciberras


Introduction: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has become recognized as being the most common childhood neurological condition. Indeed, numerous studies demonstrate an increase in the prevalence rate of children diagnosed with ASD. Concurrent with these findings, the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education reported a similar escalating tendency in prevalence also in Malta. Such an increase within the educational context in Malta has led the European Agency to call for increased support within educational settings in Malta. However, although research has addressed the positive impact of mainstream education on learners with ASD, empirical studies vis-à-vis the internal and external strengths and weaknesses present within the support provided in mainstream settings in Malta is distinctly limited. In light of the aforementioned argument, Malta would benefit from research which focuses on analysing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOTs) which are present within the support provision of learners with ASD in mainstream primary schools. Such SWOT analysis is crucial as lack of appropriate opportunities might jeopardize the educational and social experiences of persons with ASD throughout their schooling. Methodology: A mixed methodological approach would be well suited to examine the provision of support of learners with ASD as the combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches allows researchers to collect a comprehensive range of data and validate their results. Hence, it is intended that questionnaires will be distributed to all the stakeholders involved so as to acquire a broader perspective to be collected from a wider group who provide support to students with ASD across schools in Malta. Moreover, the use of a qualitative approach in the form of interviews with a sample group will be implemented. Such an approach will be considered as it would potentially allow the researcher to gather an in-depth perspective vis-à-vis to the nature of the services which are currently provided to learners with ASD. The intentions of the study: Through the analysis of the data collected vis-à-vis to the SWOTs within the provision of support of learners with ASD it is intended that; i) a description in regards to the educational provision for learners with ASD within mainstream primary schools in Malta in light of the experiences and perceptions of the stakeholders involved will be acquired; ii) an analysis of the SWOTs which exist within the services for learners with ASD in primary state schools in Malta is carried out and iii) based on the SWOT analysis, recommendations that can lead to improvements in practice in the field of ASD in Malta and beyond will be provided. Conclusion: Due to the heterogeneity of individuals with ASD which spans across several deficits related to the social communication and interaction domain and also across areas linked to restricted, repetitive behavioural patterns, educational settings need to alter their standards according to the needs of their students. Thus, the standards established by schools throughout prior phases do not remain applicable forever, and therefore these need to be reviewed periodically in accordance with the diversities and the necessities of their learners.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorders, mainstream educational settings, provision of support, SWOT analysis

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1710 The Impact of Sensory Overload on Students on the Autism Spectrum in Italian Inclusive Classrooms: Teachers' Perspectives and Training Needs

Authors: Paola Molteni, Luigi d’Alonzo


Background: Sensory issues are now considered one of the key aspects in defining and diagnosing autism, changing the perspectives on behavioural analysis and intervention in mainstream educational services. However, Italian teachers’ training is yet not specific on the topic of autism and its sensory-related effects and this research investigates the teacher’s capability in understanding the student’s needs and his/her challenging behaviours considering sensory perceptions. Objectives: The research aims to analyse mainstream schools teachers’ awareness on students’ sensory perceptions and how this affects classroom inclusion and learning process. The research questions are: i) Are teachers able to identify student’s sensory issues?; ii) Are trained teachers more able to identify sensory problems then untrained ones?; iii) What is the impact of sensory issues on inclusion in mainstream classrooms?; iv) What should teachers know about autistic sensory dimensions? Methods: This research was designed as a pilot study that involves a multi-methods approach, including action and collaborative research methodology. The designed research allows the researcher to catch the complexity of a province school district (from kindergarten to high school) through a deep detailed analysis of selected aspects. The researcher explored the questions described above through 133 questionnaires and 6 focus groups. The qualitative and quantitative data collected during the research were analysed using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results: Mainstream schools teachers are not able to confidently recognise sensory issues of children included in the classroom. The research underlines: how professionals with no specific training on autism are not able to recognise sensory problems in students on the spectrum; how hearing and sight issues have higher impact on classroom inclusion and student’s learning process; how a lack of understanding is often followed by misinterpretations of the impact of sensory issues and challenging behaviours. Conclusions: As this research has shown, promoting and enhancing the importance of understanding sensory issues related to autism is fundamental to enable mainstream schools teachers to define educational and life-long plans able to properly answer the student’s needs and support his/her real inclusion in the classroom. This study is a good example of how the educational research can meet and help the daily practice in working with people on the autism spectrum and support the training design for mainstream school teachers: the emerging need of designed preparation on sensory issues is fundamental to be considered when planning school district in-service training programmes, specifically declined for inclusive services.

Keywords: autism spectrum condition, scholastic inclusion, sensory overload, teacher's training

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1709 Analysis of Attention to the Confucius Institute from Domestic and Foreign Mainstream Media

Authors: Wei Yang, Xiaohui Cui, Weiping Zhu, Liqun Liu


The rapid development of the Confucius Institute is attracting more and more attention from mainstream media around the world. Mainstream media plays a large role in public information dissemination and public opinion. This study presents efforts to analyze the correlation and functional relationship between domestic and foreign mainstream media by analyzing the amount of reports on the Confucius Institute. Three kinds of correlation calculation methods, the Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC), the Spearman correlation coefficient (SCC), and the Kendall rank correlation coefficient (KCC), were applied to analyze the correlations among mainstream media from three regions: mainland of China; Hong Kong and Macao (the two special administration regions of China denoted as SARs); and overseas countries excluding China, such as the United States, England, and Canada. Further, the paper measures the functional relationships among the regions using a regression model. The experimental analyses found high correlations among mainstream media from the different regions. Additionally, we found that there is a linear relationship between the mainstream media of overseas countries and those of the SARs by analyzing the amount of reports on the Confucius Institute based on a data set obtained by crawling the websites of 106 mainstream media during the years 2004 to 2014.

Keywords: mainstream media, Confucius institute, correlation analysis, regression model

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1708 Commodification of the Chinese Language: Investigating Language Ideology in the Chinese Complementary Schools’ Online Discourse

Authors: Yuying Liu


Despite the increasing popularity of Chinese and the recognition of the growing commodifying ideology of Chinese language in many contexts (Liu and Gao, 2020; Guo, Shin and Shen 2020), the ideological orientations of the Chinese diaspora community towards the Chinese language remain under-researched. This research contributes seeks to bridge this gap by investigating the micro-level language ideologies embedded in the Chinese complementary schools in the Republic of Ireland. Informed by Ruíz’s (1984) metaphorical representations of language, 11 Chinese complementary schools’ websites were analysed as discursive texts that signal the language policy and ideology to prospective learners and parents were analysed. The results of the analysis suggest that a move from a portrayal of Chinese as linked to student heritage identity, to the commodification of linguistic and cultural diversity, is evident. It denotes the growing commodifying ideology among the Chinese complementary schools in the Republic of Ireland. The changing profile of the complementary school, from serving an ethnical community to teaching Chinese as a foreign language for the wider community, indicates the possibility of creating the a positive synergy between the Complementary school and the mainstream education. This study contributes to the wider discussions of language ideology and language planning, with regards to modern language learning and heritage language maintenance.

Keywords: the Chinese language;, Chinese as heritage language, Chinese as foreign language, Chinese community schools

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1707 The Effectiveness of Homeschooling: A Stakeholder's Perception in East London Education District

Authors: N. M. Zukani, E. O. Adu


Homeschooling has been a primary method for parents to educate their children. It has become a growing educational phenomenon across the globe. However, homeschooling is, therefore, an alternative form of education in which children are instructed at home rather than in mainstream schools. This study evaluated the effectiveness of homeschooling in East London Education District, looking at the stakeholder’s perceptions, reviewing issues that impact on this as reflected in literature. This is a qualitative study done in selected homeschools. Semi structured interviews were used as a form of collecting data. Data was scrutinized and grouped into themes. The study revealed the importance of differentiation of instruction, and the need for flexibility in the process of homeschooling for children who faced difficulties, special needs in learning in mainstream schooling. It is therefore concluded that the participants in the study clearly showed that homeschooling is an educational choice for parents who have concerns about the quality of education of their children. Furthermore, homeschooling has the potential to be the most learner centered, nurturing educational approach. It was recommended that an effective homeschooling practice mainly, the practice should consider attention to children-parent’s goals and learning structure. Although homeschooling looks at how to overcome the drawbacks of mainstream schooling, there are also cases that reflected, the incompetency of parents or tutors conducting the homeschooling and also a need for the support material and other educational supports from the government.

Keywords: homeschooling, effectiveness, stakeholders, parents, perception

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1706 Foundation Phase Teachers' Experiences of School Based Support Teams: A Case of Selected Schools in Johannesburg

Authors: Ambeck Celyne Tebid, Harry S. Rampa


The South African Education system recognises the need for all learners including those experiencing learning difficulties, to have access to a single unified system of education. For teachers to be pedagogically responsive to an increasingly diverse learner population without appropriate support has been proven to be unrealistic. As such, this has considerably hampered interest amongst teachers, especially those at the foundation phase to work within an Inclusive Education (IE) and training system. This qualitative study aimed at investigating foundation phase teachers’ experiences of school-based support teams (SBSTs) in two Full-Service (inclusive schools) and one Mainstream public primary school in the Gauteng province of South Africa; with particular emphasis on finding ways to supporting them, since teachers claimed they were not empowered in their initial training to teach learners experiencing learning difficulties. Hence, SBSTs were created at school levels to fill this gap thereby, supporting teaching and learning by identifying and addressing learners’, teachers’ and schools’ needs. With the notion that IE may be failing because of systemic reasons, this study uses Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecosystemic as well as Piaget’s (1980) maturational theory to examine the nature of support and experiences amongst teachers taking individual and systemic factors into consideration. Data was collected using in-depth, face-to-face interviews, document analysis and observation with 6 foundation phase teachers drawn from 3 different schools, 3 SBST coordinators, and 3 school principals. Data was analysed using the phenomenological data analysis method. Amongst the findings of the study is that South African full- service and mainstream schools have functional SBSTs which render formal and informal support to the teachers; this support varies in quality depending on the socio-economic status of the relevant community where the schools are situated. This paper, however, argues that what foundation phase teachers settled for as ‘support’ is flawed; as well as how they perceive the SBST and its role is problematic. The paper conclude by recommending that, the SBST should consider other approaches at foundation phase teacher support such as, empowering teachers with continuous practical experiences on how to deal with real classroom scenarios, as well as ensuring that all support, be it on academic or non-academic issues should be provided within a learning community framework where the teacher, family, SBST and where necessary, community organisations should harness their skills towards a common goal.

Keywords: foundation phase, full- service schools, inclusive education, learning difficulties, school-based support teams, teacher support

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1705 Dutch Schools: Their Ventilation Systems

Authors: Milad Golshan, Wim Zeiler


During the last decade research was done to clarify the importance of good Indoor Air Quality in schools. As a result, measurements were undertaken in different types of schools to see whether naturally ventilated schools could provide adequate indoor conditions. Also, a comparison was made between schools with hybrid ventilation and those with complete mechanical ventilation systems. Recently a large survey was undertaken at 60 schools to establish the average current situation of schools in the Netherlands. The results of the questionnaires were compared with those of earlier measured schools. This allowed us to compare different types of schools as well as schools of different periods. Overall it leads to insights about the actual current perceived quality by the teachers as well as the pupils and enables to draw some conclusions about the typical performances of specific types of school ventilation systems. Also, the perceived thermal comfort and controllability were researched. It proved that in around 50% of the schools there were major complains about the indoor air quality causing concentration problems and headaches by the pupils at the end of class. Although the main focus of the latest research was focused more on the quality of recently finished nearly Zero Energy schools, this research showed that especially the main focus school be on the renovation and upgrading of the existing 10.000 schools in the Netherlands.

Keywords: school ventilation, indoor air quality, perceiver thermal comfort, comparison different types

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1704 Analysis of the Spatial Distribution of Public Girls’ and Boys’ Secondary Schools in Riyadh

Authors: Nasser Marshad Alzeer


This study examines the spatial distribution of secondary schools in Riyadh. It considers both public girls and boys sector provision and assesses the efficiency of the spatial distribution of secondary schools. Since the establishment of the Ministry of Education (MOE) in 1953 and General Presidency for Female Education, (GPFE) in 1960, there has been a great expansion of education services in Saudi Arabia, particularly during the 1980s. However, recent years have seen much slower rates of increase in the public education sector but the population continues to grow rapidly. This study investigates the spatial distribution of schools through the use of questionnaire surveys and applied GIS. Overall, the results indicate a shortage of public secondary schools, especially in the north of the city. It is clear that there is overcrowding in the majority of secondary schools. The establishment of new schools has been suggested to solve the problem of overcrowding. A number of socio-economic and demographic factors are associated with differences in the utilization of the public secondary schools. A GIS was applied in this study in order to assess the spatial distribution of secondary schools including the modification of existing catchment area boundaries and locating new schools. This modification could also reduce the pupil pressure on certain schools and further benefits could probably be gained.

Keywords: analysis, distribution, Saudi, GIS, schools

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1703 Net Zero Energy Schools: The Starting Block for the Canadian Energy Neutral K-12 Schools

Authors: Hamed Hakim, Roderic Archambault, Charles J. Kibert, Maryam Mirhadi Fard


Changes in the patterns of life in the late 20th and early 21st century have created new challenges for educational systems. Greening the physical environment of school buildings has emerged as a response to some of those challenges and led to the design of energy efficient K-12 school buildings. With the advancement in knowledge and technology, the successful construction of Net Zero Energy Schools, such as the Lady Bird Johnson Middle School demonstrates a cutting edge generation of sustainable schools, and solves the former challenge of attaining energy self-sufficient educational facilities. There are approximately twenty net zero energy K-12 schools in the U.S. of which about six are located in Climate Zone 5 and 6 based on ASHRAE climate zone classification. This paper aims to describe and analyze the current status of energy efficient and NZE schools in Canada. An attempt is made to study existing U.S. energy neutral strategies closest to the climate zones in Canada (zones 5 and 6) and identify the best practices for Canadian schools.

Keywords: Canada K-12 schools, green school, energy efficient, net-zero energy schools

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1702 Effect of the Interference of Political Elected Members on the Performance of Public Schools

Authors: Farhat Ullah


It is very unfortunate that in Pakistani public schools political interference is on its peak. The present study tries to find out the effect of the interference of political elected members in the affairs of public schools. The objectives of the study were to find out, the degree of interference of political members in public school, the positive and negative effects of political members, influence in public schools, students, and its administrators. This study was quantitative in nature. All the public schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were the population of this study. A sample of 400 teachers and 100 schools heads were selected for this study. A survey questionnaire consisted of 50 items related to objectives, was used for this study. The questionnaire consisted of five options based on Likert scale. Data were collected by the researcher himself from the respondents. Data were analyzed using chi square test. It was concluded from the analysis of data that recently the political members are involved in the process of school activities, which had badly affected the freedom and autonomy of school administrators. Mostly teachers are transferred from schools on political influence, which had created uncertainty among the schools teachers. Further, the student’s academic performance was also affected badly. It is recommended that schools must be free from political involvement for the smooth running of schools.

Keywords: public schools, politics, interference, performance

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1701 Inclusion of Transgender in Mainstream Secondary Schools of Bangladesh: Perceptions and Issues

Authors: Shanaj Parvin Jonaki


After the first wave of the feminist movement, gender has become one of the most important issues to be researched in social science. Many gender theories have been invented and opened a new window to look at. These works showed how gender is a social construct, how gender has been used to oppress, how to rule. While it's the education system’s duty to guide students to understand the concept of gender, it sometimes shows gender-based discrimination. Transgenders exclusion from educational institutes of Bangladesh justifies this very statement. This study aims to figure out how people perceive transgenders’ identity, their inclusion in secondary schools, as well as the underlying barriers in the pathway of inclusion in the context of Bangladesh. A qualitative approach was taken to explore different perspectives towards transgender inclusion from several stakeholders such as students, parents, and teachers of secondary schools and transgenders as well. Data were collected through focus group discussion and interview by convenient sampling. 15 students, 10 parents, and 5 teachers were selected from Bangla Medium school as well as from Madrasha. Collected data were analyzed thematically and were run by experts of gender, education, and psychology to identify the core barriers of inclusion. The study revealed that most of the students, teachers, and parents lacked the knowledge of non-binary gender identities, and they showed unwillingness towards the inclusion of transgender in schools because of the cultural context of Bangladesh. Moreover, this study suggests future initiatives to be taken to ensure the inclusion of transgenders in a secondary school in our country and analyzes it through the lens of feminist theories.

Keywords: education, gender, inclusion, transgender

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1700 Leading Gifted Education in Saudi Rural Schools: Case Studies of Differently Performing Schools

Authors: Abdullah Almalky, Colin Evers


Gifted individuals in rural areas may lack access and opportunities compared with urban students. This case study research provides research-based evidence to identify the professional needs of principals running rural schools with gifted education (GE) programs. The data were obtained from diverse cases (high-performing [HP] and low-performing [LP] schools) by conducting interviews with principals and teachers, conducting focus groups with gifted students, and analyzing policy documents. The findings reveal a lack of knowledge among principals in relation to GE. However, HP schools were more concerned with the needs of gifted students compared with LP schools. In addition, principals of HP schools were mostly instructional leaders, whereas LP schools were mostly led by building managers. Therefore, the study recommends a revision of GE policy in Saudi Arabia and urges ministries of education and universities to consider including GE in principals’ and teachers’ preparation programs to better serve gifted students in schools.

Keywords: gifted, Saudi Arabia, leadership, policy, rural education, case study, interview

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1699 Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Model of Partnership and Capacity Building in Hong Kong

Authors: Irene T. Ho


Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) studying in mainstream schools often face difficulties adjusting to school life and teachers often find it challenging to meet the needs of these students. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Autism Support Network (JC A-Connect) is an initiative launched in 2015 to enhance support for students with ASD as well as their families and schools. The School Support Programme of the Project aims at building the capacity of schools to provide quality education for these students. The present report provides a summary of the main features of the support model and the related evaluation results. The school support model was conceptualized in response to four observed needs: (1) inadequate teacher expertise in dealing with the related challenges, (2) the need to promote evidence-based practices in schools, (3) less than satisfactory home-school collaboration and whole-school participation, and (4) lack of concerted effort by different parties involved in providing support to schools. The resulting model had partnership and capacity building as two guiding tenets for the School Support Programme. There were two levels of partnership promoted in the project. At the programme support level, a platform that enables effective collaboration among major stakeholders was established, including the funding body that provides the necessary resources, the Education Bureau that helps to engage schools, university experts who provide professional leadership and research support, as well as non-governmental organization (NGO) professionals who provide services to the schools. At the programme implementation level, tripartite collaboration among teachers, parents and professionals was emphasized. This notion of partnership permeated efforts at capacity building targeting students with ASD, school personnel, parents and peers. During 2015 to 2018, school-based programmes were implemented in over 400 primary and secondary schools with the following features: (1) spiral Tier 2 (group) training for students with ASD to enhance their adaptive skills, led by professionals but with strong teacher involvement to promote transfer of knowledge and skills; (2) supplementary programmes for teachers, parents and peers to enhance their capability to support students with ASD; and (3) efforts at promoting continuing or transfer of learning, on the part of both students and teachers, to Tier 1 (classroom practice) and Tier 3 (individual training) contexts. Over 5,000 students participated in the Programme, representing about 50% of students diagnosed with ASD in mainstream public sector schools in Hong Kong. Results showed that the Programme was effective in helping students improve to various extents at three levels: achievement of specific training goals, improvement in adaptive skills in school, and change in ASD symptoms. The sense of competence of teachers and parents in dealing with ASD-related issues, measured by self-report rating scales, was also significantly enhanced. Moreover, effects on enhancing the school system to provide support for students with ASD, assessed according to indicators of inclusive education, were seen. The process and results of this Programme illustrate how obstacles to inclusive education for students with ASD could be overcome by strengthening the necessary partnerships and building the required capabilities of all parties concerned.

Keywords: autism, school support, skills training, teacher development, three-tier model

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1698 An Investigation into the Role of School Social Workers and Psychologists with Children Experiencing Special Educational Needs in Libya

Authors: Abdelbasit Gadour


This study explores the function of schools’ psychosocial services within Libyan mainstream schools in relation to children’s special educational needs (SEN). This is with the aim to examine the role of school social workers and psychologists in the assessment procedure of children with special educational needs. A semi-structured interview was used in this study, with 21 professionals working in the schools’ psychosocial services, of whom thirteen were school social workers (SSWs) and eight were school psychologists (SPs). The results of the interviews with SSWs and SPs provided insights into how SEN children are identified, assessed, and dealt with by school professionals. It appears from the results that what constitutes a problem has not changed significantly, and the link between learning difficulties and behavioral difficulties is also evident from this study. Children with behavior difficulties are more likely to be referred to school psychosocial services than children with learning difficulties. Yet, it is not clear from the interviews with SSWs and SPs whether children are excluded merely because of their behavior problems. Instead, they would surely be expelled from the school if they failed academically. Furthermore, the interviews with SSWs and SPs yield a rather unusual source accountable for children’s SEN; school-related difficulties were a major factor in which almost all participants attributed children’s learning and behavior problems to teachers’ deficiencies, followed by school lack of resources.

Keywords: psychologist, school, social workers, special education

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1697 Financial Market Turmoil and Performance of Islamic Equity Indices

Authors: Abul Shamsuddin


The Islamic stock market indices are constructed by screening out stocks that are incompatible with Islam’s prohibition of interest and certain lines of business. This study examines the effects of Islamic screening on the risk-return characteristics of Islamic vis-a-vis mainstream equity portfolios. We use data on Dow Jones Islamic market indices and FTSE Global Islamic indices over 1993-2013. We observe that Islamic equity indices outperform their mainstream counterparts in both raw and risk-adjusted returns. In addition, Islamic equity indices are more resilient to turbulence in international markets than that of their mainstream counterparts. The findings are robust across a variety of portfolio performance measures.

Keywords: Dow Jones Islamic market index, FTSE global Islamic index, ethical investment, finance

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1696 Creating an Inclusive Classroom: Country Case Studies Analysis on Mainstream Teachers’ Teaching-Efficacy and Attitudes towards Inclusive Education in Japan and Singapore

Authors: Yei Mian Adrian Yap


How we idealize the regular schools to be inclusive as much as possible hinges on mainstream teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy towards the inclusion of students with special needs in the regular schools. This research studies the Japanese and Singaporean mainstream teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy towards the inclusion of students with special needs in the regular classrooms by investigating what key variables influence their attitudes and teaching-efficacy and how they strategize to address their challenges to include their students with special needs in their regular classrooms. In order to understand the nature of teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy towards the inclusive education, a mixed-method research methodology was carried out in Japan and Singapore; it involved an explanatory sequential method of employing quantitative research first before qualitative research. In the quantitative research, 189 Japanese and 183 Singaporean teachers were invited to participate in the questionnaires and out of these participants, 38 Japanese and 15 Singaporean teachers shared their views during their semi-structured interviews. Based on the empirical findings, Japanese teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy were more likely to be influenced by their experiences in teaching students with special needs, knowledge about disability legislation, presence of their disabled family members and level of confidence to teach students with special needs. On the other hand, Singaporean teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy were affected by gender, educational level, received trainings in special needs education, knowledge about disability legislation and level of confidence to teach students with special needs. Both country results also demonstrated that there was a positive correlation between their teaching-efficacy and attitude. Narrative findings further expanded the reasons behind these quantitative factors that shaped teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy. Also it discussed the various problems faced by Japanese and Singaporean teachers and how they identified their coping strategies to circumvent their challenges in including their students with special needs in their regular classrooms. The significance of this research manifests in necessary educational reforms in both countries especially in the context of inclusive education. These findings may not be as definitive as expected but it is believed that it could provide useful information on the current situation about teachers’ concerns towards the inclusive education. In conclusion, this research could potentially make its positive contribution to the body of literature on teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy in the context of Asian developed countries and these findings could posit that regular teachers’ positive attitudes and strong sense of teaching self-efficacy could directly improve the success rate of inclusion of students with special needs in the regular classrooms.

Keywords: attitudes, inclusive education, special education, teaching-efficacy

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1695 An Investigation into Kenyan Teachers’ Views of Children’s Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

Authors: Fred Mageto


A great number of children in mainstream schools across Kenya are currently living with emotional, behavioural difficulties. This study aims to explore teachers’ perceptions of children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) and their attributions of the causes of EBD. The relevance of this area of study to current educational practice is illustrated in the fact that primary school teachers in Kenya find classroom behaviour problems one of the major difficulties they face. The information presented in this study was gathered from 182 teachers that responded back to the survey, of whom 27 teachers were later interviewed. In general, teachers’ perceptions of EBD reflect personal experience, training, and attitudes. Teachers appear from this study to use words such as indifferent, frightened, withdrawn, aggressive, disobedient, hyperactive, less ambitious, lacking concentration, and academically weak to describe pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD). The implications of this study are envisaged as being extremely important to support teachers addressing children’s EBD and shed light on the contributing factors to EBD for a successful teaching-learning process in Libyan primary schools.

Keywords: teachers, children, learning, emotional and behaviour difficulties

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1694 An Investigation into Libyan Teachers’ Views of Children’s Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties

Authors: Abdelbasit Gadour


A great number of children in mainstream schools across Libya are currently living with emotional, behavioral difficulties. This study aims to explore teachers’ perceptions of children’s emotional and behavioral difficulties (EBD) and their attributions of the causes of EBD. The relevance of this area of study to current educational practice is illustrated in the fact that primary school teachers in Libya find classroom behavior problems one of the major difficulties they face. The information presented in this study was gathered from 182 teachers that responded back to the survey, of whom 27 teachers were later interviewed. In general, teachers’ perceptions of EBD reflect personal experience, training, and attitudes. Teachers appear from this study to use words such as indifferent, frightened, withdrawn, aggressive, disobedient, hyperactive, less ambitious, lacking concentration, and academically weak to describe pupils with emotional and behavioral difficulties (EBD). The implications of this study are envisaged as being extremely important to support teachers addressing children’s EBD and shed light on the contributing factors to EBD for a successful teaching-learning process in Libyan primary schools.

Keywords: children, emotional and behavior difficulties, learning, teachers'

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1693 Speech Disorders as Predictors of Social Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy in the Primary Schools of the Czech Republic

Authors: Marija Zulić, Vanda Hájková, Nina Brkić–Jovanović, Srećko Potić, Sanja Tomić


The name cerebral palsy comes from the word cerebrum, which means the brain and the word palsy, which means seizure, and essentially refers to the movement disorder. In the clinical picture of cerebral palsy, basic neuromotor disorders are associated with other various disorders: behavioural, intellectual, speech, sensory, epileptic seizures, and bone and joint deformities. Motor speech disorders are among the most common difficulties present in people with cerebral palsy. Social participation represents an interaction between an individual and their social environment. Quality of social participation of the students with cerebral palsy at school is an important indicator of their successful participation in adulthood. One of the most important skills for the undisturbed social participation is ability of good communication. The aim of the study was to determine relation between social participation of students with cerebral palsy and presence of their speech impairment in primary schools in the Czech Republic. The study was performed in the Czech Republic in mainstream schools and schools established for the pupils with special education needs. We analysed 75 children with cerebral palsy aged between six and twelve years attending up to sixth grade by using the first and the third part of the school function assessment questionnaire as the main instrument. The other instrument we used in the research is the Gross motor function classification system–five–level classification system, which measures degree of motor functions of children and youth with cerebral palsy. Funding for this study was provided by the Grant Agency of Charles University in Prague.

Keywords: cerebral palsy, social participation, speech disorders, The Czech Republic, the school function assessment

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1692 Values Education in Military Schools and Işıklar Air Force High School Sample

Authors: Mehmet Eren Çelik


Values are notions that help people to decide what is good or not and to direct their attitude. Teaching values has always been very important throughout the history. Values should be thought in younger ages to get more efficiency. Therefore military schools are the last stop to learn values effectively. That’s why values education in military schools has vital importance. In this study the military side of values education is examined. The purpose of the study is to show how important values education is and why military students need values education. First of all what value is and what values education means is clearly explained and values education in schools and specifically in military schools is stated. Then values education in Işıklar Air Force High School exemplifies the given information.

Keywords: Işıklar Air Force High School, military school, values, values education

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1691 Minority Students' Attitudes on Preferential Policies for Ethnic Minorities in China: Case Study of an Institute of Education for Ethnic Minorities

Authors: Xiaoxu Liu, Yuwen Chen


In this study, we investigated ethnic minority students’ perception of the implementation of preferential policies in China. Using a mixed methods design, we surveyed 320 students from an institute of education for ethnic minorities and conducted further in-depth interviews with seven respondents. Although interviewees were from 30 ethnic groups, most of them were from mainstream high schools. We found that minority students from preparatory classes have an overall positive attitude towards preferential policies and preparatory class but lack sense of belonging to the university for various reasons. Findings indicate that although preparatory class is regarded as being helpful for minority students’ academic development, there are differences of attitude mainly depending on the high schools they graduated from and their ethnic identities. Our analyses suggest that ethnicity, high school graduated from, hometown and family income are more important than gender, religion, and political affiliation when accounting for their perceptions of the implementation of preferential policies in China.

Keywords: Chinese minority education, higher education, preferential policies, survey analysis

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