Exploring the views and beliefs of parents of typically developing children about inclusion and inclusive education

Vlachou, Anastasia, Karadimou, Stella and Koutsogeorgou, Eleni (2016) Exploring the views and beliefs of parents of typically developing children about inclusion and inclusive education. Educational Research, 58 (4). pp. 384-399. ISSN 0013-1881

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Abstract

Background: The inclusion of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SENDs) in regular classrooms has been identified as a high priority in many policy documents published by both European and international organisations. Its implementation, however, is influenced by a number of factors, some of which are directly related to the participation and attitudes of different stakeholders, including parents of typically developing children. Parents, as a social group, can act in favour of inclusion or they can support more segregated educational environments.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore, in a Greek context, the views and beliefs of parents of typically developing children about different aspects of the education of children with disabilities, with a particular focus on inclusion and inclusive education.

Method: Interviews were held with 40 Greek parents representing 40 typically developing school-aged children who were educated in six different primary education schools, from the broader area of central Greece. All of the children, at the time of the study, were educated in mainstream classes, in which an in-classroom support system was applied. Open-ended interview questions focused on parents’ views and beliefs about the implementation of inclusive educational programmes. Data were analysed according to the principles of an inductive data-driven approach.

Findings: The research findings indicate that most of the participant parents did not feel informed about specific school policy practices relevant to inclusive education; they were not aware of the notion of ‘inclusion’ or approached inclusion from an integrationist point of view. Within this context, they hold positive to neutral attitudes towards inclusion, on the basis that a child with SENDs can cope with the school requirements.

Conclusions: This small-scale, exploratory research study suggests the importance of informing and involving parents of typically developing children in efforts to promote more inclusive practices.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC1200 Inclusive education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC1390 Education of special classes of persons > LC3950 Exceptional children and youth. Special education > LC4015 Children and youth with disabilities
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Depositing User: Eleni Koutsogeorgou
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2018 12:47
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2018 12:47
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/79713
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