Research Review - Teachers’ Perceptions of Inclusion in a Pilot Inclusive Education Program

Zachary Mngo and Agnes Mngo conducted a research that analyzed teachers’ view regarding inclusive education in the North-West region of Cameroon at the secondary level. The methodology of the research was quantitative non-experimental descriptive survey design. There were 346 full time state-licensed general education teachers from 7 secondary bilingual schools that served as participants for this study. The participants were given the survey during staff meetings with the presence of researchers’ representative who would explain and clarify details. In order to measure the attitudes of general education teachers’ towards inclusion, the participants had a month to fill in the survey with this new instrument known as the ORI (Opinions Relative to the Integration of Students with Disabilities) that provides the option of 6 possible responses.

The main results of this article indicate that although teachers are supportive of the benefits of an inclusive education, they still prefer the concept of having separate schools/classrooms for students with disabilities. To be precise, teachers felt like they lacked the training and resources that are necessary in order to teach students with special needs. Although teachers recognized the power of attending workshops, they still need to receive formal training to cope with the demands of an inclusive education. In truth, the more educated a teacher was, the more chances were that they are trained. Therefore, they were comfortable teaching students with disabilities. However, there are not many teachers that have access to this training. In other words, this study underlines the importance of implementing formal training and both human and material resources in order to effectively achieve an inclusive education. Another important aspect to take into consideration, is the fact that the Cameroonian culture views the education of students with disabilities as the responsibility of the parents and family members. To help teachers move away from this thinking, it is important to develop special education programs with courses that emphasize on the sensitivities and acceptance towards people with disabilities.

All in all, this study reveals that in order to ensure a successful integration of students with disabilities in general education classrooms, it is important to develop intensive training programs for an inclusive education, seek fundings from different sources to have essential resources (assistive technologies and devices), and partner up with foreign schools to access a variety of resources (textbooks, softwares, etc).



Comments

Aira De Guzman February 12, 2019, 2:07 AM

The article is very well designed and includes important features. The authors’ writing style is well organized and the article is structured properly. It has the major important sections in an academic article which are the title, abstract, introduction, purpose, methodology, and results. In addition, the article includes implications for instructional leadership, plausible and detailed recommendations to the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) Program Managers and recommendations for Future Research to add value to the importance of inclusive education. From the beginning, the title “Teachers’ Perceptions of Inclusion in a Pilot Inclusive Education Program: Implications for Instructional Leadership” reflects the main issue in the article and creates expectations about the content of the article. Moreover, the introduction gives a concrete information, its academic and practical importance about the overall issue addressed in the article. The main purpose of the research is clearly defined as well as the three research questions that the article aimed to answer. For instance, the study aimed to investigate the attitudes that general education teachers have toward students with disabilities in a pilot inclusive education program in Cameroon. Furthermore, the methodology used in the study is appropriate, reliable and valid. It clearly describes detailed information about the targeted participants, the procedures, and sampling instrument to collect the data. The results summarize the data collected with statistics and charts that are nicely displayed. The findings were concisely well presented while still providing a lot of details to justify conclusions. In addition, the conclusions include strong and thoughtful observations that tie in with the researchers’ results which also lead to further reflection and encourage action taking. Finally, the article also discusses insightful recommendation for future research on the topic.

Cornelia Madja February 12, 2019, 2:09 AM

This study was very eye opening. It allowed us to put challenges of inclusive education into a worldwide/global perspective. Reading this research makes us reflect on the vast amount of opportunities that we have here in Canada and the resources available to us. As preservice teachers, we have the responsibility to take advantage of the tools within our reach, and work towards building a community of educators that teams up to think and create together in unity. Issues discussed in the study sparked an interest for leadership and engagement as active members of this huge community. Sharing is caring, and with today's technologies and devices, reaching out to continents across the globe can be done with a simple click. We feel more encouraged to share our knowledge world wide. After analyzing the different aspects that constitutes the depth of inclusive education challenges in Cameroon; We believe that more awareness should be spread. Cameroon is probably not the only country in need of help to solidify and sustain an inclusive education. Having this in mind, it all starts with a simple initiative or action. Whether is is an image, a letter, an email, a video, a quote, or even here with linkr, we have a possibility to reach out to different countries that might be in need. These simple acts might open doors to rich opportunities, and it might also make the impossible possible. When we witness great things in Education, it pushes us to give it a try and see what happens. Sharing our knowledge across the globe can in fact create a domino effect that will positively affect inclusive education across the globe. Resources can be universal, creating programs, attending network events, or through blog posts, teachers can work collaboratively in a continuous exchange of purposeful knowledge. Furthermore, for what concerns improvement in inclusive education, we would also like to highlight the importance of questioning our teaching practices in order to improve and provide the best education for our students. As lifelong learners, it is our duty to stay informed, to attend workshops/trainings as we strive to make this learning journey meaningful. To conclude, in terms of recommendation of future research in order to further the progress made by Mngo, Z. Y., & Mngo, A. Y. (2018), it might be interesting to see an aftermath research following the recommendations proposed in the study, to see change or progress of inclusive education in Cameroon.

Cornelia Madja February 12, 2019, 2:09 AM
Replying to Cornelia Madja

Mngo, Z. Y., & Mngo, A. Y. (2018). Teachers’ Perceptions of Inclusion in a Pilot Inclusive Education Program: Implications for Instructional Leadership. Education Research International, 2018, 1-13. doi:10.1155/2018/3524879

Kassia Amato February 12, 2019, 5:58 PM

Great work girls! I do agree that it is important for educators to develop the skills needed in order to give each and every one of their students the best learning experience possible.

Kevin Paquette February 13, 2019, 11:52 PM

Very well written! I completely agree that there is more opportunity for development in this field thanks to technology and I feel that we could all benefit from it. However, I must wonder how relevant the research in this article is to us here in Canada since the research was done not only in a different country, but in a different continent. How do our definitions of inclusion differ? How does teacher training there compare to ours here? This is definitely very useful information and a great article but I would love to see similar research in a North American context.

Summer Roth February 19, 2019, 4:41 AM

The results of this article was shocking to me! I did not realize teachers actually believe in this day that those with disabilities should be separate... but I guess that is real. This makes me wonder if schools are implementing enough training for inclusive education or what can be done? I really liked how you highlighted the importance of staying informed and up to date!

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