The purpose of this qualitative research study is to understand the perspectives of educators regarding their capabilities to implement effective inclusion practices within an elementary Catholic school that has recently enrolled students with moderate disabilities by addressing one intervention specialist, and one administrator for few participants. The study was guided by the following research questions: What are Catholic school elementary educators' perspectives regarding their capabilities to implement inclusion practices for students with disabilities (SWD) in Catholic schools? And what recommendations for professional development would Catholic School educators, including intervention specialists and administrators identify that could support the educational community in fostering inclusion in Catholic School settings? The conceptual framework for this study is based on the concept of inclusive practice as presented by Villa and Thousand (2016). My research process was guided by social cognitive theory, as presented by This study is qualitative in nature as it focused on the collection of qualitative data while focusing on the identifying the attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of the teachers in Catholic schools regarding effective implementation of inclusive education for students with moderate to severe learning needs while using the qualitative forms of data collections such as the interviews. Total 80 participants were included in this study, and the researchers had contacted them using email. The research included these participants from four different Catholic schools in the region, and they had carried out an online survey to accomplish the study. It was found that many participants had a positive attitude toward disabled students with a severe case. The study concluded that more research is required to be focused on the difference between the unique, mainstream, and inclusive schools.
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study
Inclusive education can be referred to as the central theme for many institutes (Ainscow & Sandill, 2010). This might be due to the injustice and inequality factors that are arising in Catholic schools and colleges. Moreover, many researchers are also aware of the difficulties teachers face concerning inclusive education, and they became determined to increase the awareness of the increasing challenges in Catholic schools. Several published works have specified and clarified the debate on the issues of Catholic schools and social justice. Many individuals with unique condition strive to seek the shelter of Catholic educational schools and institutes (De Boer & Minnaert, 2011). However, many questions arose over the practical use of inclusive education technique in Catholic schools. The schools face many challenges that can hamper the growth of such students in the schools.
Robinson & Goodey (2018) stated, "The educational worth continues to be based on outdated standards." The systems strive to find ways to educate the children in classic ideologies (Robinson & Goodey, 2018). At present, Robinson has compared the educational system with a factory where students are forced to be successful. The method in several schools has been made that does not support equal education and opportunities. High scores have become important instead of the student's worth ((Salvia, Ysseldyke & Witmer, 2012; Robinson & Goodey, 2018).
The system bases the test scores as a standard means of measuring success, and this has turned out to be a disadvantage for marginalized students. Due to this, the students are not able to get equal opportunities concerning educational practices. Even though the students are individuals and possess different psychologies, their net worth and success factors are determined by test scores, not giving them equal opportunities. This factor is real even for the inclusive educational practices (Salvia, Ysseldyke & Witmer, 2012).
Experts state that inclusive education can become better only when equality is promoted. Therefore, inclusive education is meant to overcome the traditional paradigm (Goransson & Nilholm 2014). The segregated setting is also typical for students with disabilities in Catholic schools. This forced the separation of educational practices with different rules. Often, it is seen that the instructional practices oppress disabled people more. This factor dissolved the mode of educational objective that such inclusive education carries (Mittler, 2012; Messiou, 2017). Due to this, the inclusive education concept remains a mysterious aspect for many people. The traditional element of inclusive education contains the notion that everything traditional is good for disabled students. While others think of it as a "way of life." some scholars refuted the criticism by saying that the inclusive education is meant to provide social justice to the students by providing them with an equal education (Lipsky & Gartner, 2013; Messiou, 2017). However, inclusive education also requires more than the typical educational environment. For this, the teachers are supposed to be given special education for teaching the students in Catholic schools. They would also need a separate certification program for teaching students with disabilities.
The Inclusive education is meant to give a better opportunity to the students with disability and bring about growth unto their feet (Hornby, 2015). However, at times, educators are involved in having mixed perception regarding it that can further make the educational life trouble for both sides. The educators often end up showing less interest because of the negative side. However, when the educators have a positive attitude, they would be more involved in the teaching within the inclusive context. There can be many reasons for being such diversions such as better training and experience in handling the students with a disability (Messiou, 2017). Moreover, students with disability can be harder to deal with when it comes to barriers (Hornby, 2015). They would sometimes be difficult to handle and identify because of several reasons. Many educators might also need external help from the psychologists to get the right recommendations of the barrier identification.
Some teachers assume that having inclusive education can be harder than teaching itself (Kraska & Boyle, 2014; Sailor, 2015). This can be because of the rising problems within the education context concerning the disability. For this reason, several authorities of Catholic institutes are involved in having inclusive training programs that can provide sufficient knowledge to the educators regarding inclusive education. It was again assumed that such training programs could address the problems arising in the Catholic schools regarding inclusive arrangement. The only way to see...
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