Educational managers' understanding and experiences of the implementation of inclusive education : evidence from selected urban primary schools in Zimbabwe.
This study focused on the school heads‟ understanding and experiences of the implementation of Inclusive Education in selected urban primary schools in Zimbabwe. The apparent absence of a tentative policy statement that informs the understanding and implementation of Inclusive Education in Zimbabwe results in different understandings and experiences. Using the multiple site case study design, I interviewed four primary school heads. I used observation and document analysis as supplementary data generation instruments. The theoretical framework identified the Social Ecological Model and the Transformational Leadership theory as the lens through which inclusion maybe understood and successfully implemented and managed in the schools. Findings show that inclusion and integration characterised by special classes and Resource Units have been implemented in the schools. A pull-out programme was being used for language and learners who needed individualised instruction. Issues such as lack of knowledge and experience among the school heads, government mandating the implementation of inclusion in the schools, lack of resources, issues of assessment and absence of inclusive curriculum, large classes and negative attitudes by teachers have been cited as issues that affect the school heads‟ understanding and experiences of Inclusion. The study concludes that the school heads‟ understanding and experiences of Inclusive Education bear great significance towards its effective implementation in the schools. With better understandings and experiences, there are indications that the school heads can enhance the implementation of I.E. in the participant schools leading to improved inclusive practices.