An investigation of the influence of teaching facilities and teacher training on the attitudes of primary school educators towards the implementation of inclusive education.
Bhengu, Millicent Gugulethu.
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The present study focuses on the investigation of the influence of teaching facilities and teacher training on the attitudes of educators towards the implementation of inclusive education. As a result of South Africa's particular history of inequalities and discrimination, and the context recent rapid social changes, most schools do not even have basic resources and are experiencing a serious breakdown in the culture of learning. These factors are viewed as part of the major challenges to educators and the policy of inclusion. If these factors are not addressed, they act as major barriers to learning and development, thereby resulting in the exclusion of many learners. The right of all learners to basic education is underwritten by the policy of inclusive education. Attainment of an educational right, therefore, focuses on the need to ensure that all learners, including learners with special educational needs (LSEN), are able to access equitable educational opportunities that will allow them to achieve to their potential. Inclusive education constitutes a challenge to the education system as a whole and in particular to educators in mainstream classrooms. The educators in South African schools are currently being expected to make major changes in the way they understand teaching and learning in the process of adapting to an entirely new curriculum. Teachers are expected to have the knowledge and skills to accommodate a range of diversity among learners. In international literature, it has been found that positive attitudes in educators towards inclusive education, play an important role in the successful implementation of an inclusive educational policy. From the literature, it becomes clear that, should educator's attitudes towards inclusion be negative, their teaching abilities in the inclusive classroom will be negatively affected. In order to achieve the goal of this study, a survey questionnaire which was completed by fifty educators (White and African) was conducted. The researcher was able to determine the influence of teaching facilities and teacher training on the attitudes of primary school educators towards implementation of inclusive education. From analysis of the data, it became apparent that these primary school educator's attitude was largely positive but they felt incompetent because of their lack of knowledge and skills, and because of the lack of teaching facilities and resources.