Creating inclusive schools : critical considerations for school management teams.
Yeni, Nombulelo Priscilla Esther.
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A qualitative case study of critical consideration for the SMT in developing inclusive schools is reported in this study. The study was conducted in one rural district in the south coast area in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The aim of the study was to determine the SMT’s understanding of inclusive education and to establish what they consider as important in ensuring that their schools are inclusive. Lastly, it sought to identify the challenges that they faced in making their school inclusive. This was a single case study. The study targeted 5 SMT members who were involved in a focus group interview. Data analysis in the study influenced by systems theory. The two concepts defined are inclusive education and school management teams. Both the theoretical framework and the theory were used as lenses to understand the critical considerations for the SMTs in developing inclusive schools. The findings gathered from the study indicate that the SMT had very limited and often distorted understanding of the policy of inclusive education. It was also clear that they are not sure of what they consider critical for them as the SMT in the process of developing inclusive schools. At the same time they were able to indicate many challenges that they are faced with in their school. The findings suggest that this might be lack or inappropriate training on inclusive education as well as misunderstandings on inclusive strategies. The study concludes that the introduction of policy processes that requires implementation should ensure that all stakeholders involved are brought on board. It is important to get buy in from other educators to embrace diversity and understand the purpose. The process of paradigm shift is difficult to individuals especially when there are so many changes in the system, people tend to resist change.