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Choosing the topic of the thesis is not an easy task. I remember when our Vice Dean, Jason Sparks, said a joke about our theses that they would be as our second husbands, since we would fall asleep and wake up in the morning thinking about it. This is what I am feeling now and especially felt when I was choosing the thesis topic. Being confused, I decided to consult with my colleague who had graduated master degree at NU. So, with the help of hers I decided to investigate teachers’ competencies in the sphere of inclusive education at the school I work now.
The research site has several students with special educational needs. One of them is my student who has an infantile cerebral palsy that does not allow him to write as quickly as other regular students and it usually inhibits the educational process. While collaborative planning with the teachers of his other subjects or with my co-teachers, I have realized that there is a limited knowledge about differentiating the instructions and using multiple means of representation, and more than that, some teachers feel pity towards students with the impairments and try to raise them the marks or, due to lack of knowledge, the student is remained without attention. However, one of the core values of teachers’ competence regarding inclusive education is “supporting all learners, promoting the academic and social learning of all learners” (Forlin, 2012, p.205). Concerning about the fact that teachers are probably not well prepared for inclusive education, the current paper is going to be very timely, especially for International School in Astana, as there is no particular research conducted. This study is significant for all teachers who teach students with special educational needs, as identifying problematic side, the ways of solving the problem can be identified and suggested. So, this study is going to evaluate and identify the concerns of teachers and provide possible recommendations to overtake them.
It is crucial to identify teachers’ personal assessment of their ability and practical challenges faced by them because it can affect the teachers’ performance and the progress of students with SEN in the classroom (Hammond & Ingalls, 2003; Sideridis & Chandler, 1996; Van Reusen, Shoho, & Barker, 2001). So, the raise of teachers’ awareness and preparedness in terms of inclusive pedagogy is essential in order to meet the needs of community and develop inclusive atmosphere in society, as teachers educate a new generation that build the future of Kazakhstan.
Forlin, C. (2012). Future directions for inclusive teacher education. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis group.
Hammond, H., & Ingalls, L. (2003). Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion: Survey Results from Elementary School Teachers in Three Southwestern Rural School Districts. Rural Special Education Quarterley, 22(2), 24-30.
Sideridis, G. D., & Chandler, J. P. (1996). Comparison of attitudes of teachers of physical and musical education toward inclusion of children with disabilities. Psychological Reports, 78(3), 768-771.
Van Reusen, A. K., Shoho, A. R., & Barker, K. S. (2001). High School Teacher Attitudes toward Inclusion. The High School Journal, 84(2), 7-17.