An Exploration of Inclusive Education in Elementary Mainstream Schools in Saudi Arabia

Alzemaia, Fozah Ali (2019) An Exploration of Inclusive Education in Elementary Mainstream Schools in Saudi Arabia. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

The aim of this research is to uncover the barriers to and enablers of inclusive practices in elementary mainstream schools in Saudi Arabia. It particularly focuses on educators’ attitudes and practices. How some factors, specifically educators’ age, level of experience in general and special education, qualification type and level, religious beliefs and self-efficacy in teaching students with special educational needs (SEN), affect attitudes and practices are also examined. The study also explores the effect of a training intervention on these attitudes and practices. Thirty-two participants were interviewed and observed in two stages, prior to and following a training intervention. These participants were Saudi female leaders and practitioners working in four schools that had been involved in inclusive education experience for between 0 and 10 years.

The study’s findings in the pre-training stage revealed that the attitudes and practices of the majority of participants were negative, although they held positive religious beliefs indicating a moral commitment towards students with SEN. The prevalence of negative attitudes and practices among the research participants demonstrated that their age, level of experience in general and special education, and qualification type and level did not play a role, or their effect was obscured by other factors. Primarily, two specific factors were held responsible for the negative attitudes and practices: lack of specialist knowledge about inclusion and its purpose, and lack of confidence in their abilities to support and teach students with SEN.

The post-training stage findings revealed that the majority of those who participated in the training workshop became supportive of inclusive education and exhibited more inclusive practices in their classrooms. Moreover, the study identified many barriers to inclusive education in these schools including an unsuitable curriculum, lack of training, lack of staff cooperation, ineffective leadership, insufficient parental involvement, inadequate resources and facilities for students with SEN, large classes, shortage of staff and misdiagnosis of the type of disability that students had. The study concludes with some recommendations to improve inclusive education in Saudi Arabia.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education, schools, elementary, barriers, inclusive
Subjects: X100 Training Teachers
X300 Academic studies in Education
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2020 15:19
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2020 14:22
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/42042

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