Teachers' views of the inclusion of children with "problemas mentais" (mental problems) in the educational system of the autonomous region of Madeira

Fernandes Franco, Magda Paula (2010) Teachers' views of the inclusion of children with "problemas mentais" (mental problems) in the educational system of the autonomous region of Madeira. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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In Madeira Island the Educational System has endured significant changes. The concept of education has changed in the past years as well as the need to help parents understand the new changes. This new concept of school brought a new universe into the classrooms. Teachers, students and the community in general must learn to deal with the diversity of students who now share their educational journey in the same school environment. This new challenge obliges parents, teachers, headmasters and the school community to accept, respect and provide the needed conditions for an effective education for all students. This research has explored whether inclusion of students with mental problems is working effectively, from the perspective of the teachers, in the high schools located in Madeira. The study was developed to identify the gaps in the teaching/learning process for students with mental problems studying in regular high schools. A survey method was adopted for this study in which a questionnaire was developed to explore teachers? attitudes and beliefs around the education of students with mental problems studying in regular high schools. Three illustrative scenarios were selected to show different realities that may occur among these students. Teachers read the three case scenarios and related them to their own experiences as educators. Teachers? reflections upon the problems gave the researcher the opportunity to analyze how these problems are solved or ignored by educators. The questionnaire was validated and ethical permission gained from the University. Five hundred questionnaires were distributed to teachers working in different high schools in Madeira, 300 questionnaires were returned at the end of the field work. Analysis of the responses identified a significant view that teachers were concerned about inclusion, but did not engage actively to implement government policy in this area. In particular teachers with more than 10 years experience were significantly less prepared and willing to engage with this inclusive approach. The majority of teachers reported a lack of resources, inappropriate curriculum and insufficient specialist staff as excuses for not engaging in inclusive education. The guidelines laid out in the educational policy have been put to the test. This study showed that, according to the opinions of teachers, none of the requirements have been met by the 35 schools surveyed in this study. The distance between theory and practice has always been long and in the case of inclusive education, giant steps need to be taken to narrow the gap between the theory in policy and reality in the school.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: X100 Training Teachers
X300 Academic studies in Education
Department: University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
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Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2011 14:21
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 17:00
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/815

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