10 SES 07 E JS, Teachers Involvement in Educational Effectiveness
Paper Session, Joint Session NW 10 and NW 11
The inclusion of people with special needs is an ongoing process that began early in the twentieth century and has spread around the world in a variety of ways. Society as a system faces challenges while providing people with special needs the ways to be included and by learning how they can contribute to the society as well. When people are willing to accept those with special needs as capable of contributing to their social environment and not as a mere burden on society, then inclusion is on the right path (Kozminsky, 2003).
The inclusion of students with special needs in the education system encourages schools to continuously improving the processes for inclusion. Yet, the process in society in general has not evolved accordingly (Flavian, 2011). Although for the most part, children with learning difficulties (LD) are able to study with their peers throughout the school years, when they seek admission into higher education programs in order to become teachers, they are often frowned upon or discouraged, if not openly rejected. In many cases, the explanations provided suggest that LD might hinder their ability to meet the demands of the teaching profession (Einat, 2009). Nevertheless, over the last decade, some teachers with special needs have begun teaching in mainstream schools, but this path is not open to all (Green & Storm, 2010).
Modified learning programs are developed in schools in order to provide students with LD the opportunity to graduate with their peers (Flavian, 2010). The same academic adjustments are offered in the process of professional training, as long as the modifications do not detract from the level of professionalism. Therefore, throughout teacher-training, trainees with LD need to develop skills related to self-management, class management, teaching strategies and the use of certain technologies in the classroom. Not surprisingly, trainees with LD who have access to all the necessary support and who acquire helpful strategies throughout their schooling and academic training often turn out to be very effective teachers. Nevertheless, as teachers with LD they need to adjust to a working place that provides no adjustments in order to succeed like every other teacher (Stacey & Singleton, 2003; Leyser, 2011). At this stage of life, true inclusion begins.
This study is based on school principals' view in regard to the inclusion of teachers with LD in their schools.
The main goal of this study was to better understand school-principals' views regarding the inclusion of teachers with LD, in order to develop a beneficial teacher-training program for people with LD.
Three main questions guided this study:
• What are the school-principals' attitudes to inclusion in general, and to the inclusion of teachers with LD in particular?
• Do the school-principals experience any difficulties or dilemmas about hiring candidates with LD to teach in their schools, and if so, what are they?
• What advice might the school-principals have for teachers with LD?
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