n South African Journal of Education - Teacher preparedness for inclusive education




Since the report of the National Department of Education, "QualityEducation for All" was published in 1997, it has became evident thatinclusive education is going to be the way forward in special (andregular) education. Both the Consultative Paper on Special Education(30 August 1999) and the Draft White Paper on Special Education(23 March 2000), which appeared subsequently, point stronglyin the direction of inclusion. This investigation focused on the preparednessof teachers for this new policy of inclusion. An eventualsample of 2 577 Free State teachers was utilised from the total of 12education districts. Through a comprehensive questionnaire an effortwas made to ascertain the knowledge, skills and attitudes of teacherstowards inclusive education - this measure was utilised to determine(and deduce) their level of readiness for inclusion. The results of theinvestigation indicate that a huge effort will have to be made by policymakers and provincial education departments to effect a paradigmshift towards inclusion. It appeared that respondents still thinkin terms of past specialised education models that were utilised inprevious eras. They also appear to be mindful of South African relatedproblems, and apparently do not exhibit adequate knowledge oninclusive education.


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