Including the excluded: A case study of an inclusive classroom in an inclusive education school in Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The purpose of inclusive education is to value children with special needs, so that they can participate equally in all educational activities in a general school along with their peers without discrimination. There is a worldwide movement towards establishing inclusive educational settings for children who have not as yet received due attention from governments and the private sector. The Salamanca Conference (1994) focused on education of the child with special education needs. In this gathering, all governments of the world were to ensure the basic education of all children with and without special education needs (SEN) within the existing mainstream schools. Many developed countries have already worked on this critical issue. In the developing countries, much less initiatives have been taken to include children with SEN in the mainstream schooling systems. As a result, there is a dearth of research in this area (with the exception of studies on teachers' attitudes), and where efforts (have been) made, they lack enough support, direction and clarity towards inclusive education. In Pakistan, as in many other developing counties, the government has given more attention to the inclusion of girl child in the main stream educational system, as compared to inclusion of the child with SEN. Despite these difficulties, I found a private school in Karachi, Pakistan, which has taken initiatives for implement a policy of inclusion of all children in their school. This study set out to find the perceptions, classroom practices, interactions, facilitating and hindering factors within an inclusive classroom and their relationship with the practical steps that can be taken towards inclusive education. The study was a case study, where in- depth interviews and classroom observations were conducted. The class had three students with SEN, and the remaining 22 students had no special needs. It was found that the participants (teachers, co-ordinator, and principal) had positive attitudes towards inclusion. They perceived that inclusive education (IE) allows all children to share the same school and classroom. There was a two-sided interaction (negative and positive) between perceptions and practices. The study also found that more students with SEN could be accommodated in mainstream classroom than the current number through the existing practice, for example, students having physical handicaps or mild impairments are not particularly disruptive to the classroom. In the research questions, through this study, six major themes were extracted; and they have been analyzed and discussed in chapter four. The key findings and synthesis, recommendations and conclusion are found in chapter five. Hence, this dissertation explores the practices and interactions carried out in an inclusive classroom in order to involve SEN children in the learning process.

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