Preparing teachers for inclusive practices: An action research with the teachers of not-for-profit private primary inclusive school in Gilgit-Baltistan
Date of Award
Master of Education (MEd)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
The present action research study aimed at exploring the strategies that could help teachers to develop skills and knowledge for making their teaching and learning inclusive in a not-for-profit inclusive school of Gilgit-Baltistan. For this action research I worked with four teachers who were teaching in this inclusive school during the action research. Throughout the reconnaissance, intervention and post intervention stages, the data were generated by using interviews, classroom observations, post-observation discussions and field notes. Furthermore, I used reflections of the participants, critical friend and research, and document analysis as data collection tools. The findings of the reconnaissance stage revealed that all four participants appreciated that their school was the first in the region to offer inclusive education and they were also happy for their contribution towards school's inclusive approach. However, data analysis also highlighted many challenges facing teachers in identifying children's hidden impairments, handling different issues stemming from these young people's disabilities and using appropriate teaching strategies to make their classes more inclusive. On the basis of reconnaissance stage findings I conducted six interactive professional development (PD) sessions in two action research cycles which focused the concept of inclusive education, types of special needs, signs and causes of different disabilities, different teaching strategies to address the special needs, and the sense of the development to IEP to the teachers. The findings of the post-intervention highlighted that these sessions helped teachers to reflect on their past practices and their experience with new learning around inclusive approach to teaching. Participatory and interactive PD activities encouraged teachers' deeper engagement and desire to improve their practices. Learning of new inclusive education related content knowledge added to teachers' confidence in designing activities, need-based planning for SEN children, and dealing with SEN children in the most appropriate manner. The study also revealed that ongoing PD sessions helped teachers in improving their understanding about the kinds and causes of special teaching strategies to overcome the learning barriers facing SEN children. It was evident that in-house professional development courses could help teachers to improve and sustain their motivation leading to positive change in their attitude towards inclusive practices. it is recommended that school should organize school-based PD programs to enable teachers to work on the holistic development of SEN children and to make their classes more inclusive.
Sher, T. (2017). Preparing teachers for inclusive practices: An action research with the teachers of not-for-profit private primary inclusive school in Gilgit-Baltistan (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.