Exploring perceptions and practices of teachers about inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN) : A case study of a private inclusive school in Karachi

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This small-scale case study explores perceptions and practices of teachers about inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN) in a private inclusive school of Karachi. Students with SEN are facing many challenges and barriers in obtaining their basic right to education. To achieve SDG Goal 4 that is to ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and that has to be fulfilled by 2030 globally, students with SEN must have access to schools which should accommodate them with child-centered pedagogy. Inclusive orientations are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving education for all. These are all possible if school heads and teachers accept this challenge, first by changing their attitude towards students with SEN and, second, by getting in-service trainings. Teacher’s perceptions and practices play a vital role in educating students with SEN in an inclusive school. Within the qualitative research design, the data was mainly collected through semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and secondly from document analysis. Furthermore, a thematic analysis approach was used to make sense of the data and draw conclusions. The study revealed five emerging themes from the data. These are 1) teachers’ perceptions about special educational needs, 2) teachers’ understanding of inclusive education, 3) teachers’ inclusive practices in school and challenges they face, and 5) stakeholders’ (A school principal, 2 parents and 2 students with SEN) perceptions. It was observed that if all students are involved in all school activities, it leads to greater confidence, willingness to share and acceptance of diversity in the student body. It is a win-win situation for all in all activities. However, it was found that teachers lack special education background and it is not easy to adopt different and modified teaching strategies, to develop resource material and IEP of each student with SEN and to motivate parents for their support. At the same time, personal commitment enables teachers to meet most of the expectations of parents and school in terms of improved social, reading, writing and mathematical skills of students with SEN. The study concluded that government involvement, parents’ interest, ongoing professional development and presence of professional team in a school is essential for bringing good results from inclusive education and for fulfilling the commitment to education for all.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library