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26 “Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Mainstream Primary Education: An Exploration of the Challenges and Considerations from the Perspective of Parents, Pupils and School Teachers Perspective” Student Name / Ref Number Literature Review Multiple studies suggest that approximately only 5% of students with disabilities successfully finish primary education due to barriers inherent in the inclusive education. Furthermore, inclusive education is hindered by a lack of adapted curricula, inadequate teacher training, and insufficient integration of parental and student perspectives. Teachers require additional training and resources to accurately interpret and implement inclusion. This section provides a literature review of the historical evolution that influenced policy framework, the obstacles to inclusive education, and the attitudes and beliefs that affect inclusive education . History of Special Education and policy framework Earlier and current literature on special education has been important in developing a legal framework that supports the mainstream education of children with disabilities. According to Agrawal et al. (2019), the term learning disability was first introduced between the 1800s and early 1960s. During this time, European researchers primarily concentrated on medically observing patients who had suffered from brain damage. In the early to mid-19th century, the research on aphasias conducted by French neuroanatomist Broca and German neurologists Wernicke and Jackson contributed significantly to the understanding of disabilities (Agrawal et al ., 2019). In the 1970s, Broadbent and Kussmaul conducted extensive research on word blindness, which expanded the existing literature. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 contributed to the current literature by introducing the concept of inclusive rights and freedoms. As a result of this, inclusive education practises were developed. Furthermore, Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights confirms the right of parents to choose the kind of education their children receives (Foreman, 2020). The study concluded that parents play an important role in their children’s education. The literature granted parents the authority to participate and promote equal opportunities for education in regular education settings. Foreman (2020) added that education stakeholders should acknowledge and value parents’ opinions regarding the educational institutions where their children should be schooling. In their study, Agrawal et al. (2019) agrees with the Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This literature acknowledges the influence of the Disabled Children Act of 1975 in the United States, as it played a critical role in shaping the human rights-based principle of normalization. The implementation of this policy resulted in the extensive expansion of inclusive education. Norwich’s (2019) studies acknowledge the impact of Warnock’s 1974 report on policy change in the United Kingdom in 1981. The report agrees that it is important to integrate children with disabilities into mainstream education, adapting the curriculum to meet their needs, incorporating parental input as equal partners in the educational process, and valuing the child’s voices and perspective (Lindsay et al., 2020) A review of the literature by Barnes (2012) on rights of individuals with disabilities, specifically in relation to the United Nations’ International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981 and the Right of Persons with Disabilities in 2006 concluded that every child with a disability had the right to participate fully in society affairs. The finding from this study led to the introduction of various legislative measures and policy initiatives that address social and economic deprivation of disable people. A current study by Foreman (2020) advanced the notion that children with disabilities should receive separate specialised services but the study put little consideration to their full participation in society. Furthermore, Foreman (2020) agrees that there has been notable progress and widespread adoption of inclusivity as a fundamental philosophical principle. According to Lauchlan and Greig’s (2015) literature, the fundamental system has remained unchanged, despite various refinements made by successive governments. Multiple studies have identified challenges associated with implementing inclusive education. The studies concluded that integrating students with disabilities into mainstream education could result in labelling and increased stigma (Lauchlan & Greig, 2015). The main goal of inclusive education was to facilitate equitable access to quality education. The quality of education is the ultimate determinant of a child’s success, regardless of whether they are in mainstream or specialised education. Some other studies claimed that children had the right to be free from discrimination . Barriers Associated with Inclusive Education Research indicates that teachers play a crucial role in determining the extent to which students with special educational needs (SEN) benefit from inclusive education. The quality of teaching is a critical factor in determining students’ learning outcomes. Teachers’ negative attitudes, lack of knowledge on improving inclusion, and failure to accommodate parents’ and students’ views and voices in curriculum development are some obstacles to inclusive education. De Leeuw et al. (2018) literature review indicates that inclusive education is susceptible to victimisation and bullying . Earlier study by Adderley et al. (2015) asserted that contemporary research overlooked the student viewpoint regarding social inclusion within the classroom. Mowat (2015) offered a different view suggesting that teacher’s negative attitude toward inclusive education; directly impacted student social acceptance. Teachers showcasing a negative attitude influence how other student peers treat the SEN student, whereby when a teacher reacts negatively to a student’s disruptive behaviour, the student’s peers may still draw a negative inference about the student. The current literature review by De Leeuw et al. (2018) partially agrees with the statement that the teacher’s approach to SEN student issues influences the student’s trust and willingness to seek assistance. A teacher who mishandles SEN concerns by either displaying indifference or punishing the student may erode the student’s trust, negatively affecting the teacher-student relationship; therefore, students will hesitate to seek help from their teachers (De Leeuw et al., 2018). Earlier studies viewed learning difficulties as teacher-solvable problems as opposed to learner problems (Ainscow, 1999). This perspective discouraged teachers and fostered the notion that teachers are unprepared or unqualified to instruct children with special needs. Current research concurs with earlier research that asserts that teachers must prepare to meet SEN students’ needs despite lack of necessary training to support SEN children. According to Mulholland and O’Connor (2016), teachers’ inability to effectively meet the needs of children with disabilities is exacerbated by inadequate training and support , further complicating inclusive education implementation. According to Haug (2017), teaching quality in inclusive education depends on adequate working conditions that meet all-inclusive education needs. Evidence from the study indicates that teachers can only provide necessary support in inclusive education , such as offering promised individualised instruction. Another study by Pit-ten Cate et al. (2018) adds to the growing body of evidence indicating that teachers frequently feel unprepared and anxious about their ability to cope; as a result, they are less inclined to accommodate SEN students. Earlier studies by Buell et al., (1999) support the notion that general education teachers felt less competent and effective in supporting students with SEN than special education teachers. Hettiarachchi and Das (2014) found that inadequate knowledge and training in inclusive methodologies were major barriers that hindered teachers from providing essential support to students with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream classrooms. This suggests that competent teachers need additional skills and training to support students with special educational needs in mainstream classrooms. Liasidou and Antoniou (2013) agree partly while presenting contrasting perspective on recognizing the value of teacher training and knowledge in facilitating inclusive education. Liasidou and Antoniou (2013) propose that skillful and knowledgeable teachers may offer necessary support to students with SEN . This is distinguishing factor between general education teachers from special education teachers. In disagreeing with the current literature , Liasidou and Antoniou (2013) asserted that competence alone could not facilitate inclusive practice. Yeo et al. (2016) give a different view contrary to the early literature on the importance of competence in promoting inclusive education. The finding from this study indicated that teachers were required to be more concerned with their professional knowledge , competence, and training in special needs as to promote inclusive education of SEN students successfully. In addition, educators expressed concerns about teacher competence in identifying the abilities of children and effectively teaching both regular children and those with disabilities. Yeo et al. (2016) noted that teachers were more receptive to inclusion when they had a stronger perception of their competence and teaching experience with SEN students. This study reveals that a lack of training opportunities was the primary impediment associated with a negative school-wide reception of inclusion. According to a previous study by Koutrouba, Vamvakari, and Steliou (2006), teacher mistrust of inclusion was largely attributable to a lack of graduate special education training. This literature supports the notion that training teachers was crucial for equipping teachers with the necessary knowledge and ensuring they acquire the necessary skills to improve their competence. Multiple studies still investigate parental involvement in children’s education and how parents’ voices normally impact the success of inclusive education. According to Bemiller’s (2019) literature, parents always have their children’s best interests in mind. However, parents are unable to promote their children’s interests due to their emotional limitations, limited persona , and limited social and economic resources, and they may also have unrealistic expectations at times. Bemiller (2019) added that parents should be involved in decision-making processes, have access to information, and receive assistance in advocating for their children’s needs. Parents often have varying perspectives when it comes to their child’s learning difficulties, and their interpretation of the issue is often influenced by their individual perceptions. Parents have different ways of understanding their children’s learning difficulties, which can influence their decisions and lead them to transfer their children from one school to another (Falkmer et al., 2015, p. 1). Therefore, Parents often switch their children’s schools if they feel that the current school is not meeting their child’s specific educational needs . Falkmer et al., (2015) narrative review established that parents expressed concern about being unable to participate in the decision-making process for their children’s education, which makes it difficult for them to reach an agreement with school personnel. Falkmer et al. (2015) found that convincing teachers and parents to engage in decision-making is a challenging and time-consuming task. Several studies have established a direct relationship between parent participation and its impact on SEN student achievement. However, earlier study by Eccles & Harold (1993) indicates that schools resist accepting parents as full partners. Through a focus group, Resch et al. (2010), found that parents face barriers related to inclusive education, including lack of access to information and services, financial barriers, barriers associated with school and community inclusion and lack of family support. Many parents also reported difficulty obtaining information about existing services, and d extreme dissatisfaction with available services, indicating the need for more open communication and collaboration . Current literature asserts that parent continues to raise concern over the challenges they experience while trying to convince school personnel to place their children in general education (Falkmer et al., 2015). This study clearly demonstrates that inclusive education faces challenges due to school personnel’s disregard for parental involvement in their child’s education. Several studies have revealed that parents’ voice is overlooked during inclusive settings. Survey studies by Pavlovic (2016) reveal a negative attitude toward inclusive due to lack of adequate information on inclusive education and its benefit. This contributes to a student with SEN being neglected in the school itself; their opinions, ideas, and voices are not sought out or listened to, despite their expectations that their teachers would do so. Humphrey et al. (2013) experimental study established that students with SEN had worse social relationships than children and adolescents without identified disabilities. This implies that SEN students are unable to form friendships with their peers, which explains why they have fewer friendship groups than their peers and continue to experience social isolation and peer bullying. A review of the literature by De Leeuw et al. (2018) suggested that SEN students experienced social isolation and knowledge gaps. The study concluded that there is limited research that focuses on this subject of student voice on inclusive education. De Leeuw et al. (2018) noted that teacher are main players driving inclusive education and but the perspectives and voices of SEN students are normally overlooked. The UNCRC holds a different perspective, stating that students can express their opinions on any issue that impacts them. The current exploratory study by De Leeuw et al. (2018) recognises that each student had right to express their opinion . However, the interview study by De Leeuw et al. (2018) had some weaknesses such as including students who had repeated one or two school years as participant in study, meaning the interview finding was not that reliable. This research is still relevant in understanding the obstacles that SEN students encounter. Study still agrees with the subject asserting that SEBR’s voice and perspective on social inclusion remain rare . Attitudes and Beliefs of school teachers toward inclusion Teacher attitudes and beliefs have been a topic of research in every country where scholars and educators try to investigate the impact of educator attitudes and beliefs and resource constraints in affecting inclusive education. Numerous studies demonstrate the educator’s negative attitudes and beliefs are affecting the implementation of inclusive education and as well as affecting the teacher’s role in offering the needed support to SEN students. The overview of Alkhateeb et al. (2023) study revealed that educators who display positive attitudes towards inclusive education are more likely to establish inclusive learning environments and have high academic achievement expectations for their students. A literature review by Pit-ten Cate et al. (2018) illustrates that explicit teacher attitudes towards the inclusion of students serve as predictors of successful inclusion efforts. The study shows a direct correlation between Teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion and their positive or negative expectations and behaviour in promoting effective inclusion practises (Pit-ten Cate et al., 2018, p. 56). On the other hand, the study reveals a weaker correlation between attitudes and teacher evaluations of SEN students . Even though current students have focused on explicit attitudes, research on implicit attitudes may provide new insight, as the nature of teaching involving complex cognitive action and high time demands suggests a significant influence of the automatic attitude behaviour process. Earlier research by De Boer et al. (2011) agrees with teachers holding positive and negative attitudes toward inclusive education for SEN students. However, the same study found no positive correlation between teacher attitude and inclusive education. This study revealed that teachers hold neutral or negative attitudes toward including students with SEN in the mainstream education system. Another point of view has been advanced by Leonard and Smyth (2022), which found that teachers’ attitudes tend to change positively when teaching students with learning or intellectual difficulties and are less positive towards students with behavioural issues. Additionally, several studies suggest that teachers’ capacity, insufficient skill and training negatively influence teacher attitudes and beliefs toward inclusive education. According to Paseka and Schwartz (2002), teacher capacity issues, including insufficient skills and training, have negatively impacted teachers’ attitudes and beliefs regarding inclusive education. Other studies offer different views linking the limited resources in school to impacting teachers’ attitudes and beliefs toward inclusive education. A current literature review by Crispel and Kasperski (2021) founds that promoting special needs education for students with SEND may need to be improved due to limited resources and school-related challenges, which further contribute to negative attitudes and perceptions of inclusion from school teachers. Another view was raised by other studies, which claim that lack of adequate time to prepare and modify curriculum materials, identify appropriate teaching aids to support SEN students and collaborate with other staff and paraprofessionals affected inclusive education in some way. As Yeo et al. (2016, p.69) noted, there is inadequate time for teacher to attend case management meetings, update student progress on their individualised education plans, complete paperwork, and meet with parents affect inclusive education. Yeo et al. (2016) observation study had some limitations because the sample size smaller, and the data was collected from fewer primary schools, and their principals were the one that nominated teachers who participated in the study. Therefore, it took a lot of work to determine the extent to which interview responses corresponded to day-to-day activities in the inclusive classroom (Yeo et al., 2016, p.69). However, of relevance is that lack of teacher education impacted teacher capacity and competence in developing education plan that aligns with student needs. Other studies have found that teachers face challenges with large class sizes, difficult behaviour and inadequate material and human resources which add some hurdles to inclusive education. Evidence by Paseka and Schwab (2020, pp.254-272) indicates that a lack of resources or the inability of resources to address student concerns and needs appears to be a major barrier to successful inclusion in education. In Germany, for instance, schools can reject students with SEN due to a lack of available resources. A literature review by Paseka and Schwab (2020) indicates that teachers’ attitudes could be improved if they are satisfied with the available resources and support, particularly for those working in inclusive classrooms. As noted previously, teacher attitude is influenced by the availability and support received. However, Galaterou and Antoniou (2017) raised another point of view that connects the lack of cooperation with parents and the extra workload caused by teaching a student with special needs as contributing to negative attitudes towards integration . Strategies for Promoting Inclusive Education for SEN Several studies agree that what is good for pupils with special education needs is also good for all pupils. Therefore, teachers must respond to individual differences rather than relying on labels. This can be achieved by promoting inclusive pedagogy, a learner-centred approach to teaching and learning that focuses on overcoming differences between learners by extending the option available to everybody instead of differentiating activities only for some learners. Florian Black Hawkins’s (2011) literature review suggests that the practice avoids comparison, ranking, labelling, and belief about fixed abilities. While supporting this literature, Rowe, Wilkin, and Wilson (2012) assert that the practice promotes a personalised approach to teaching and learning where teachers adapt approaches and resources to each learner’s needs. An earlier European Agency (2003) study suggests that cooperative learning is an effective way to promote inclusive learning, where the learner can participate fully in their classroom while the teacher can learn from others. This conclusion aligns with other studies that recognise the importance of recognising the student’s voice and perspective. A review of the literature by De Leeuw et al. (2018) acknowledges that the perspective of students with SEN is crucial because students are experts in their situations and can influence educational initiatives, policies, and research. Evidence from other studies indicates that including student voices would directly contribute to positive academic and social outcomes for students with special educational needs and disabilities (Lashley, 2021). Maher and Vickerman (2018) assert that inclusive education can improve academic outcomes by fostering a positive learning environment, increasing student engagement, and providing individualised instruction. Pit-ten Cate et al. (2018) provided another view where teacher training was found to be crucial in promoting inclusive education. The study concluded that teachers that have received training in special education demonstrated greater competence and a more positive attitude towards accommodating students with SEN in mainstream classrooms. An earlier study by MacFarlane & Woolfson (2013) agrees with this literature by asserting that teachers who participated more in-service training sessions had more positive attitudes towards SEN students. MacFarlane and Woolfson (2013) further noted a direct correlation between a teacher’s special education knowledge and their positive attitude towards including students with special needs in regular classrooms. This study concluded that the teacher’s competence, attitudes, and behaviour were correlative. Positive attitudes indicate greater acceptance of students with SEN and a willingness to accommodate them in the general education classroom, allowing teachers to gain positive experience and contributing to a sense of competence and efficacy. Increased competence and perceived efficacy can increase teachers’ willingness to engage in inclusive teaching practices. Other studies agree with this literature by reemphasising the essence of teacher training as the only way of promoting teacher competence. Contrary, Borg et al. (2011) study reemphasise the need for addressing teachers’ attitudes to encourage their willingness to include all students in regular classrooms. Beacham & Rouse’s (2012) study in the United Kingdom and the United States teacher education established that teacher education could positively impact teachers’ perceptions of their competence and attitudes towards integration. In addition, introductory courses in special education have been linked to reduced pre-service teachers’ anxiety and hostility towards teaching students with SEN in regular classrooms. Additionally, Pit-ten Cate et al. (2018) study suggested that in-service teachers can benefit from continuing education or in-service courses. The study concluded that clear guidance, support, and access to education system resources were crucial for teachers to provide inclusive education successfully. Another study by Blandul and Bradea (2017) agreed with the previous literature by giving a new view on improving teachers’ competence. The study asserts that teachers could effectively integrate students with special education needs after forming and developing professional, psycho-pedagogical, and methodological competencies over time (Blandul & Bradea, 2017). An earlier study by Gherguţ, Frumos, and Raus (2016) concluded that teacher training is required and should be incorporated into training programs so that teachers can learn about student-specific issues and their behavior, as well as the appropriate principles, methods, and techniques for instructive education administered to children with disabilities. Yeo et al. (2016, p.69) proposed that, in addition to training, teachers should modify the learning environment to accommodate SEN students. On top of that, the teacher should provide individualized instruction by allocating class time for additional instruction and task breakdown. Yeo et al. (2016, p.69) further added that there is a need for AEDs to co-teach with mainstream teachers to observe effective specialist support in action. Teachers learned more and developed self-efficacy when they engaged in deep learning through a collaborative learning structure that included guidance from and observation by colleagues with expertise in specific content areas, feedback from colleagues observing their teaching, and reflective discussion. The study by Yeo et al. (2016) also recommended that Allied education for learning and behaviour support (AED) be deployed as consulting teachers so that their expertise could be shared with numerous teachers. As a consultant, AED has expertise in differentiating content regarding what students learn, processes regarding how they learn, and products regarding how they demonstrate what they have learned. The issue of inclusive education can be addressed by incorporating the voices of students. The study by De Leeuw et al. (2018) acknowledges that the perspective of students with SEN is important because they are experts in their situations and have the ability to influence educational initiatives, policies, and research. In addition, research indicates that inclusion results in positive academic and social outcomes for students with special educational needs and disabilities. Maher and Vickerman (2018) argue that inclusive education can improve academic outcomes by fostering a positive learning environment, boosting student engagement, and providing individualised instruction (Lashley, 2021). Parents care more about their children’s well-being, so they will be more satisfied if they receive the necessary information and are involved in decision-making (Falkmer et al., 2015). Involving parents in decision-making will go a long way towards promoting inclusive education. In this way, parents will not be pressured to transfer their children to a new school , which may affect their academic performance because it takes time for children to make new friends and adjust to a new environment (Falkmer et al., 2015, pp1). Parents continue to advocate for the training of teaching assistants by certified teachers. Inclusive education was necessary to improve social outcomes as it fosters positive peer relationships, reduces stigmatisation, and promotes diversity and acceptance. Yeo et al. (2016) concluded that teachers tend to report positive experiences once they have mastered or acquired strategies that would enable them to make inclusion work in their classroom. The teacher’s satisfaction stems from their mastery of inclusive education strategies and the support they receive from school personnel, parents, and students. Response by one teacher claimed that inclusion was somewhat easier when the teachers were dealing with high-performing students. However, if a child is low-functioning or unidentified, it is difficult to accommodate children inclusive education. Lastly, Mitchel (2014) study claimed that small learning groups make it easier for peer students to help each other to carry out individual and group tasks. Therefore, this approach benefited all learners in class, not just those with disabilities. In conclusion, many studies acknowledge that there are many factors influencing teachers’ attitude and competence and those factor can hinder or promote inclusive education. Even though some literature treats parents as key stakeholders in their children education, there is limited literature solely focused on student and parent perspectives. Some literatures were not current but still they provided information that could support current literature or show some divergence in a new body of knowledge. This review is relevant because it recognises the barriers that limit teacher competence, the existing barriers to incorporating parents’ and student voices, and the contribution of negative teacher attitudes towards enhancing inclusive education. Finally, the literature review suggested that teacher training, mentorship by special education educators, and incorporating parents’ and student perspectives were critical in promoting personalised teaching plans that align with student needs . References Agrawal, J., Barrio, B.L., Kressler, B., Hsiao, Y.J. and Shankland, R.K. (2019). 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