Factors that influence elementary school teachers' attitudes towards inclusion of visually impaired children in Turkey

Ravenscroft, John and Davis, John and Bilgin, Mert and Wazni, Kerry (2019) Factors that influence elementary school teachers' attitudes towards inclusion of visually impaired children in Turkey. Disability and Society, 34 (4). pp. 629-656. ISSN 0968-7599

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    Abstract

    There is a scarcity of research on inclusion of visually impaired children in Turkey. Specifically, a gap exists concerning the attitudes of elementary school teachers towards the inclusion of visually impaired children in mainstream schools. This paper uses data from two questionnaires, leveraging the responses of 253 teachers from rural and urban areas. The results demonstrate that elementary school teachers commonly hold positive attitudes towards the inclusion of visually impaired children and that teachers’ initial and in-service training about inclusion positively influenced their attitudes. Our findings are in contrast with earlier research which argues teachers do not hold positive attitudes to inclusion, and highlights that a key barrier to inclusion stems from elementary school teachers feeling unprepared to teach visually impaired children. We conclude that greater post-qualification training is required to enable teachers to operationalize different approaches that facilitate the inclusion of visually impaired children.