Children with special needs' opinions and problems about inclusive practices

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Gül S. O., VURAN S.

Egitim ve Bilim, vol.40, no.180, pp.169-195, 2015 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 180
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.15390/eb.2015.4205
  • Journal Name: Egitim ve Bilim
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.169-195
  • Keywords: Mental Deficiency, Learning disability, Inclusion, Qualitative research, MENTAL-RETARDATION, DISABILITIES, ATTITUDES, STUDENTS
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Identification of the needs of children with special needs and the organization of proper educational settings in light of their needs is the only way to ensure that they will become independent and productive individuals within the societies they live in. There are various educational settings such as special education schools, special classrooms, and mainstream classrooms in which the educational needs of children with special needs are met. The education of children with special needs in regular classrooms, which is also known as inclusive education, is the most common practice in this respect. The success of inclusive education is highly dependent on the collective and active participation of teachers, administrators, parents, typically developed peers and the children with special needs as well as societal acceptance, the realization and valuing of these children's needs, organization of effective administration and education, behavioral and classroom control, and via assistive special education services. A review of related literature showed that almost all of the studies have concentrated on the opinions, recommendations and attitudes of teachers, administrators, parents of children with special needs or with typically developed children and typically developed peers towards inclusive education; however no study that concentrated was found that involved children with special needs who are the actual beneficiaries of inclusive education. This study aims to identify the opinions and problems of children with mental deficiency and learning disability on inclusive education and explain the points which are vital for teachers to consider in order for inclusion to be a success. The study included 14 primary, secondary and high school students, which were chosen using the purposeful sampling method. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect the data for this qualitative case study and the data was analyzed inductively. The results of the study showed that inclusive classes did not include the necessary differentiation and adaptation specified towards mental deficiency and learning disability in terms of their content, process and product dimensions. Moreover, it was found that these classes concentrated more on inappropriate behavior rather than appropriate behavior and that the inappropriate behavior of the students was tried to be minimized using punishments rather than reinforcement practices. Furthermore, the results indicated that students were not encouraged to participate in social activities most of the time and that the necessary support from typically developed peers was not taken. Additionally, contrary to our expectations it was seen that the students' relationships with their peers were good, they did seek support from their family members in matters they had difficulty with, and surprisingly they did not have any expectations from the training they received and their participation to the training was limited.