To Include or Not to Include—This Is the Question: Attitudes of Inclusive Teachers toward the Inclusion of Pupils with Intellectual Disabilities in Elementary Schools

May 24, 2017

Source: Education, Citizenship and Social Justice (2017)


Numerous studies have emphasized the relationship between success of policies of inclusion and acceptance and accommodation of students with intellectual disabilities in mainstream settings and teachers’ positive attitudes toward them. Using semi-structured interviews and interpretive and constructivist strategies, the present study qualitatively analyzes the attitudes of 40 inclusive teachers regarding the inclusion of pupils with intellectual disabilities in mainstream elementary school settings in Israel.

We find that most inclusive teachers assert that the inclusion policy has failed mainly, due to insufficient inclusion hours and limited abilities of mainstream teachers to assist pupils with intellectual disabilities, and that inclusive teachers unofficially employ various strategies in an attempt to improve the inclusion process. We conclude that more emphasis and resources should be invested in increasing the number of inclusive hours in mainstream elementary schools and improving mainstream and inclusive teachers’ education curriculum, and that an inclusive strategy that involves various education and special education techniques and is based on the professional collaboration between mainstream teachers, inclusive teachers, and experts in the field of inclusion, should be implemented.

Updated: Jun. 07, 2017