Preschool Teachers’ Perspectives Regarding Inclusive Education Practices: Mersin Sample

Emine Yılmaz Bolat


Studies evaluating the attitudes of teachers towards the practice of mainstreaming education are very limited. The main purpose of this research is to examine the perspectives of pre-school teachers regarding the practice of mainstreaming education. It investigates teachers’ thoughts on integration education, challenges encountered in this area and their possible solutions, how integration education practices affect students with normal development, and the acceptance of integration students by their normal development peers. As a general survey, this study uses the maximum diversity model, which is an objective sampling method. The study group comprises 20 pre-school teachers working in Yenişehir district of Mersin center in Turkey. Researchers specializing in this field of expertise collected data using 10 personal information questionnaires, 9 interview forms consisting of open-ended questions about integration education, and a personal information form. Teachers generally took 10-15 minutes to answer the questions on the interview form, and the data were analyzed in terms of the answers given. The teachers who participated in the study reported that the mainstreaming students who were special needs were found to be beneficial (70%), they were positive towards the mainstreaming students (31.4%), and the normal developmental students developed cooperation skills and supportive emotions (30.8%). Some 39.1% reported solving the difficulties they experienced by establishing school-family-child cooperation abilities (47.4%) and that physical environments had to be corrected first (26.1%) in order to increase the effectiveness of cohesion education practices. In addition, empathy studies and preparation of children with special needs and normal development were important in terms of acceptance of integration students (33.3%), preparation of Individualized Education Program (PEP) by teachers' attention to children's readiness level (44.4%) while preparing Individualized Education Program (52.2%) of the respondents.

Keywords: Preschool, special needs, inclusion

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