Including learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Voices of mainstream teachers

Keywords: inclusive education


The global shift toward inclusive education is in pursuit of creating a more equal and just society. This has lead schools worldwide to experience an increase in the number of learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) entering the general classroom. At the first level of contact, teachers play an important role in the implementation of inclusive education. It is therefore crucial to acknowledge their experiences.  Their voices need to be heard as their experiences can contribute to doing justice to the policies on inclusive education.  In search of teachers’ subjective experiences, this interpretive qualitative phenomenological research study was framed by a social constructivist paradigm. Participants were purposefully selected from an international school in Cape Town, South Africa. Data was collected through an online open-ended questionnaire, followed by an in-person focus group discussion at the school. The findings indicated that while teachers are in favour of inclusion, they experience many challenges which result in a policy-implementation-gap. 


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