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Teachers' Perceptions of Opportunities and Threats Concerning Inclusive Schooling in Germany at an Early Stage of Inclusion: Analyses of a Mixed Methodology Approach

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The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the perceived opportunities and threats of teachers working on a primary level in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany, regarding inclusive schooling. Two open-ended questions using a standardized paper-pencil-questionnaire format were administered to 452 general and 130 special education teachers. Results of descriptive and inferential statistical analyses indicated that both teacher groups expressed strong concerns related to students' educational needs and learning opportunities. Nevertheless, their perceptions differ significantly in specific categories. General education teachers anticipate inclusive schooling to improve social school climate; however, they expressed several concerns: declining teaching quality, having insufficient professional skills themselves, higher work load, and lack of resources. Their special education colleagues expected improved learning opportunities would result for all students but were worried about changes in their professional role and the political realization of inclusive schooling. Implications for practice, limitations, and the need for future research are discussed.
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Keywords: INCLUSIVE SCHOOLING; MIXED METHODOLOGY; SCHOOL TRANSFORMATION PROCESS; TEACHER PERCEPTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2015

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