Master Mussa Shaffii Ngonyani
Essence of Education for Children with Disabilities in Developing Countries. Survey of Tanzanian Regular Primary School Teachers' Self-Efficacy, Attitudes towards and Willingness to Include Pupils With Disabilities.
Basically, the subject area of the present study is special needs education. Thus, the present study seeks (i) to explore how teachers’ gender, age, teaching experiences, grade level taught, class size and number of pupils with disabilities per classroom are related to teachers’ self-efficacy, attitudes, and willingness to include pupils with disabilities in the regular education classroom; (ii) to examine the relations between teachers’ professional development training in special needs education and their self-efficacy, attitudes, and willingness to include pupils with disabilities in the regular education classroom; (iii) to investigate whether the types of disabilities that pupils manifest in the classroom affect teachers’ self-efficacy, willingness, and attitude towards their teachings activities; and (iv) to evaluate the extent to which teachers’ self-efficacy and attitudes predict their willingness to include and work with pupils with severe learning disabilities in the regular education classroom.
This study was conducted in the southern highlands zone of Tanzania and included two different regions; within those two regions, five districts were selected for the study. A quantitative research method was employed in this study. The present study used a questionnaire to collect the data, and of the approximately 1500 teachers who received the questionnaire, 1264 responded by returning completed questionnaires (84.3%), all of which qualified for further analysis.
The findings of the present study demonstrated that not all of the variables included as independent variables were significantly related to teachers’ self-efficacy, teachers’ attitudes, or teachers’ willingness. For example, variables such as number of pupils with disabilities per classroom, types of disabilities that pupils manifested in the classroom and professional development training in special needs education were the only factors that demonstrated significant effects on teachers’ self-efficacy, attitudes and willingness.
Furthermore, the findings of the present study confirmed the relation between teachers’ self-efficacy and teachers’ attitudes. In addition, the findings of the present study confirmed significant relations between teachers’ self-efficacy and teachers’ attitudes in predicting teachers’ willingness to work with pupils with severe physical disabilities, cognitive disability and behaviour problems in the regular education classroom. However, the findings affirmed that teachers’ attitudes are the best or strongest predictor of teachers’ willingness to work with children with severe learning disabilities in the regular education classroom.
Recommendations are made for future research and changes in practice and policy. It is hoped that the present study can contribute to a systematic plan to implement inclusion in the Tanzanian educational system to improve the training of Tanzanian primary school Teachers and to ensure positive educational outcomes for pupils with disabilities in Tanzania.