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A study of perceptions 'significant others' hold, of the inclusion of 'children with difficulties' in mainstream classes

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posted on 18.12.2006, 17:12 authored by Bromley H. Kniveton
The perceptions of mainstream, teachers, parents of other children, and many other people, are crucial to the extent to which children with difficulties are accepted in mainstream classes. This study examined views of 507 ‘significant others’ towards the inclusion of children experiencing a variety of difficulties. They were asked to rank how they felt about children with certain types of ‘difficulty’, and given the opportunity to explain their decisions in a subsequent interview. Five main issues were examined, namely the most suitable age for inclusion, the problems faced by parents, the type of difficulty most suitable for inclusion into mainstream classes, the allocation of resources, and how resources should be allocated to children with different types of giftedness. Views towards these issues varied depending on the type of difficulty the child experienced. The findings of this study indicate, some children are more likely than others to be readily accepted by ‘significant others’ for inclusion into mainstream schooling. It was stressed, the perceptions of these ‘significant others’ impact upon how successful any attempt to include children in mainstream classes will be.



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  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


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KNIVETON, B.H., 2004. A study of perceptions 'significant others' hold, of the inclusion of 'children with difficulties' in mainstream classes. Educational studies, 30 (3), pp. 331-343


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