American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(2), 124-130
DOI: 10.12691/education-5-2-3
Open AccessArticle

Exploring Teachers' Views on Including Children with Special Educational Needs in Greece: Implication for Inclusive Counseling

Kourkoutas E.1, Stavrou P.-D2, 3, and Loizidou N.4

1Department of Primary Education, University of Crete, Rethymno, Greece

2Department of Psychology, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

3Laboratory of Clinical Psychology, Psychopathology and Psychoanalysis (PCPP), University Paris Descartes, Sorbonne, Paris, France

4Department of Primary Education, University of Frederick, Nicosia, Cyprus

Pub. Date: February 08, 2017

Cite this paper:
Kourkoutas E., Stavrou P.-D and Loizidou N.. Exploring Teachers' Views on Including Children with Special Educational Needs in Greece: Implication for Inclusive Counseling. American Journal of Educational Research. 2017; 5(2):124-130. doi: 10.12691/education-5-2-3

Abstract

As the model of inclusive education gains ground over the approach of special classrooms and special schools, the percentage of students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) attending regular classes along with their typically developed peers gradually increases. Under this scope, teachers and school psychologists are required to broaden the spectrum of their knowledge and skills in order to provide a supportive classroom environment that could foster the academic and social inclusion of students with SEN. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore, through semi-structured interviewing, the views of 30 Greek teachers, working with SEN students aged from 7-12 years old, on inclusive education. The content analysis of the data revealed that, according to teachers, the factors favoring inclusion revolve around building a strong relationship with the child, family and professionals working in the school context, as well as adequate information and training concerning SEN. On the contrary, factors hindering inclusion mostly concerned practical difficulties, such as overcrowded classrooms, delayed diagnoses and lack of reliable measures of evaluation. Overall, although Greek teachers appeared to be favorable towards inclusive education, they seemed to underestimate some aspects of inclusion practice regarded as key elements by the contemporary literature. What emerged from this study, was the need for additional training, psychosocial support and psychoeducation of Greek teachers working in the field of inclusive education.

Keywords:
inclusive education students with Special Educational Needs teachers qualitative approach semi-structured interview content analysis

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