PLAY AND INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: GREEK TEACHERS’ ATTITUDES

Antonis Lenakakis, Justine L. Howard, Krystalia Felekidou

Abstract


Inclusive education requires the use of varied strategies and techniques to ensure equal participation of all students in the school society, and to advance their development. Due to its nature and qualities, play activates a child’s full dynamics; it forms part of flexible, child-centered and participatory/experiential educational strategies for celebrating diversity in education. Given the latest research findings and the critical significance of teachers for any successful teaching program, this research aims to discuss the attitudes of Greek teachers towards inclusive education, as well as the role and the importance of play for inclusive education. Data was collected via questionnaires with both open-ended and close-ended questions that were distributed to forty-eight participants. Data analysis brought forward three dimensions to the topic in question, namely a) there are practical difficulties that teachers face in their efforts to include everyone due to curriculum inflexibility; strictly structured curricula obstruct inclusion and do not allow for a cooperative culture, b) generally speaking, the terms inclusive education and special education are used ambiguously in academia and in the literature; furthermore, not distinguishing between the social and the medical aspect of disability appears to make inclusive education more difficult, and to lead teachers to ignore their responsibilities, and c) the teachers’ approach to play is superficial.

 

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play; inclusive education; inclusion; teachers’ attitudes; elementary school

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References


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