Exploring Experiences, Attitudes, Practices, and Concerns of ...

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Abstract

Inclusive education aims for the equal and qualitative inclusion of students with special needs in mainstream schools. Achieving this goal depends on the dynamic construct of teaching experiences in inclusive classes, their perceptions, practices, concerns, and needs, while working with children with special needs. Based on this perspective, the goal of this study was to explore the experiences of preschool, primary, secondary, and high school teachers during the implementation of inclusive education in regular classrooms, respectively, to describe the essence of attitudes, practices, and concerns toward inclusive education in Kosovo. The design of this study is a phenomenology approach using a narrative analysis. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten teachers working in Kosovo public schools, who have experience with students with special needs. The interviews are conducted individually face to face and are grouped into four main themes. The participants understand inclusion holistically, and they have positive perceptions about the inclusion of students with mild and moderate needs. Teachers are not prepared to work with students with severe disabilities, but they use good inclusive practices. Furthermore, they have experienced not only positive feelings of satisfaction and happiness in the inclusive classroom but also negative feelings such as anxiety and stress. The research findings will generate information about the difficulties and needs of teachers when implementing the inclusion of children with special needs in the classroom.