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Title: Inclusive education for deaf students in Saudi Arabia : perceptions of schools principals, teachers and parents
Author: Alothman, Abdulaziz
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 9007
Awarding Body: University of Lincoln
Current Institution: University of Lincoln
Date of Award: 2014
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This study is set in Saudi Arabia within the context of increasing national and international emphasis on inclusive education of deaf students and where policy overtly supports increasingly inclusive schools. This research is important because it is one of the few qualitative Saudi Arabian studies that have been conducted within the interpretive paradigm with a view to understanding the complexity of inclusive education. It specifically explores the factors that have influenced its theory and practice at inclusive boys’ primary schools for deaf students in the Saudi educational context. The empirical study which was set in the Local Educational Authority in Riyadh city focuses on the perceptions of schools' principals, teachers and parents of deaf students. It explores the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and experiences of these three groups of participants regarding the inclusive education of deaf students, in order to establish the factors that influence inclusive education and determine the kind of services that are needed for inclusive education of deaf students in the Saudi context. The study had two stages: the first involved exploratory focus-group interviews with schools' staff including schools' principals, teachers and parents of deaf students; and, stage two was based upon individual interviews, observations and documentary data. I adopted a purposive sampling strategy in both cases and overall 61 participants were included. A key finding was that principals of inclusive schools lacked the knowledge and understanding of inclusive education necessary for effective education for deaf students. This arguably has affected their attitudes and unconstructively influenced their attitudes towards the inclusive education of deaf students in their schools. Whilst the majority of teachers of deaf children had more knowledge and the necessary positive views towards their inclusive education and have tried to adapt classroom materials and activities to accommodate deaf students, the lack of support from principals inhibited them. In addition parents appear to lack knowledge about inclusion and its possibilities for their children and they are as such excluded from influencing educational policy and mostly do not play the role in inclusive schools to support their children that Saudi Arabian policy suggests they should. Other inhibiting factors for inclusive education for deaf students included insufficient facilities and resources, lack of training courses and lack of collaboration among school staff and between staff and parents of deaf students. My research indicates that these insufficiencies cannot be addressed without there being a symbiotic relationship between principals, teachers, parents, the Local Educational Authority, the Ministry of Education and the school environment. There is a strong need to create mechanisms to change the knowledge, attitudes and qualifications of principals, teachers and parents. Therefore in response to these findings I have developed and proposed a strategic model that focuses on the deaf student and their educational support, for the Saudi Education System. There is considerable research needed if inclusive education for deaf students is to be more grounded in an understanding of the context. The study ended with utilising its findings and previous literature to develop recommendations for theories of inclusive education and made contributions to knowledge about the role of attitudes. It also provided a set of policy guidelines and made suggestions about pedagogy. In Saudi, organisationally the Local Educational Authority need to pay more attention to funding inclusive schools and providing facilities and specialised training to school staff and parents. With work this may lead to successful inclusive education for deaf students in Saudi Arabia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: X300 Academic studies in Education