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Title: The issues of implementing inclusion for students with Learning Difficulties in mainstream primary schools in Saudi Arabia
Author: Alhammad, Mohammed
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 2924
Awarding Body: University of Lincoln
Current Institution: University of Lincoln
Date of Award: 2017
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Saudi Arabia is one of earliest Arab countries to have implemented the integration of students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) (Almosa, 2008, 2010). Recently, the Ministry of Education (MoE), through the King Abdullah Public Education Development Programme, began preparing to introduce inclusion for students with SEN in practice. Thus, the current study explores potential barriers that could challenge the implementation of inclusion for male students with Learning Difficulties (LD) in mainstream primary schools. This research is timely as the issues involved with implementing inclusion remain unclear in Saudi Arabia. The issues were investigated by examining the understanding of teachers regarding the term ‘inclusion’ and exploring the factors that could challenge the implementation of inclusion from the perspective of teachers as well as through an analysis of the current practice of educating students with LD and general education students in mainstream primary schools in the Saudi context. Adopting the interpretivist paradigm, qualitative data was collected in five mainstream primary schools taken as a single case study, through interviews with thirteen teachers from a group of special education teachers and eleven teachers from a group of general education teachers. Moreover, observations of classrooms and schools and an analysis of legislative documents were used as supportive data collection methods. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse the data. The findings showed that the majority of teachers had an understanding of the term inclusion, although a few teachers indicated their lack of knowledge and understanding of this term. Moreover, teacher preparation, in-service training, competence of teachers, teachers’ views, relationships between students, relationships between parents and teachers, human support, curriculum, teaching strategies, assessment, resources, legislations, administrative matters, number of students in classroom and infrastructure were identified as factors that could act as barriers to implementing inclusion effectively. The results of the analysis led to some recommendations for future practice; these include how to support teachers’ readiness for inclusion, improve the practice of teachers in mainstream classrooms, improve the relationships between students with and without LD, the relationships between parents and schools, and improve environmental factors, in order to make inclusion work effectively. This study contributes to knowledge of inclusive education by exploring the issues surrounding the implementation of students with learning difficulties in the Saudi context.
Supervisor: Callinan, Carol Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: N224 Management and Organisation of Education ; X300 Academic studies in Education