Perspectives on Reconceptualizing and Recontextualizing Schools’ Inclusive Culture for Students with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Source of Publication
Inclusive Learning and Educational Equity
This study examines whether federal primary schools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) respond flexibly and effectively to the needs of students with disabilities through an inclusive school culture. School culture can support or undermine developments in education and influence education policies and practices, either positively or negatively. Principals and teachers determine the qualities of inclusive environments, and they need to reconceptualize their roles and responsibilities in terms of their professional knowledge, attitudes, disposition, and preparedness to implement child-centered and inclusive methodologies to accommodate children’s diverse needs during the pandemic. This study argues that efforts to create a ‘School for All’ and a more equitable response to diversity during the COVID-19 pandemic should not only aim at accommodating the heterogeneous needs of students with disabilities but at considering a shift in the underlying cultural values and beliefs. School culture is affected by macro level social changes, reflected in micro level pedagogical practices, and learning processes. The research findings, based on qualitative and quantitative analyses of two survey questionnaires and of secondary data (e.g., 21 school policies; 35 school reports, 3 educational laws) showed that the 107 principals and the 105 teachers responded to the needs of society, embraced an inclusive vision, and engaged in inclusive practices aimed at sustainable inclusive schools. However, in this endeavor they encountered a plethora of challenges.
Springer International Publishing
Inclusion, COVID-19, School culture, Disability, Teachers, Principals
Efthymiou, Efthymia, "Perspectives on Reconceptualizing and Recontextualizing Schools’ Inclusive Culture for Students with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic" (2022). All Works. 5377.
Indexed in Scopus