THE MISSING PIECE OF A PUZZLE OR AN UNWANTED CHILD: METAPHORICAL PERCEPTIONS OF TURKISH PRIMARY TEACHERS ABOUT INCLUSION STUDENTS
Published: 29 Sep 2018
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the metaphorical images of 184 Turkish primary teachers about inclusion students. With this aim, the following research questions were the focus of the study: (1) What metaphorical images do primary teachers have about inclusion students? (2) What conceptual themes (categories) can be derived from these metaphorical images? (3) What are the implications of the research findings related with primary teachers’ inclusive practices? Data were collected through the participants’ completion of the phrase of “An inclusion student is like… because…” by focusing on only one metaphorical image and reflecting their opinions in the format of a composition. Data were analyzed through the content analysis technique. The metaphorical images produced by participants were grouped under the following eight different conceptual categories: (1) A valuable person (pearl, etc.), (2) A person needing love and care (seedling, etc.), (3) A person encountering and struggling with obstacles (novice driver, etc.), (4) A person deserving a new opportunity (orphan, etc.), (5) An individual that society needs (the missing piece of a puzzle, etc.), (6) An individual who helps a teacher develop (North Star, etc.), (7) An individual needing support (a newborn baby, etc.) and (8) An individual whose special needs could not be met (unwanted child, etc.). The study concludes that the success of the inclusive education is directly related to the attitudes and approaches of teachers towards inclusion students.
Keywords: primary teachers, inclusion student, metaphorical images, qualitative research
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