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In the too hard basket': Issues faced by 20 rural Australian teachers when students with disabilities are included in their secondary classes

S. Kuhl, P. Pagliano, H. Boon,

Academic Literature

2015

Given the urban dominance of inclusion literature, it is germane to explore issues pertaining to including students with disability in the rural school. As such, this paper uses a qualitative research methodology to examine how 20 teachers experience including students with disabilities in their rural secondary classrooms. As a mother of an adult with disabilities and as a former teacher in both rural primary and secondary schools, the first author and the person responsible for the field-work was an insider researcher. Teachers in the study described having students with disabilities as a relatively new phenomenon. Although they tentatively supported the philosophical ideals of inclusion, many expressed mixed feelings about including students with a disability in their rural classrooms due to a perceived lack of support, high staff turnover, difficulties accessing professional development and the prohibitive constraints of providing for a diverse range of needs within a rural context. Data analysis indicates the need for a more multidimensional approach to rural issues. Despite negative urban comparisons, rural social representations using minor theory can be shown to be dynamic and continually adapting to fresh circumstances in ways that are relevant and anticipatory. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : International Journal of Inclusive Education

Domain/s: Education

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