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KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDE TOWARDS INCLUSIVE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES: THE CASE OF THAI PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS*

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Author(s): Richel C. Dapudong

Journal: Academic Research International
ISSN 2223-9944

Volume: 4;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 496;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Knowledge | attitude | inclusive education | learning disabilities

ABSTRACT
Thailand amended legislation to allow children with disabilities to attend regular public schools. However, a variety of cultural considerations influences teachers' responses to this legislation. This study uses descriptive-survey method to investigate Thai teachers’ knowledge and attitude towards inclusive education of children with learning disabilities (LD) in public primary schools in Nonthaburi Province, Thailand in the school year 2011-2012. Three hundred ten general education teachers completed a modified- translated-to- Thai-Language version of Opinions Relative to the Integration of Children with Disabilities (ORI) survey. Therespondents had partial knowledge on the provision of legislation and exhibited moderate knowledge on the symptoms of learning disabilities. The Thai public primary school teachers had a favorable attitude towards inclusion of LD children in regular classrooms in terms of their beliefs, feelings and actions. There is a need for Thailand to open up more training and qualification advancement programs to improve the knowledge and attitude of the Thai teachers. The officials of the Ministry of Education possibly will transition the previous education system toward a systemthat now integrates children with exceptionality, provides teachers with scientific research and model of change to help indicate the kind of educational change and/or program needed in order to work with students with disabilities and designs advocacy program to create less discriminating society. Finally, there is a need toinvestigate explicit details about teacher attitudes as they relate to inclusion, student’s learning, classroom management and the emerging factors related to perceptions of how inclusion will affect behavior and the school environment.
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