The attitude of preschool teachers towards inclusion of children with visual impairment: a case study for Thika minicipality, Kenya
Kahuthia, Beth Mbura
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The Government of Kenya like many other governments of the world was faced with pressure from human rights organizations, like the United Nations, and other advocates of inclusive education, to establish inclusive education. Many countries were introducing inclusive education before thorough studies were conducted on the acceptance of inclusive education. It was on this premise that the researcher investigated the attitudes of preschool teachers towards inclusion. The study focused on children with visual impairment instead of all children with special needs. This study was based mainly on learning theories, which are some of the theories of attitude formation. The study was carried out in Thika Municipality of Thika District, one of the districts in Central Province of Kenya, located about 42 Kilometers from Nairobi, the capital city of the country. It was the only municipality with a primary and a secondary school for learners who were blind. Respondents to the study were preschool teachers working with sighted preschool children. To gather the required information the research adopted a case study design. Data collection instrument included a five-point Likert scale. To validate the research instrument a pilot study was carried out. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data where the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) was used. The major findings of the study were that, preschool teachers' training status, the type of preschool they taught and teacher-pupil ratio had no significant difference on their attitude towards inclusion of children with visual impairment. The three hypotheses of the study were accepted. From the findings the researcher recommended that, preschool teacher training curriculum be revised to incorporate pedagogies of teaching children with visual impairment. The training would enhance the teachers' attitude towards inclusive education. Already trained preschool teachers should be in serviced on pedagogies of teaching children with visual impairment. To improve on the teacher-pupil ratio, the government should ensure more preschool teachers are trained and employed. The public should be sensitized on education of children with visual impairment so as to accommodate these children in regular preschools. To enable the implementation of the recommendations made by the researcher, a policy on inclusive education for preschool children with visual impairment should be put in place. Finally, the researcher recommended for the replication of the study with a bigger sample on a larger location to enable generalization of the findings. A study on inclusive education for all children with special needs education needs to be carried out.