Collaboration for inclusive education: attitudes of middle school teachers in Saudi Arabia

Nora Alharthi

MEd(Res) thesis, conferred 2015

The Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia has begun providing special education services for students with learning disabilities in middle schools, and has introduced legislation to create more inclusive classrooms by encouraging the implementation of co-teaching as an option when providing these services. Teachers’ responses to this legislation will influence the success of its implementation.

This thesis used mixed methods to investigate teachers’ attitudes towards inclusive education for students with learning disabilities and collaboration designed to create inclusive classrooms in Saudi public middle schools. Two hundred and sixty-two Saudi special and general education teachers completed a survey. T-test and Pearson correlation coefficients were used in this study.

The qualitative findings indicated that general and special education teachers thought their training was insufficient to implement collaborative teaching in the regular classroom and to meet the learning needs of students with learning disabilities at the middle school level. The statistical analyses revealed significant differences between special and general education teachers’ attitudes towards inclusive education and collaboration in Saudi public middle schools. Special education teachers’ attitudes towards inclusive education and collaboration were positive, and significantly more so than those of general education teachers, whose attitudes were neutral. Finally, there was a significant (p < 0.05) relationship between the attitudes of teachers towards inclusive education and the two dimensions of collaboration. However, there were no significant differences between teachers’ attitudes towards inclusive education and collaboration according to gender, subject area, and whether or not the general educators worked in schools with special education teachers.

Supervisor: Associate Professor David Evans