The Inclusive Culture Of The Teacher

Abstract

The article presents the author’s understanding of the modern phenomenon of “inclusive culture” and the possibility of considering this concept in terms of understanding the quality of professional education. The construction of teacher education on the basis of the axiological approach has actualized a whole line of problems related to determining ways of forming not individual knowledge, skills, but significant integrative value characteristics, which, of course, include an inclusive culture that provides the solution to the most elaborate complex pedagogical problems in implementing the ideas of inclusion the existing system of socio-cultural space. Some concepts related to the characterization of the teacher’s professional activity require modern refinement, understanding, and often updating the semantic and meaningful content. One of them is an inclusive culture, which is described very ambiguously and is often replaced by other terms. In order to identify possible mechanisms for the formation of an inclusive culture of future teachers in the context of university education, it becomes necessary to study this phenomenon, which requires a clear methodological justification and the use of carefully selected diagnostic tools. This article contains extensive empirical material that allows not only to draw conclusions by summarizing the experimental data, but also to build further the logic of an organized study aimed at finding modern effective methods of forming an inclusive culture.

Keywords: Future educatorsinclusive cultureprofessional training

Introduction

In the conditions of the dynamic development of education, the close attention of scientists and practitioners to axiological problems is clearly revealed in the aspect of the professional training of future teachers. Axiology, being a branch of philosophical knowledge, has methodological, theoretical and practical significance. Many modern scientists, noting in their studies a change in the axiological paradigm, thus actualize the problem of the formation of an inclusive culture of future teachers at the stage of their professional education (Volosnikova et al., 2017). It is clear that the lack of an inclusive culture can cause deformation of the nascent professional position of a young teacher, the collapse of the prospects for successful professional formation and development in an inclusive space (Ryapisova & Ryapisova, 2019; Chernenko, 2018).

Problem Statement

Formulation of the problem. Updating the content of the law “On Education in the Russian Federation”, introducing standards for children with disabilities, and introducing a model of educational inclusion have led to dramatic changes in the quality requirements for the training of future teachers working in inclusive education. A detailed review of the organizational and program-methodological support offered by higher education institutions allows us to state that the requirements and optimal forms of training future teachers for new conditions of professional activity are not clearly defined (Zhuravleva & Shumilova, 2020). The training of teachers for the implementation of an inclusive educational process often comes down to the formation of knowledge about impaired development (nosology) of children and the possibilities of taking them into account during the educational process. At the same time, unacceptably little attention is paid to the issues of the formation of an inclusive culture, and it is precisely it that ensures the readiness of the teacher to work with children with special educational needs. Practice shows that the tasks of creating a meaningful, responsible and sustainable professional position of a future teacher, whose activities will be carried out under conditions of inclusion, are not being sufficiently solved (Akhmetova, 2017).

Research Questions

The subject of our scientific search is an inclusive culture and its formation in the process of professional training of future teachers. Considering inclusive culture as an important component of the quality of professional training, we are convinced that this determinately promotes the teacher’s awareness of the educational process not as a routine activity aimed at a formal result, but as a process of continuous search, creativity, self-development, self-improvement.

Scientists note the close relationship of inclusive culture and inclusive education. According to a number of foreign researchers, the inclusive culture of the educational organization is formed into a special philosophy, manifested in the totality of values, traditions, knowledge, perceptions, responsibility, consent (Carrington, 1999; Dart, 2009); an atmosphere of trust and acceptance of atypicality in all its manifestations (King, 2006; Shelden et al., 2010); this is a cyclic process, representing a set of axiological systems of all, without exception, participants in the educational process (Cianca & Freytag, 2008).

From a humanistic point of view, it is important to form an inclusive culture of future teachers precisely in the process of studying at the university (Pershina, 2017). This will allow forming an inclusive educational environment of the university; willingness to professional activities of future teachers in the context of inclusion; eliminate the risk of discrimination and increase the status of persons with disabilities (Khitryuk, 2012).

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the article is to describe the results of studying the formation of the inclusive culture of future teachers studying in the first year of a pedagogical university.

Research Methods

Description of the methods used. In the process of work, methods of theoretical and comparative analysis, systematization and generalization of materials about the subject of research, questionnaires were used.

The theoretical and methodological base of the study was composed of the socio-psychological concepts of the formation of an inclusive culture in society and a complex of systemic, axiological and competency-based approaches, which together complement each other. Moreover, the very possibility of integrated development is determined by the internal unity and methodological relations between them:

  • a systematic approach forms the research basis for the training of future teachers, provides a statement of the problem and a comprehensive study of any pedagogical phenomena, including such as the formation of an inclusive culture;

  • the axiological approach allows us to consider inclusive culture as a complex multidimensional process of developing value orientations through awareness of the internal value-semantic need and the needs of the most developing personality in self-education and self-knowledge, improving oneself, one’s inner world, one’s personal and professional qualities, which makes it possible to study the content, the structure and essence of inclusive culture;

  • a competency-based approach allows us to present an inclusive culture as a component of the quality of professional training of future teachers through a system of professionally significant personal qualities that deepen and specify the composition of professional competence of a future teacher.

Findings

The results obtained in this study. For the preparation and conduct of the survey, goals were formulated, a group of respondents was identified. Based on a review of scientific publications, a questionnaire was compiled to study the formation of an inclusive culture for future teachers studying in the first year of a pedagogical university. The reasons for a positive attitude towards an inclusive culture and the barriers to its formation are identified. The results of the study can be used to develop technologies for the formation of an inclusive culture of future teachers in the learning process at the university.

To investigate the subject of the study, a survey was conducted of 135 1st year students of the training direction 44.03.03 Special (defectological) education, undergraduates. The respondents were 128 girls (95 %) and 7 boys (5 %). The average age of the respondents was 22 years.

Block 1. The study of the ideas and attitudes of future teachers to the essence of the concept of “inclusive culture”. 85 respondents are well aware of what an inclusive culture is, which corresponds to 63 %; 30 respondents have limited views (22 %); 20 respondents (15 %) have no idea about inclusive culture. 76 respondents have a positive attitude to the idea of inclusive culture (56 %); 43 students (32 %) understand the need to adopt an inclusive culture, 16 respondents do not have a clear position on inclusive culture (12 %).

Block 2. The presence of people with disabilities . 84 students, which corresponds to 62.2 % of respondents, emphasized that they communicate with persons with disabilities daily. Researchers noted that there are students with disabilities in groups. 51 respondents (37.7 %) did not come across them. 49 respondents (36.3 %) find it difficult to determine whether a person has disabilities or not.

Block 3. Joint training. The questions of this block allowed us to identify whether the restriction of the child’s capabilities, according to the respondents, is an obstacle to joint learning. 73 respondents (54 %) give priority to co-education of children with disabilities and health standards. 66 students, which corresponds to 46 %, expressed the opinion that children with disabilities should study separately (in special schools). They explain this choice by the poor adaptability of educational organizations for this category of students (lack of ramps, wide walkways, assistive technologies, etc.). According to 87 respondents (64.4 %), in the case of coeducation, children with disabilities need much more attention and help from teachers than peers with normal health. It should be noted that 48 subjects, which corresponds to 35.5 %, did not agree with this point of view. 71 respondents (52.5 %) indicate the likely difficulty of teaching children with disabilities in a comprehensive school program. According to 64 subjects (47.7 %), children with disabilities will not be able to find mutual understanding with classmates with a normal health. However, 28 respondents (21 %) are convinced that they themselves will not have problems with building communication with children with disabilities.

Block 4. The study of the opinions of future teachers on the attitude towards children with disabilities. A friendly attitude towards blind and visually impaired children was demonstrated by 75 respondents (56 %); for deaf and hearing-impaired, 82 respondents (60.7 %); with disorders of the musculoskeletal system, 69 students (51 %); with ASD, 41 respondents (30.3 %); with developmental delay, 59 respondents (44 %); with mental retardation (impaired intelligence), 32 respondents (24.2 %); with combined violations, 30 respondents (22.2 %). It should be specifically noted that the least friendly future teachers consider children with mental retardation (impaired intelligence) and with combined impairments (Figure 01 ).

Figure 1: Attitude to children with disabilities
Attitude to children with disabilities
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Block 5. Difficulties faced by families of children with disabilities. According to the data received, 83 respondents (61.4 %) believe that parents of children with disabilities have difficulties with physical movement at home and beyond; 57 % of respondents (77 people) have difficulties with the need for social support and child care. 58 respondents (43 %) do not see the problems of social support and caring for a disabled child. A narrow circle of communication as a difficulty faced by families of children with disabilities is noted by 93 respondents, which corresponds to 68.8 %. Lack of necessary knowledge and skills have 83 respondents and 61.4 %, respectively. 112 students (83 %) see the problem of the absence of assistive (auxiliary) technologies for all categories of students with disabilities. 23 respondents (17 %) consider that there are no such problems. 49 students (36 %) of the respondents themselves provided some kind of assistance and services to children with disabilities or their families. The complete absence of any difficulties arising in families raising children with disabilities has not been reported by any respondent (Figure 02 ).

Figure 2: Difficulties of families with disabled children
Difficulties of families with disabled children
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Conclusion

The results of studying the formation of the inclusive culture of future teachers allow us to conclude that the high degree of potential of the studied phenomenon, which manifests itself when interacting with people with disabilities, forms the social competencies of future teachers and affects the formation of their readiness for professional activity in an inclusive education. Understanding inclusive culture as the most important component of the quality of professional training of a future teacher, we defined it, on the one hand, as the willingness and ability to carry out inclusive activities in the context of the pedagogical process, and on the other, as an integrative characteristic of the level of professional training of a teacher based on fundamental psychological and pedagogical knowledge and skills developed, manifested in unity with personal qualities. In addition, inclusive culture is a necessary component of the general cultural and professional development of the personality, since it allows for the personal and professional development of the future teacher and optimizes the process of professional activity, ensuring minimization of the risks of inclusive education (Yarskaya & Yarskaya-Smirnova, 2015).

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

27.02.2021

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2021.02.02.149

Online ISSN

2357-1330