Education for all: an investigation into the inclusivity of science teaching and learning practices in schools providing inclusive education in Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta Indonesia

Author: Jamil Suprihatiningrum

Suprihatiningrum, Jamil, 2021 Education for all: an investigation into the inclusivity of science teaching and learning practices in schools providing inclusive education in Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta Indonesia, Flinders University, College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

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Limited understanding towards inclusive education results in educational and learning practises that are not yet fully inclusive, therefore realising the goal of ‘Education for All’ in Indonesia is challenging. Teachers, as key persons who operate the learning process, are apprehensive about how to include students with disabilities (SWD), more specifically in science teaching and learning. This research, therefore, sought to investigate the nature of inclusivity in science teaching and learning for SWD in schools designated as a ‘School Providing Inclusive Education’ (SPIE) in Indonesia. The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) was applied as a framework to investigate inclusivity and explore learning goals, pedagogical practices and learning assessments.

A qualitative collective case study approach was selected as the methodology of choice, involving three SPIE: Schools A, B and C in the Province of Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta that were purposefully selected. Nineteen participants from the three schools were involved in this study and were divided into four categories, namely: science teachers, support teachers, principals and SWD. Participants were questioned about their experiences relating to science teaching and learning that involved the welcoming of SWD into their schools and classrooms. Data were collected by open-ended questionnaires, interview (individual and group), observation of the classrooms and school buildings and document analysis. The data were analysed using Yin’s method.

Findings demonstrate that while science teachers in School A applied a model of integration, they did so with limited understanding and resources, so that only the nuance of inclusive-special education could be found. SWD were pulled-out from their science classes to be educated by the support teacher in the designated inclusion room, either individually or together with other peers with disabilities.

School B, although designated as an SPIE, had enrolments largely from individuals with a visual impairment. Unlike Schools A and C, School B had no support teacher in the field of special education to work with science teachers and SWD. Science teachers had a positive attitude towards SWD, however, the philosophy upon which School B was built and around which the school culture developed appeared to be rooted in the principles of special education.

By embracing the concepts of multicultural and inclusive education, School C’s teachers and community members’ understanding about inclusivity had been fostered. This was evidenced by the adoption of the science ‘curriculum for all’ concept. Science teachers and support teachers worked side by side throughout the entire instructional process to include and involve SWD and optimise their participation in learning. Indeed, science teachers in School C had adopted a nearly inclusive education model.

The different practices of inclusive education in science classrooms among the three cases reflect that the concept of inclusive education is varied, depending on teachers’ understanding and school readiness to adopt inclusive education; while significant barriers still exist. The implications of the study are for science teachers to co-design and co-create more inclusive science classrooms and for the UDL framework to be operationally applied as an effective approach towards enabling accessible and flexible ‘learning for all’ to arise.

Keywords: inclusivity, inclusive education, students with disabilities, inclusive science teaching and learning, SPIE

Subject: Education thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2021
School: College of Education, Psychology and Social Work
Supervisor: Dr Carol Aldous