Abstract

The continuing professional development of teachers is crucial for implementation of inclusive education and improving the quality of educational service delivery of all learners. The purpose of this preliminary study was to explore teachers' beliefs about professional development for inclusive education in two primary and two secondary schools in two educational administrative regions of Botswana. A mixed method research design was utilized to measure teachers' beliefs, current practices of professional development, training needs as well as modes of professional development programs to implement inclusive education. A three part, 25 item self - administered questionnaire was specially designed for this study. It was administered to all participants (N=86) who participated in a three-day workshop on inclusive education. In addition 12 teachers who had had experience in teaching learners with Special Educational Needs (SENs) were purposively selected for a follow-up one-on-one in-depth interview. Both quantitative and qualitative data were triangulated to write this report. Findings of the research suggest that although participants realized the importance of professional development for the implementation of inclusive education, they were of the opinion that ‘one-time workshops’ alone was not effective to change classroom practices. They highlighted the importance of ‘change processes’ therefore recommended ‘in-house mentorship’.

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