ERIC Number: ED500461
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jan-20
Reference Count: N/A
An Investigation into the Need for Effective Leadership Mechanisms in the Management of a Successful Inclusive Programme in the Primary School System
McClean, Wilma A.
This research project aims to highlight the need for effective leadership mechanisms to be put in place for the management of a successful inclusive program in the Primary School System in Barbados. The outcomes of the research findings show evidence of the need for strong instructional leadership by the principals in order to implement workable inclusive programs. The inclusive process will always be a work in progress. However, by ensuring the necessary staffing of teachers, technological equipment, safe and orderly working environment and the opportunity for all students to learn, some of the key mechanisms needed would be in place. Every school will have its individual needs and approaches to the implementation of an inclusive program because no two schools are the same. Some common factors necessary for the functioning of all schools are the provision of quality education for all students, the delivery of education in a safe and unbiased atmosphere and the training of staff to implement and manage the inclusive program. In Barbados, the educational system is in need of strong instructional leaders who are well-trained and capable of meeting the challenges of managing an inclusive program in their respective schools. The research findings prove that many administrators are willing to accept having inclusive schools. Most of the administrators believe that most schools are ill- equipped to run inclusive programs, at present. About (20%) twenty percent of the administrators surveyed, believe that students with disabilities should be educated in special education schools or classrooms only. These administrators share the opinion that the inclusion of students with disabilities would retard the progress of students in the general education classroom. The majority of administrators, (80%) eighty percent, want to have inclusive programs in their schools but are uncertain about how to implement and to manage the inclusive programs without the appropriate mechanisms for success. In Barbados, the success of inclusion will be determined by the principals of the schools and the teachers. They have to make the commitment to provide the necessary support and give the vital input to make the inclusive process their own. The principals and teachers must be advocates for inclusion by lobbying the parents and officials of the Ministry of Education for their support in the change process of inclusion. The roles and responsibilities of all teachers must be re-defined and the teachers must have clear beliefs about the benefits of inclusion to them and their students. Principals and teachers, whether special education or regular education, must not feel threatened or disadvantaged by the implementation and management of any inclusive programs at their respective schools. Otherwise, the success of inclusion will die a slow and painful death, even before it could be given life by winning the hearts and minds of all stakeholders; principals, teachers, parents, students, officials of the Ministry of Education and the wider communities of Barbados.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education; Primary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Barbados