Palacký University Olomouc (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 6359-6362
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.1504
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Inclusive education can be considered a trend in developed societies, as is the case in the Czech educational environment. A significant benefit is the introduction of the profession of a school-based special needs teacher which was introduced in Czech schools by the legislative changes in 2005. Their task has been to support the successful inclusion of children with special educational needs into mainstream education and provide support to teachers, children and their parents.

The aim of the research was to find out how school-based special needs teachers evaluate the inclusion efforts in Czech education and to examine the specifics of the new profession of special needs teachers whose role is to support inclusive education and equal opportunities. The research was of a qualitative nature; the research instruments were semi-structured interviews conducted with six special needs teachers. The data obtained were analysed by means of the grounded theory approach.

The results of the research suggest that school-based special needs teachers do not consider inclusion in Czech education to be properly implemented. Some steps were not systematic and for the time being, the concept of inclusion in Czech schools is far from the Nordic model. According to the respondents, the main problem is financing. Moreover, teachers are not sufficiently prepared for inclusion. Faculties of education fail in their effort to provide future teachers with the required skills and knowledge for them to be able to cope with the changes and turn the traditional model of teaching. And there are still some teachers and special needs teachers who support special schooling and segregated education and tend to disprove the idea of inclusion.

The position of a school-based special needs teacher in Czech schools is not stipulated by law. According to the results of the research, the position is established usually in those schools that are open to inclusive education, which need not always correspond with the personal opinions of some teachers. Some teachers support special schools and take into account the possible negative influence of inclusion on the child. There is a frequent criticism of the process of introducing inclusion claiming that it deviates from the models in Nordic countries. It should be noted however that fundamental societal changes must be systematic and their effect is often noticeable in the next generation. It is therefore reasonable to expect that the changes in the Czech educational system are going in the right direction and that the inclusive approach to education will become a complete and functional standard.
School-based special needs teacher, inclusion, equal educational opportunities, qualitative research, grounded theory.