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TEACHERS’ EXPERIENCE WITH INTEGRATED EDUCATION OF STUDENTS WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENT IN MAINSTREAM PRIMARY SCHOOLS

H. Majerova, O. Malinovska, L. Ludikova, E. Smelova

Palacky University (CZECH REPUBLIC)
In primary schools of Olomouc Region almost half of the teachers has an experience of teaching students with disabilities. Olomouc region is one of the best secured in the field of integration in the Czech Republic and provides continuing education of teachers at the Palacky University and other institutions. This article provides insight on the current state of integrated education in practice.

Methods:
Quantitative research was used for the investigation. Data collection was carried out through a questionnaire survey in mainstream schools of the selected region. Among others, the questions on conditions for integration of students with visual disabilities and on difficulties experienced by teachers with integrated students were stated. The questionnaire survey was attended by 268 teachers.

Results:
Half of the teachers did not incline either the pro-integration or the pro-segregation tendencies. Although almost 50 % of teachers have an experience in integration of a student with disabilities, the majority of respondents did not hold completely pro-integration position. 53% of teachers require the presence of a qualified assistant expert in the classroom who will help them within the process of work with integrated students. The survey results indicate the unsatisfactory attitude of the teachers to integration within mainstream schools. Although since the 1990’s the development of integration model in the Czech Republic has come a long way, there are still many areas that require the assistance of experts from both theory and practice in mainstream schools´ classrooms.