Influence of inclusive learning on social developement of childrens with special needs in ECDE Centers in Shimbahills zone, Kwale district Coast Province-Kenya
Kioko, Norah M
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The study intended to find out the influence of inclusive learning on the social development of children with special needs in Shimbahills preschools, Kwale District, Coast Province Kenya. The study was set to specifically determine whether on not inclusive learning promotes the social development of physically and mentally challenged children. The study reviewed literature on the three main themes: disabilities, social development and inclusive learning. The study used descriptive survey research design. Non probability random sampling technique was used to sample six preschool teachers, six headteachers and sixty children in regular schools. The research instruments used were observation checklist for children's social interactions that were naturalistic, questionnaires for headteachers and preschool teachers and interview schedules for preschool teachers and children. The instruments were validated by use of a pilot study. All the respondents represented a return rate of 100%. Data was analyzed in reference to the research questions. Findings indicated that, children with special needs were very few in the regular schools as compared to the general school enrolment due to discriminatory factors, negative beliefs and attitudes people held towards disability. The few children with special needs included in the regular schools were interacting with the rest of the children in play and other academic activities thus indicating social development was taking place among children with special needs. There was lack of clear government guidelines on the policy of inclusion. Due to this, the schools that included children with special needs were categorized as regular schools. Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made. The process of inclusion should be improved and advocated for in all regular schools. Education and legal policies that enhance inclusive learning be developed, where with proper legislation and policy, teachers can be held responsible for the learning of children with special needs because such children are different but valuable Government, donor communities and civil society to educate the mass especially the parents of children with special needs on the importance of inclusive learning and rehabilitation of such children.