Towards the institutionalization of inclusive education in Palestinian Kindergartens
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Despite the importance of inclusive education as a human right for people with special needs, there is an absence of clear foundations and criteria for integrating children with special needs into kindergartens in Palestine. This has led to their exclusion from Palestinian kindergartens, whether directly or indirectly. This study identifies the foundations needed for the institutionalization of inclusive education in Palestinian KG, and the requirements for implementing these foundations. The study utilized qualitative data collection and analysis methods and conducted semi-structured interviews with specialists in inclusion, educational policy makers, kindergartens principals and teachers, and parents. In addition, the content of the national documents that deal with inclusive education were analyzed, with special reference to the issue of inclusion in kindergartens. Grounded theory techniques were used to conduct an inductive analysis of qualitative data (thematic analysis). The results showed that four themes and thirteen sub-themes denote the essential foundations that must be integrated towards the institutionalization of inclusive education in the Palestinian kindergartens. These essential foundations: are activating the right base, formulating policies, developing practices, and creating trends. Accordingly, several sub-elements were identified from each of the essential foundations. The study proposes specific recommendations that might help overcome the challenges ahead in the process of institutionalizing inclusive kindergartens in the Palestinian context.
Keywords:inclusive education, disabled children, kindergartens, foundations
Volume 38, Number: 1, Year 2023 of International Journal of Special Education