SCHOOL EXPERIENCES OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS (SEN) IN INCLUSIVE EDUCATION SETTINGS IN AZERBAIJAN
Sammanfattning: Aim: Inclusive education is a new concept applied in the education system of Azerbaijan and not all members of society are familiar with this concept. National legislation guarantees equal, inclusive, and quality education opportunities for everyone. The study aims to examine school experiences of students with special educational needs (SEN) in inclusive education settings in Azerbaijan. The study sheds light on the peer relationship, a sense of school belonging of students with SEN, and enablers and barriers they face in practicing inclusive education. The current study was necessitated due to the lack of sufficient knowledge and limited research on inclusive education in Azerbaijan. In addition, the research paper addresses students’ perspectives, and student participants were involved in the study.Theory: The belongingness and social model of disability theories were adapted to investigate school experiences of students with SEN.Method: The qualitative ethnographic design approach was used as a method to uncover the research topic. Participant observation, informal interviews were employed to investigate, explore and explain school experience of students with SEN and explore further; document analysis was used to evaluate documentaries and triangulate the study findings to provide credibility. As a significant source of data, participant observation and informal interviews were utilized. In addition, casual conversations were held with class teachers to learn students’ medical and educational backgrounds.Results: The analyzed and discussed study findings show that students with SEN experience positive peer relationships; they interact and develop social relationships with their peers. The results emerged from the findings indicating that students with SEN feel they belong to the school. Although national legislation and the supportive environment somehow accommodate students with SEN in inclusive education, educational establishment, national legislation, education context and teachers were not found to be in favorable to successfully implement inclusive education.
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