Teachers’ Opinions about Promoting Inclusive Classroom Settings: An Investigation Regarding the Presence of Special Needs Assistants

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Mahwish Kamran
Dr. Martin Thomas
Sohni Siddiqui


Purpose –To promote inclusive education there is a need to provide all the supporting resources including material and human resources. The major problem is that schools lack the resources particularly a very important human resource and that is the presence of special needs assistants as they can play a pivotal role in paving the way toward inclusion. This paper is to study the influence of special needs assistants on inclusive classroom settings and to find teachers' opinions regarding inclusive classroom settings.

Design/methodology/approach – It was a quantitative research
Therefore, 350 survey forms were randomly sent to different inclusive and non-inclusive schools in Karachi, Pakistan, and obtained 230 reliable responses. For a validity test, confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to test the effect of special needs assistants in a classroom. AMOS and Smart PLS were employed for statistical analysis and hypothesis testing.

Findings – The presence of special needs assistants had significant direct effects on inclusive classroom settings indicated by the empirical results.
Research limitations/implications – The data may not fully represent a generalized survey of all schools regarding a teacher’s opinion about the presence of special needs assistants and inclusive educational settings. In this regard, increasing the sample size should be the focus of future research studies. The results suggest that it is a call for the day that schools should include special needs assistants to promote inclusive settings in schools.

Originality/value – The research studies carried out previously have in general concentrated on developed countries regarding the presence of special needs assistants but in the context of developing countries like Pakistan, little attention is paid to teachers’ viewpoints regarding the presence of special needs assistants. The empirical analysis of the relationship between special needs assistants and inclusive educational settings from the viewpoint of teachers was provided through the current research study.

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