Create a Qualitative Study Discussion Section

Posted by Winnie Melda on November 30th, 2018

Before discussing the results or findings of the study, it’s necessary first of all to give a summary of those findings. The following is a rundown of the results the researchers gathered.

Out of the 35 teachers interviewed, 18 loved teaching students with special needs (representing 51.4 % of the teachers and 25.6% of the total sample).  Seven (20% of the interviewed teachers and 10% of the total sample) said they did not like teaching students with special needs. Five (14% of the interviewed teachers and 7% of the total sample) said that they were not willing or were reluctant to teach students with special needs unless special support was provided.  Among what they named as special support was a regular increase in their salaries. They said that the task of teaching students with special needs is sensational and demanding and as such deserved higher compensations and maximum corporation from the government and other concerned groups.  For this, they quoted various reasons for not wanting to teach these students unless favorably supported, the most common being that the students with special needs were mostly unable to cope with various needs of academics like their counterparts who they view as flexible to various environments.   All the same, the rest five were eager and had a high morale to teach students with special needs.

Out of the 25 students interviewed, 10 (40% and 14% of the sample) were of the view that they had a good relationship with their teachers who they thought were determined to see them excel. However, 7 said that they had less than enough teachers and this they attributed to the negative or wrong attitudes of teachers to join special schools. Others said that some teachers were impatient with them which disturb them emotionally affecting their learning process. That was also agreed on with by parents who said that there were very few schools for special needs students. The few available had no enough teachers judging by the teachers’ to students’ ratio. They attributed this condition to low morale of teachers to teach these schools due to various reasons including negative attitudes and low payments. According to them, this leads to emotional problems on the part of such students such as low esteem at home and in other social settings. They recommended a change in poor attitudes towards these students.

The finding on the attitude of teachers’ to students with special needs showed that many teachers had positive attitudes towards students with special needs, as compared to those who held negative attitudes towards them. This finding is supported by the feeling of the interviewed students who according to them many teachers had positive attitudes towards them.  This finding is also in line with that of Maunganidze and Kasayira (2002) and Elliot (2008) who reported an increment in the number of students enrolling in special education. The negative attitudes of teachers towards students with special needs are in agreement with that of Mba (1991) and Barnatt and Kabzema (1992) who reported negative attitude of teachers to students with special needs. Comparing these two yearly views, one thing can be noted: a high proportion of teacher in the past (up to the year 2000) held negative attitudes towards students with special needs as compared to today (the year 2002 and beyond).  The implication of this is that teachers’ attitudes towards students with special needs have greatly improved. That might be attributed to the several substantial steps undertaken by the government and other non-governmental but interested bodies who have prepared workshops, seminars, and conferences in which they prompt and train teachers to develop positive attitudes to students with special needs. Nevertheless, the researcher identified a current article by MacFarlane and Woolfson (2013) in which the two researchers had found that there are still rampant negative attitudes shown by teachers to students with special needs. That according to them needed to be tackled the soonest possible as it compromised and denied these students a favorable learning atmosphere, thereby affecting their academic performance and their life after school. Meanwhile, Smith 2015) found that teachers’ attitude towards students with special needs is affected by the knowledge and exposure about this group. The implication of this is that teachers of students with special needs should undergo special education courses to learn not only ways of teaching them but also ways of managing them.

Out of the teachers interviewed, only 51% of them had relevant certification to teach in special schools. These constituted of teachers with National Certificate of Education (N.C.E Special) Certificate. The rest had graduated with other courses such as the Bachelor of Education (Arts or Science) and other unrelated courses like Bachelor of Arts but had been incorporated due to the shortage of specialized teachers qualified in this special field. They had undergone a short training course after which they were employed in the various special schools the researcher visited (Smith, 2015). Apparently, the inadequacy of special personnel might be a major contributor to the poor academic performance of students with special educational needs.

A deeper analysis of the study’s findings showed that there was no significant difference between the attitudes of male as compared to that of female teachers towards students with special needs. That was in conformity with that of Smith (2015) who also found no relation between negative or positive attitudes of teachers towards special needs students with their gender. That was, however, contrary to the findings by Fakolade, Adeniyi, and Tella (2009), who found that female teachers showed more positive attitudes to teaching and relating to students with special needs than their male teaching counterparts. The difference in gender attitudes towards students with special needs could be attributed to the motherly and the patient. A comparison between the result of the academic performance between regular schools and special schools showed significant disparity. Regular schools, be it primary or secondary were performing better than special schools. The cause of this difference could be the lack of teachers and absence of special instructional materials, enough special textbooks, and other necessary amenities or facilities that would appeal to their various senses of learning. According to Marsh (2008), “if the desired objectives in teaching and learning for special students is to be attained, instructional aids must be availed which according to Marsh (2008) were necessary for the effective learning of students with special needs.

In an agreement, Elliot (2008) asserted that the capability of a student to maximize his/her learning potentials is affected by the nature and characteristics of the environment he/she is exposed to. The teacher forms part of this environment, and the performance of the student is reflective of the relationship he/she has with the teacher. Each child has a desire to excel in life and at no time, a teacher or any member of the society should divert the vision of a student. The teacher, who is the prime mentor and coach to the moral, academic and any other form of the development aspects of a student should be in the front line to create an enabling environment for his/her students at all costs (Elliot, 2008).

In addition to a positive attitude by the teacher towards the student, the researcher recommends the following to enable a healthy learning environment for the students with special needs. First is that the government should erect more special schools and train more special education teachers. Secondly, special education teachers should be paid well to keep them motivated (Maunganidze & Kasayira, 2002). Besides, an effort to expose teachers through workshop and seminars on the educating of students with special needs should be frequently made. Finally, counseling services should be regularly provided to all the members of any integrated school. Such counseling services should be aimed at creating public awareness about the rights and importance of incorporating special needs individuals. That way, the prejudices against exceptional children in the school setting and other areas would be gradually reduced. Finally, policies should be made stating that teachers and regular students are required to respect special needs students’ failure to which they may face judicial consequences. Teachers should stand firm and enlighten regular students on the morals of accepting, respecting and showing affection towards students with special needs, so as to help them overcome and develop their positive self-concept and self-esteem (Sunal & Mutua, 2008).


Barnatt, S. N., & Kabzema, V. (1992). Zimbabwean teachers’ attitudes towards the integration of pupils with disabilities into regular classrooms. International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education, 39, 135-146.

Elliot, S. (2008). The effect of teachers’ attitude towards inclusion on the practice and success levels of children with and without disabilities in physical education. International Journal of Special Education, 23 (3), 48-55

MacFarlane, K., & Woolfson, L. M. (2013). Teacher attitudes and behavior toward the inclusion of children with social, emotional and behavioral difficulties in mainstream schools: An application of the theory of planned behavior. Teaching and teacher education, 29, 46-52.

Marsh S.(2008). Effects of Labeling: Teacher Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Students with special Needs. ProQuest information and Learning Co.

Maunganidze, L., & Kasayira, J. M. (2002). Educational integration of children with disabilities in schools in the Midlands region of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Bulletin of Teachers education. 11(1), 72-82.

Mba, P.O (1991). Elements of special education. Ibadan, Codat Publication Nigeria

 Smith T.(2015). Serving Students with Special Needs A Practical Guide for Administrators. NY: Routledge

Sunal, C. S., & Mutua, K. (2008). Undertaking educational challenges in the 21st century: Research from the field. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub.

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in college research papers if you need a similar paper you can place your order for order research paper.

Like it? Share it!

Winnie Melda

About the Author

Winnie Melda
Joined: December 7th, 2017
Articles Posted: 364

More by this author