Date of Award
Campus Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Global Inclusion and Social Development
Sindiso Mnisi Weeks
Many developing countries continue to face problems implementing inclusive education. The implementation of inclusive education is an especially ubiquitous problem in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) with children who are blind and visually impaired. This study analyzed the barriers to full inclusion in the educational system for children who are blind and visually impaired in the FSM as perceived by the following actors: students who are blind and visually impaired, teachers, caregivers, principals, and system administrators. This study employed a transdisciplinary qualitative research process founded in grounded theory. The study featured surveys with special education administrators and teachers of students who are blind and visually impaired to provide a baseline of information to inform further research. Then, ethnographic interviews and observations were completed in the FSM with students who are blind and visually impaired, teachers, caregivers, principals, and system administrators. Data collection focused on the actors’ experiences of access and participation to education for students who are blind or visually impaired. Comparative analysis identified the perceived barriers to inclusive education for students who are blind or visually impaired in the states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae.
Results of the study show that barriers to inclusive education persist in the areas of economic factors, educational system, and social mindset. The main economic factors that arose during the study were financial accountability, transportation barriers, and limited access to materials. The barriers within the educational system were a teachers’ ability to implement appropriate services, the child find process and procedures, and a need for more qualified teachers. The social mindset was defined by a capability mindset and attitudinal mindset. This study pinpointed unique barriers to access in this setting that will inform improved policies and practices in instruction, assessment, parent-school collaboration, and teacher professional development. Additionally, recommendations are made that target educational processes and procedures, due process for special education, funding targets, and awareness.
Brusegaard, Callie M., "Identifying Barriers to Inclusive Education for Children Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired in the Federated States Of Micronesia" (2018). Graduate Doctoral Dissertations. 415.