Understanding primary school teachers' professional development needs for fostering inclusion in Cyprus

Gerosimou, Elina

January 2011

Thesis or dissertation

© 2011 Elina Gerosimou. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The aim of this study was to develop an understanding about primary school teachers' professional development needs, for fostering inclusion in Cyprus. The study focused on teachers' experiences and the meanings that they hold about them. In particular, an exploration of teachers' views about inclusion was made, along with an investigation of the factors that enable or prevent them from promoting inclusion. Also, teachers' views about their professional development needs and their responses towards available professional development opportunities were explored.

The research involved a collective type of case study in two primary schools of Cyprus, over a period of six months. The first school shared similar characteristics with other primary schools of Cyprus and was the main school of the study. The second school was part of a new government initiative and was used as complementary, in order to enhance the understandings gained from the main school. All of the methods that were used in this study had a qualitative nature: participant observations, critical incidents, informal conversational interviews, semi-structured interviews and document collection.

Through the process of analysing and interpreting the data, the overall understanding gained was that teachers' professional development needs are related to three areas of need. These areas relate to the dominant value systems, pedagogy, and the unique contexts. It is argued that they are influencing one another and are interacting with each other. Thus, by addressing these areas of need, in a number of ways suggested by the findings of this study, this is likely to enable teachers in Cyprus to foster inclusion.

Centre for Educational Studies, The University of Hull
Messiou, Kyriaki
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