Center Papers

Unseen Threads: Weaving The Stories Between Teacher Beliefs And Classroom Practice

Braun, S. & Enns, C. J. (2013). Unseen threads: Weaving the stories between teacher beliefs and classroom practice. In Lutfiyya, Z. & VanWalleghem, J. (Eds.) MERN Monograph on Inclusive Special Education. Winnipeg, MB.

This qualitative research study examines the relationship between three teacher participants’ beliefs and their classroom practices as it relates to the ongoing implementation of inclusive education and Manitoba’s regulated Bill 13 (Manitoba Education Citizenship and Youth Appropriate Educational Programming 2007). Semi-structured interviews provide personal narratives of beliefs about learning, inclusion and disability. Classroom observations provide an opportunity to examine the influence on practice. Additionally, the study determines if self-described beliefs match observed classroom actions. Findings suggest that there are varying degrees of commitment to inclusive practice which are determined by individual frustrations, teacher confidence, teacher skill levels and understandings of role and responsibility. The conclusion proposes that we continue to have a gap between teacher knowledge and professional actions. It further suggests that inclusion’s implementation will be reliant on individual teacher commitment to fostering inclusive practice in addition to systemic structural reform which supports the ideals of inclusion in relevant and pragmatic ways.