The main objective of this study was exploring teachers’ understanding of the notion of inclusive education. The study was conducted in one elementary school (grade level 1-7) of Oslo City. The emphasis was mainly on teachers because teachers’ role in the implementation of a curriculum or certain policy is very visible. It was believed that the success or failure of any policy or curriculum chiefly lies on the shoulder of the teachers. Hence, their understanding or lack of understanding was supposed to have a great bearing.
With the purpose of offering a rich depiction of a single setting with limited informants, qualitative approach as a research paradigm and case study as specific method were found fit to the research goal. At the start, it was planned to select informants based on purposeful maximal variation strategy, but due to an unprecedented factors in the process, the selection strategy was changed to opportunistic type. Accordingly, three consecutive interviews were handled on the 9th, 23rd, and 31st of October, 2012. Qualitative interview with a semi structured form was used as a main instrument of data collection.
The finding showed that informants have an optimistic understanding about inclusive education. However, their optimism seems to be shadowed with the practical and technical challenges. Too much content accompanied by limited time for coverage and the question of money have been among the foremost reasons forwarded. Also, some of the informants still believe that both special and regular schools are needed.
As an implication, the attempt to clarify the intricate concept of understanding through varied indicators in this case study is hoped to inspire others to investigate the issue of inclusive education in a wider scope by including other more stake holders.
Key words: inclusion, inclusive education, understanding