Background: Recent education-related research has raised concerns about the persistent exclusion of vulnerable learners in Uganda. The Revised Primary Teacher Education Curriculum of 2013 marked an ambitious yet inconclusive attempt to advance the implementation of inclusive education but has encountered deeply entrenched sociocultural exclusionary practices among education experts.
Objectives: This study aimed to explicate education practitioners’ interpretations of Uganda’s flagship inclusive education programme in preservice primary teacher education.
Method: Drawing on the conceptual vocabulary of frame analysis and the qualitative analysis of individual and group interviews and classroom observations, the interpretations of inclusive education implementation in preservice primary teacher education in Uganda were examined. The participants included policy design experts, curriculum design experts and classroom practitioners.
Results: Three main findings emerged. Firstly, interpretations of inclusive education displayed a narrow framing heuristic of inclusive education as a perfunctory, daily practice rather than a pathway for reflective, inclusive pedagogical engagement. Secondly, the heuristic encouraged the treatment of inclusive pedagogy as a ‘label’ under a specific rubric referring to sensory impairments or disabilities – a historical device for sociocultural exclusion. Thirdly, inclusive education was a praxis but was misframed from its original intentions, causing tension and resentment among practitioners. These findings contribute to the debates on the sustainability of inclusive education beyond preservice teacher education.
Conclusion: Uganda’s flagship inclusive education programme in preservice primary teacher education was fraught with tensions, ambiguities and an overt, urgent need for change.
African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019