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Leading From the Middle - NU Repository


Academic year: 2023

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The interview questions explored their understanding of the concept of inclusive leadership and leadership and their experiences in implementing inclusive policies and practices.

Chapter One. Introduction

  • The Concept of Leadership
  • Definitions of Inclusive Education and Barriers in its Implementation
  • Leadership for Inclusion
  • Inclusive Education in Kazakhstani Context
  • Problem Statement
  • Research Problem
  • Purpose of the Study
  • Research Questions
  • Significance of the Study
  • Summary

These agreements were some of the first steps in the acceptance of the concept of inclusive education in the country. Regarding the willingness of schools to implement inclusive education in Kazakhstan, it is essential to highlight the contribution of the Network of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools. The importance of the current study concerns the success of educational reforms in Kazakh schools, especially inclusive education.

An overview of the methodology and applied research design can be found in the next chapter.

Chapter Two. Literature Review

  • Introduction
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Leadership in Education
  • The Relevance of Context in Leadership for Education
  • Educational Management and Leadership Theories
  • Leadership for Inclusion
  • Middle Management Leadership
  • Leadership for Learning
  • Summary

These two notions bring us to another notion known as 'educational responsibility'. The notion is quite broad as it relates not only to leaders who are school leaders or school principals, but also to teachers who can influence the educational process. The research was longitudinal and collected over three years, using participant-observer approaches such as observations, interviews and document analysis – the paper aimed to provide an analysis that would be primarily relevant to practitioners and theoretically beneficial. They are like a bridge that connects these two points and coordinates the proper functioning of the educational process at school.

Professionalism is also one of the critical stressors that teachers and middle leaders may face.

Chapter Three. Methodology

  • Introduction
  • Research Design
  • Research Site
  • Sampling
  • Instruments
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Ethical Consideration
  • Summary

Staff from the mainstream schools were already familiar with the research site and were comfortable participating in the researcher's private office. To recruit participants, the researcher arranged meetings with school principals at each school to explain the purpose of the research study and provide everything necessary. The place to interview the participants was chosen in advance and located at the researcher's workplace.

The researcher provided full information about the purpose of the study, the possibility of contributing by participating in the interview and the confidentiality procedure. At the beginning of the interview, the researcher read the information and consent form regarding participation in the research and asked the participant if they had any other questions before starting. The researcher started the interview with some general questions about work experience etc.

The researcher had the opportunity to take summary notes for further analysis of the responses. During the interview, the researcher monitored the participant's nonverbal behavior and asked additional questions for clarification. Once the participant answered all questions, the researcher expressed gratitude for the participant's contribution to the study.

As soon as the researcher finished transcribing, the audio recording of the interview was deleted. Data collection methods were thus carefully planned and selected to avoid possible limitations of the research methodology such as bias and subjectivity of the researcher.

Chapter Four. Findings

  • Introduction
  • Perceptions of Leadership and Leadership Characteristics
  • The Attitude Towards Children with Special Educational Needs
    • Parents’ Attitudes Towards Students with SEN
    • Teachers’ Attitudes Towards Students with SEN
    • Students’ Attitudes Towards Students with SEN
  • Policy in the Sphere of Inclusive Education
  • The Role of a Teacher who Works with Children with SEN
  • Summary

Participants reported that parents' attitudes towards children with special needs could range from very negative to neutral. According to participant 1, there is a negative attitude from parents towards "healthy" students when there are one or more students with special needs in the classroom. This attitude centered on fairness to students (their child) without special needs and related to the perception of the extra time students with special needs require from a teacher in a regular classroom.

34; parents believe that when there are children with special needs in the classroom, their child will receive less attention from the teacher and will feel excluded"; Participant 2 stated the following: "When parents know that there is a child with special needs needs in the classroom, they would demand just as much attention from the teacher." The data indicated that participants believed that other teachers' attitudes toward students with special needs were more negative than parents' attitudes toward students with special needs. Five out of six interviewees confirmed, that they would not be happy to work in the classroom with children with special needs.

At the same time, some participants felt that the policy should be more transparent for teachers who work with children with special educational needs. This stems from the fear of parents of children with special educational needs regarding the level of support their children may not receive when attending mainstream school (Human Rights Watch [HRW], 2019). Participant 2, who has experience working in various educational and higher education institutions, highlighted positive changes in the policy of inclusive education.

All participants stated that the teacher is a key figure in the educational process, and the interviewees themselves worked at the school. Almost all continued to explain that they believe that the teacher is the one who can create an inclusive environment in the classroom and, as a result, in the whole school itself.

Chapter Five. Discussion

  • Introduction
  • RQ 1 How do Middle Managers in Kazakhstani Secondary Schools Understand
  • RQ 1a What Way do Middle Managers Lead for Inclusion?
  • RQ2 What Knowledge do Middle Managers in Secondary School Have of
  • RQ 2a. What are the Kinds of Practices Middle Managers Believe are Important
    • A role of a teacher who works with children with SEN
    • Attitudes Towards Children with SEN
  • RQ 2b. What do They Feel are Some of the Opportunities in Developing an
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Summary

According to Qanay et al. 2019), developing teacher leadership will increase teachers' professionalism, especially if they are involved in changing the educational atmosphere by participating in the process as leaders. They felt that not all parents would agree to place a child in the same classroom as a child with SEN. These challenges can be solved by allowing middle management leaders to participate in discussions about the policy changes that will bring about changes in the education system.

For example, teachers in NIS schools have more freedom to manage the educational process in the classroom and take initiative and contribute to curriculum change and research. At the same time, teachers in other regular schools have less passion for creating an inclusive environment, as there is a belief that only leaders in position can take action. These responses varied from negative to neutral depending on the classroom situation with children with PIP.

It will be essential to build such interaction between stakeholders so that they can get to know the issues of inclusion intimately and understand the importance of creating an inclusive culture in school and in the classroom. Some participants took on leadership positions when faced with challenges in creating an inclusive environment and held the positions of middle managers; such a position in society must be seriously accepted. The policy dimension revealed a variety of findings that mainly reflected the situation in schools.

With this step, some steps can be taken in the implementation of policies and important changes can be made in the education system to include all children. The tendency to accept culture as part of the mentality can have a negative impact on the process of creating an inclusive culture in the classroom and school.

Chapter Six. Conclusions


Main Findings

Second, the study found that middle managers in Kazakhstan's secondary schools need more knowledge about inclusive policies and practices. According to the responses of the participants and some literature, the reasons for this are as follows. Above all, this was explained by the need for more communication between policy makers and actors who practically implement the given policy.

It may also have to do with the quality of the courses middle managers take to make their classes more inclusive. As a result, most participants must identify themselves as those who implement inclusive educational practices in their classrooms. The findings show that the culture of inclusive education is closely linked to the previous question about policy and practice.

Lack of adequate knowledge of policy and practice often affects the ability to create a school culture that promotes inclusion. Although, there are participants who believe that culture should come first before the policy and practice of inclusive education. They explained how a phenomenon of bringing culture to society in the first place and implementing policy that will seamlessly align with it.

Overall, the research findings and thesis contribute to the topic of inclusive education in Kazakhstan by exploring the experience of middle managers in implementing inclusive education policy and practice.


The given process of translating back and forth can affect the accuracy of the data collected, as during translation from one language to another there is a threat of losing the meaning of the data.


Suggestions for Future Research

Overall, the findings of the study have practical implications for policy makers, school leaders and educators in Kazakhstan and other similar contexts who seek to promote inclusive education policies and practices. Leadership as a lever for inclusive education in Flanders: A multiple case study using qualitative comparative analysis. Experience of middle managers in implementing inclusive education policies and practices in Kazakh mainstream and NIS schools.

PROJECT TITLE: The experience of middle management leaders in the implementation of inclusive education policies and practices in ordinary schools of Kazakhstan and NIS. The purpose of this interview is to explore your perception and your personal and professional experiences of the concept of leadership, especially in the field of inclusive education in secondary schools of Kazakhstan. I am conducting a study on teachers' exploration of the phenomenon of leadership principles and experiences of middle managers in inclusive education in Kazakhstan schools.

The study is titled: The experience of middle management leaders in the implementation of inclusive education policies and practices in the mainstream schools of Kazakhstan and NIS. Your participation in the research will include an interview lasting no more than 45-60 minutes to discuss your understanding, attitudes and experience in implementing inclusive education. The findings of this research will provide insight into the development of inclusive education in Kazakhstan schools and the role that teachers in leadership positions play in the development of reforms in inclusive education.

The data collected will be used to consider the middle management leaders' experience in implementing policies and practices of inclusive education in Kazakhstani secondary schools, as little research has been done on this topic. Can you remember the time when you first heard the word inclusion of the concept of inclusion, where did it happen. Generally about the process of implementing the policy of inclusive education in general in schools in the country.

Or said, physically I don't mean the school's mission, ready with resources that are a return.

Ақпарат көздері


Language and participation in a new CoP in the Kazakhstani environment Research question 1 explored the ways returnee students’ language competency influences their level of