Teaching in Inclusive Classroom Settings: The Use of Journals and Concept Mapping Techniques
The inclusion of exceptional students in the mainstream of education presents many challenges, the greatest of which may relate to behaviorally difficult/disordered students. A process to assist teachers in this regard was investigated. Concept mapping techniques were used to determine teacher concepts of effective teaching practice and to evaluate changes in that conceptualization. Through a process of journalling emphasizing reflection and goal setting teachers appeared able to modify teaching practice to better accommodate student needs. Teachers were partners as well as leaders in the practice of education. They further determined relinquishing control of the goings on in the classroom and gave more ownership and responsibility to students. This was a reversal of the findings from the preliminary concept map. The need for reflective practice techniques was claimed to be beneficial to teachers of the inclusive classroom. Concept mapping was a invaluable tool in this process.