Barriers to inclusive education under occupation: an evaluative approach using Nussbaum’s capabilities approach

Alison MacKenzie*, Mohammed Owaineh, Christine Bower, Canan Ozkaya

*Corresponding author for this work

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The research explores how teachers and mothers experienced inclusion for children and young people with disabilities in schools and vocational centers in the West Bank, Palestine. We used semi-structured interviews with four teachers in a mainstream and special needs setting, a focus group with 11 vocational instructors, and focus group discussions with two parental (all mothers) support groups attached to a school and vocational centre. The questions were concerned with resources, training and development, and the possibilities for inclusion. The findings revealed the challenges of inclusion in contexts of scare resources, inadequate qualifications and professional development, stigma and shame associated with disability, within a context of conflict and annexation. The analysis is informed by the Capabilities Approach and evaluates the barriers to inclusion and the impact on wellbeing against the ten central capabilities of that approach. The primary conclusions are that capability achievement is very difficult to achieve in conditions of systemic and structural injustice and inequality, despite teachers’ and mothers’ strivings for meaningful inclusion of students with disabilities in schools and centres, and in the wider community where negative prejudicial stereotypes about disability prevail.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100299
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research Open
Early online date23 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2023


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