Research Study Exploring the Primary Teachers’ Knowledge About ADHD and their Attitude Towards the Inclusion of ADHD learners in the Mainstream Classrooms in an American Private School in Sharjah

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The chief intent of this study was to explore the issues around including the attitudes and knowledge of teachers towards children with ADHD and their inclusion into mainstream classrooms in the UAE. It also sought to assess the impact of the attitudes held by teachers as well as their awareness on ADHD children’s academic achievement. Furthermore, this study includes an overview of the main characteristics of children with ADHD in the impact the disorder has on their academic, social and emotional well-being. The tools utilized in this study were drawn from the qualitative approach and used to obtain the data required for this research. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with special educators, subject teachers, parents and the child, called Ali for the purpose of this study, which is not his real name. This pseudonym was adopted in order to protect the child’s identity and maintain ethical standards of child privacy. Furthermore, observations in and out of the classroom were used to gather further data to support the analysis. The semi-structured interviews were specifically used to identify the levels of knowledge and awareness in the UAE in relation to ADHD, and to assess the level of impact on an affected child’s learning in a mainstream classroom that results from the teacher’s knowledge of ADHD. ADHD is known to be associated with academic challenges and behavioural issues and is a relatively common disorder. There are a number of options for interventions available to affected children, which include behavioural therapy and medication. These treatments and approaches have been widely researched; however, far less is known and evidenced regarding the effect on a child’s development of their teacher’s attitudes towards and knowledge of ADHD and how these impact on the child’s learning outcomes. This study found that the majority of teachers in a primary setting appeared to have limited knowledge and understanding of ADHD and consequently raising awareness was found to be needed. In the UAE, ADHD remains underexplored and little understood; this increases the importance of early intervention services and improving teacher knowledge in relation to ADHD. By building a greater understanding of ADHD amongst education professionals and other stakeholders, the academic achievement, the social skills and the general well-being of children with ADHD can be significantly improved.
primary teachers’, ADHD, mainstream classrooms, United Arab Emirates (UAE), inclusion