Attitudes of Special Education Teachers to Teaching in the Division of Cagayan De Oro during the COVID – 19 Pandemic
Michael E. Ecoben
Department of Education, Cagayan De Oro Division, Philippines
As a result of COVID-19’s massive disruption to the face-to-face educational settings, special education teachers face various challenges. They experienced difficulty adapting and responding to the academic learning needs of their learners. This article discusses the difficulties, strategies, and prospects for inclusive education faced by SPED teachers during the pandemic. Specifically, this study intended to determine the attitudes of the public special education teachers in the division of Cagayan de Oro in teaching their learners during the COVID-19 pandemic. It sought to ascertain the demographic profile of SPED teachers, their attitudes toward their students, and the programs they require for the upcoming school year. The study’s outcome was a training program designed to improve their attitudes and skills for the upcoming school year. The study employed a descriptive-quantitative method of data collection, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative techniques. For this study, the frequency distribution, percentage, and standard deviation were used as statistical tools. Due to the outbreak, educational, social, and psychological challenges existed that made an impact to teachers’ ability to provide pedagogical instruction via emergency remote teaching. Nonetheless, there were strategies that can assist individuals with disabilities in learning. Individuals with disabilities can benefit from online communication, homeschooling, parental engagement, psychological safety, and empathy language, all of which can assist them in continuing their educational pursuits despite the emergency. Schools must be inclusive in their policies and guidelines so that people with disabilities can benefit from the government’s educational programs. The government’s interventions may take into account the educational needs of disabled children. The welfare of people with disabilities should not be overlooked because they are part of future generations who can improve society. People with developmental disabilities can change the post-pandemic community if given the learning spaces and stakeholder support, they require right now to thrive amid the global crisis. They, like people with disabilities who have changed the world, can reach their full potential.
Keywords: Special Education, Attitudes, Pandemic, Descriptive, Quantitative, Philippines, Asia