Umesh Sharma

Umesh Sharma
Monash University (Australia) · Krongold Centre

Ph.D.

About

158
Publications
126,070
Reads
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6,212
Citations
Citations since 2017
61 Research Items
4614 Citations
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Introduction
Umesh Sharma is Professor in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, Australia where he co-ordinates special and inclusive education undergraduate and postgraduate programs. He is the chief co-editor of the Australasian Journal of Special Education. He was recently appointed as the Senior Editor by the Oxford University Press to produce the Oxford Research Encyclopaedia in Education with a focus on inclusive education. He was recently named as Australia's Research Field Leader in Special Education (a top rating for a researcher in his/her respective field) by the Australian Chief Scientist https://specialreports.theaustralian.com.au/1540291/.
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - present
Monash University (Australia)
Position
  • Professor
January 2002 - present
Monash University (Australia)
Education
January 1998 - January 2001
University of Melbourne
Field of study
  • Inclusive Education

Publications

Publications (158)
Article
An appreciative inquiry approach oriented eight semi-structured interviews conducted with teachers from Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Italy, Spain, Canada, Bangladesh and India to identify their intrinsic and extrinsic strengths and understand how they were able to translate them into practice during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Commitme...
Chapter
In March 2020, schools worldwide closed due to COVID-19 and students were required to continue learning from home. Following a review of principles for inclusive practice in schools, we share related literature focusing on how school systems employed these principles during online delivery. After describing emergent themes, we provide a commentary...
Chapter
This chapter intends to present a new and novel perspective on inclusion and argue that inclusion can never be truly achieved without the presence of belonging. Both belonging and inclusion are linked to positive academic outcomes and general well-being of students. Belonging is described as a subjective and dynamic feeling while the definition of...
Article
This study provides a systematic review of the literature investigating factors that support or inhibit inclusive education in secondary schools according to the experiences of students with diverse learning needs. Five electronic databases were searched from 2011 to 2021 yielding 27 studies for further exploration. Five factors were reported by st...
Article
Schools are one of the most important social-geographic sites where children's lives play out. Although researchers have sought to understand children's school experiences in India, very few have considered marginalised children's opinions regarding what they value and the alternatives to their current school experiences. Consequently, this article...
Article
Research illustrates that self-efficacy beliefs related to inclusive education impact teaching practices and could positively impact on students. This study explores how teacher self-efficacy has been measured and the factors that influence the perceived self-efficacy of teachers within inclusive schools. A systematic search for literature examinin...
Article
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This paper examined the relationship between 41 primary teachers' self-efficacy and inclusive education practices across New South Wales, Australia. Thematic analysis was employed to examine and probe the qualitative data. Findings reveal that while teachers with high and low efficacy had similar conceptual understanding about inclusive education,...
Article
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The aim of this study was to investigate the factors that supported Australian teachers to meet the needs of all learners during COVID-19 lockdowns. A qualitative design was used, and interviews were conducted with teachers who were purposely identified. The participants ( n = 5) worked across different educational contexts ranging from primary to...
Article
Successful implementation of inclusive practices depends on the extent of which school educators believe in this and are well prepared to implement include all learners. It is therefore relevant to study the variables that influence pedagogical practices of educators to teach in inclusive classrooms, namely attitudes and intentions regarding inclus...
Article
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Parental perspectives about the inclusion of their child with a disability has received limited attention in the literature. Considering parental voice plays an important role in determining the quality of inclusive education, the lack of reliable and valid tools to investigate parental experiences has significantly limited research in this area. O...
Article
For decades, the gap between theory and practice has remained the central problem of teacher education. This study will present an alternative approach in an attempt to try to bridge the gap between theory and practice in a teacher education course focused on inclusive education. The approach is based on a model that integrates a university-based a...
Article
Research in inclusive education reveals multiple studies that explore the efforts of individual stakeholders to create an equitable educational experience for students with disabilities. However, these individual efforts are often examined discretely, compartmentalising the contributions of various stakeholders. As a consequence, the complex interp...
Chapter
Inclusive education is an important foundation of Nordic society. It is considered a key pillar in the ‘education for all’ policy and has become an important foundation for shaping pedagogy and practice. This chapter shows how inclusive education is taught and enacted in Swedish early childhood teacher education. A specific focus lies on local legi...
Article
Research has recognized that enhancing pre-service teachers’ attitudes, efficacy, and decreasing concerns about inclusive education are essential factors in teacher preparation. However, no research has compared the relative ability of online courses to affect these factors when compared to traditional face-to-face instruction. The current study us...
Article
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The aim of the study was to understand the causal attributions of teachers to challenging behaviours in primary classrooms in West Bengal, India. Data from 21 teachers from government and private primary schools were collected using semistructured interviews. The study investigated the types of challenging behaviours as perceived by teachers, their...
Article
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Teachers play a vital role in the implementation of inclusive education, and understanding where they have worries is essential to researchers and policymakers likewise. The Concerns about Inclusive Education Scale (CIES) is a frequently used scale globally to examine teachers' concerns but yielded mixed results regarding its factor structure. Usin...
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Positive and proactive approaches to behaviour support have been recognised as one component required to create effective and inclusive school environments (Finkelstein et al., 2019). States and territories within Australia have increasingly adopted school- wide positive behavioural interventions and supports (SWPBIS) as a means to creating effecti...
Article
The inclusion of all learners in mainstream classrooms is an objective for schools internationally. The aim of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the newly developed Inclusive Practices Scale (IPS) to determine if the intention to use inclusive practices could be predicted from participants' attitudes and efficacy scores. Partici...
Article
With the number of teacher assistants (TAs) employed in schools steadily increasing, most teachers are likely to work with a TA at various times throughout their career. International research indicates there is scope for teachers to enhance their work with TAs. This systematic review examines teachers’ perceptions of their work with TAs. Twenty-si...
Article
The study examines attitudes, concerns, self-efficacy, and intentions of secondary school teachers from Australia (n = 140) and Switzerland (n = 221) to teach in inclusive classrooms. Australian educators had more positive attitudes towards inclusion, fewer concerns and higher self-efficacy to teach inclusively when compared to their Swiss counterp...
Article
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A need for the successful and sustained implementation of positive and proactive approaches to behaviour support has been widely acknowledged in Australia. School-wide positive behavioural interventions and supports (SWPBIS) is one approach that has been increasingly adopted across Australia to meet the social and behavioural needs of all students....
Article
Full-text available
School-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS) is an effective and widely adopted school-wide framework for promoting positive behavioral, social, and academic outcomes for students. However, over the past decade, the degree to which schools were able to implement specific SWPBIS practices with fidelity has emerged as a critica...
Article
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Students exhibiting behaviours of concern are at increased risk of poor outcomes during their school years. The implementation of school-wide positive behavioural interventions and supports (SWPBIS) has repeatedly been shown to be an effective, evidence-based approach that supports teachers to select and adopt effective practices to meet the social...
Article
Despite policy initiatives to ban use of corporal punishment, some teachers still use punitive classroom management strategies in countries like Indonesia. With the urgent need for teachers to use evidence-based strategies to address challenging behaviours, it is important to understand the factors that may predict teachers' likelihood to employ pr...
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Teachers play an important role in the success of inclusive practices for diverse learners in regular classrooms. It is, therefore, important to examine their beliefs and preparation to teach in inclusive classrooms. The main purpose of this study was to analyze the attitude of active Chilean teachers (n = 569) towards inclusion, their self-efficac...
Article
Universities often struggle to translate theory of inclusive education into real life practices for pre-service teachers (PSTs). In this paper, we evaluate an innovative partnership between Australian secondary school teachers and university academics where they co-designed and co-taught an undergraduate inclusive education course. We used a quasi-...
Chapter
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This chapter reports on how funding is used in general education schoolsaround the world to facilitate inclusive education. While research has estab-lished the importance of inclusive education and investigated the diversefunding models employed in different global regions, this narrative reviewreports on how funding is operationalized at the schoo...
Article
Successful implementation of inclusive education reforms in any country depends on several factors. One critical factor is adequate preparation of pre-service teachers. We cannot expect our schools to be inclusive if teachers are not adequately prepared to teach in inclusive classrooms. There are some key challenges that most teacher education prog...
Article
The countries of the Pacific region are reforming their educational policies to include learners who have frequently been excluded from receiving any form of education. They face many challenges to include learners into their schooling systems. This article systematically identifies and reviews research and policy documents from the region and repo...
Article
The university sector was hit hard by COVID-19 in early 2020 with global calls for universities to lockdown. The teacher education sector in most countries, including Australia, had not anticipated the shift to off-campus teaching of such a massive scale and the sector was not well prepared for the challenge. This paper reports how the Australian e...
Article
Purpose Creating inclusive schools for students with disabilities is a major leadership responsibility for principals throughout the world. Each national, regional and local context is different, but every principal can help create and support inclusive schools. The purpose of this article is to describe the evolving context of inclusive education...
Article
Classroom behaviour management is an essential skill for teachers, yet teachers often report being inadequately prepared for addressing student behaviour effectively. Teacher professional learning on classroom behaviour management is continually needed to support teacher implementation of evidence-based classroom management practices. This article...
Article
This article explores ninety-seven (n=97) Swedish Early Childhood (EC) preservice teachers' attitudes, concerns, and intentions to include children with disabilities in regular classrooms. A six-part self-reporting questionnaire was used to examine participants' attitudes, concerns, efficacy, and intentions toward inclusion. The results showed that...
Article
In this article we review the medical, human rights, social and social interactionist models of disability, and consider how these differing perspectives have influenced the provision of educational services to students with disability in Australia. We contend that the shift in educational policy and provision, from supporting to including students...
Article
Objectives: Our paper reviews current teaching practices used to support students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the South Asian region, and to what extent these teaching practices reflect key research based effective practices. We have focused our attention on teaching practices at a time when we are witnessing a greater thrust towards ach...
Article
This study investigated Indonesian primary school teachers' causal attributions for behaviour problems and their classroom behaviour management strategies. The total sample consisted of 582 teachers from public primary schools in Surabaya, Indonesia. Teachers completed questionnaires which gathered information on demo-graphics, teachers' causal att...
Article
h i g h l i g h t s The study examined impact of a compulsory course in special education on pre-service general education teachers. The compulsory course had positive impact on pre-service teachers' attitudes, intentions, concerns and efficacy. 'Collaboration' and 'Feelings' were strong predictors of 'Intentions' to implement inclusive practices a...
Article
Teaching in inclusive schools is complex. It requires that teachers are well prepared to create welcoming educational environments and facilitate the learning of all students irrespective of needs and abilities. Awell-prepared teacher demonstrates his or her readiness to include all learners through three key aspects of the “heart” (i.e., the ethic...
Article
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Within the current policy and legislative context of educating students with and without special educational needs (SEN) together in one classroom, the question that is frequently raised by educators relates to how best to implement inclusion and meet the different needs of their students in class. It is also important to understand all students’ p...
Article
Currently, there is no consensus as how best to fund inclusive education for students with autism spectrum disorder. In this narrative review, we examined a range of funding models internationally in an attempt to identify the range of best practices for resourcing inclusive education. Three databases were searched along with various policy documen...
Article
There is a consensus that what teachers do in the classroom directly impacts student’s learning. Currently, however there is a paucity of data identifying which teaching practices actually support learning within an inclusive classroom, especially data derived from direct observations of teachers. Thus, research-based guidance regarding how best to...
Article
This study explored teacher self-efficacy, attitudes and concerns about implementing inclusive education in Ghana, using a four-part survey questionnaire comprising Teachers’ Background Information, Self-Efficacy About Inclusive Education, Attitudes Toward Inclusive Education and Concerns About Inclusive Education. Data obtained from 134 primary sc...
Article
This article explores ninety-seven (n¼97) Swedish Early Childhood (EC) preservice teachers' attitudes, concerns, and intentions to include children with disabilities in regular classrooms. A six-part self-reporting questionnaire was used to examine participants' attitudes, concerns, efficacy, and intentions toward inclusion. The results showed that...
Article
The self-efficacy beliefs of teachers often influence their readiness, motivation and ability to adopt inclusive teaching practices in their classrooms. This study drew on the responses of 158 educators employed at secondary schools throughout Victoria, Australia, in order to quantify and explain their beliefs regarding their efficaciousness in rel...
Article
Countries of the Pacific region are currently undergoing significant reforms. While disability inclusive education has been identified as a regional priority by all member nations, implementing inclusive education in the countries of the region can be quite challenging as many barriers continue to hamper the progress of the countries. Unless the ba...
Article
Special Issue: Preparing Special and Inclusive Educators for Their New Roles in the 21st Century - Volume 42 Special Issue - Umesh Sharma, Michael Arthur-Kelly, David Paterson
Chapter
This article presents a critical analysis of inclusive teacher education. The article argues that while teacher education programs have changed dramatically over the last few decades, there are still areas where more progress could be made. It also argues for a need to re-conceptualize the way we prepare teachers so that they can confidently includ...
Article
The study examines secondary school students' perception of the climate in their classrooms with reference to inclusive education. A key objective of the study was also to examine psychometric properties of a newly developed Inclusion Climate Scale (ICS). Data were obtained using a paper-pencil survey in which 699 students (age = 10–17 years) from...
Article
In the process of educational reforms for promoting equity and inclusion in education, pre-service teacher preparedness has been identified as a vital factor that has an impact on the success of inclusive education. Bangladesh, like other parts of the world, has taken various initiatives to promote inclusive education in the country context. This s...
Article
In recent years, countries of the Pacific have been moving strongly towards enhancing inclusive educational practices within a previously segregated education system. Through the Pacific Education Development Framework (PEDF) approved by 14 Pacific Island Education Ministers in 2009, the implementation of regional policies of inclusive education is...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: This study investigated the seeing, hearing and walking questions of the UNICEF/Washington Group Child Functioning Module and the inter-rater reliability between teachers and parents as proxy respondents. Methods: Cross-sectional diagnostic accuracy study, two-gate design with representative sampling, comparing Module responses to referenc...
Article
This study examined the relationships between primary schoolteachers’ attitudes, efficacy beliefs and perceived support and their behavioural intentions in regard to teaching students who display inappropriate behaviour in regular classrooms. Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) was used to guide the conceptual framework of the study. A total...
Article
The paper examined whether in-service teachers from Australia to Italy differ in terms of their attitudes, concerns, efficacy beliefs and intentions to include learners with disabilities in their classrooms. An attempt was also made to determine predictors of the participants’ intentions to include learners with disabilities in their classrooms. Pa...
Chapter
Countries across the Pacific are going through significant educational reforms. One of the most significant reforms within the education sector relates to education of children with disabilities. There is a push at the regional level to include students with disabilities in mainstream schools. Many countries are in the process of either revising ex...
Article
This paper reports perceived barriers and facilitators of disability-inclusive education, and outcomes of an effective system of inclusive education in the Solomon Islands. Data were gathered from a variety of stakeholder group participants (n = 10) and individual key informants (n = 2), ranging from parents of children with disabilities to governm...
Article
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Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 is to 'Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all' and the targets and indicators for SDG 4 emphasise the importance of measuring outcomes for children with disabilities (United Nations, 2015b). This paper reports on findings from qualitative research inv...
Article
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A quantitative study was conducted to compare the attitudes, efficacy, and concerns about inclusive education within three groups of teachers in Manitoba, Canada (N = 191). The three groups included pre-service teachers with coursework about inclusive education, but limited experience in inclusive settings; in-service teachers with experiences in i...
Article
The Pacific Island countries are committed to promoting disability-inclusive education through enactment of the Pacific Education Development Framework. To support this move, key stakeholders have identified the need for developing local and contextually appropriate indicators for measuring progress of disability-inclusive education. This paper rep...
Article
This article reviewed international data from English-language peer-reviewed studies on the use of TAs in inclusive classrooms from the past 10 years concerning: (a) the roles of TAs; (b) the impact of TAs on students, educators, and inclusive education; and (c) the factors that influence the performance of TAs. These studies suggest that unclear p...
Data
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Article
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Pacific Island governments have to report against an increasing number and range of global and regional education indicators that require disability-disaggregated data for monitoring disability-inclusive education. Given the effort required to adapt data systems and build capacity for disability disaggregation, it is imperative that indicators prov...
Conference Paper
Teaching students with complex learning needs in inclusive classrooms is not easy. Often teachers find valid excuses not to teach a student like Tom whose learning needs are complex and difficult to address in inclusive classrooms. We have seen that teachers often get blamed for their inability to include learners with diverse learning needs. I arg...
Article
Fourteen member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum have adopted The Pacific Education Development Framework as a means of improving quality of education across the region. Within this framework, special education and inclusive education are seen as priority areas that endorse a rights-based approach to education. Aligned with other Pacific regi...
Article
This article examines intentions of in-service teachers from India (n ¼ 349) and Australia (n ¼ 253) to teach in inclusive classrooms using the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Two new scales were developed to measure participants' attitudes and intentions to teach in inclusive classrooms. Results revealed that a) both scales are reliable and vali...
Chapter
Teaching in the inclusive classroom is complex. One construct that relates closely to the teaching practices is self-efficacy of teachers. Teachers with a high sense of inclusive teaching efficacy tend to create classroom environments where students with a range of abilities and learning styles succeed. Research on inclusive teacher efficacy constr...
Article
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This paper examines the experiences of Canadian university researchers and school district staff who engaged in a 6-year collaborative series of research projects investigating school inclusion in a regional school division in Canada. As a capstone to the research projects, members of the research team engaged in a facilitated inquiry session to ex...
Book
This book explores thinking about teaching and learning as an educative process. It is about creating a positive learning environment for all students and is different from most other books on such a topic. It is written by three experienced teachers who as academics, in the pursuit of evidence-based practice, have progressed research and teaching...
Article
This research was undertaken to determine if significant relationships exist between teachers’ self-reported attitudes, concerns, and efficacy to teach in inclusive classrooms and their actual classroom behaviour in Winnipeg, Canada. Five teachers completed 3 scales measuring their attitudes to inclusion, their level of concerns about teaching in i...
Article
Thirty pre-service teachers took part in a nine-week university course focussed on the benefits of inclusive education and the techniques needed to successfully implement it. The Teachers’ Attitudes Toward Inclusion Scale (TATIS), Concerns about Inclusive Education Scale (CIES), and Teacher’s Efficacy in Implementing Inclusive Practices (TEIP) were...
Article
This study reports the outcomes of focus group discussions reflected in presentations of concept maps relating to the implementation of inclusive education in the Pacific based on the views of 39 stakeholders from four countries (Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu). Five themes emerged, with one of the strongest being that of culture, commun...
Article
The trend towards inclusion in mainstream Australian schools has seen the numbers of students with disabilities educated in regular schools grow significantly. This trend has been supported by legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act and the Education Standards. For inclusion to be successful, a number of factors are vital and teacher...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Providing high quality education to learners with a disability is progressively mandated in Australia. In this paper, we will present how the NSW Department of Education and Communities is strategically supporting teacher professional judgment and practices to provide high quality education to the learners. The Department has developed an education...
Article
Although home–school collaborations are important for inclusive education, most studies have identified the problems experienced by parents whose children have additional special needs. The aim of this study was to present the views of Australian parents, with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, regarding what they considered to be th...
Article
This paper reports on how teachers are responding to students' inappropriate behaviours in public primary schools in Bangladesh. Data in this study were collected after the adoption of a recent government policy that has abolished corporal punishment in primary schools. Semi-structured, one-on-one interviews were conducted with 22 teachers from six...
Conference Paper
Challenging behaviours in young children are a cause of common concern for parents. Incidence of challenging behaviours in young children with Autism is higher compared to other disability categories. Approximately 13-30% of young children with ASD engage in challenging behaviours. Children who engage in challenging behaviour are at significantly i...
Article
The Pacific Island nations are in the process of transforming education to support all learners through the application of more inclusive approaches. In order to measure progress, they are working collaboratively to develop a set of local and contextually applicable indicators for inclusive education. This article reports the initial step in this p...
Article
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The inclusion of students with disabilities was initiated by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development in the Solomon Islands in 2013. This paper investigates the knowledge, skills, and values of school leaders in public and private schools in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, in regard to providing support for inclusive e...
Article
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The title of this editorial may be somewhat misleading: after all, the guest editors are putting forward only five views of inclusive education, and that can hardly be considered complete. This special edition has been planned so that it provides snapshots of various countries around the globe. England, India, Australia, Canada and the USA were sel...
Article
In this article we report on various initiatives taken by the government since India's independence in 1947 to provide education to school-aged children with disabilities. The majority of children with disabilities still remain out of school. We make an attempt to identify the challenges that the country continues to face in providing education to...
Conference Paper
Children with a disability are amongst the most disadvantaged groups of children in the low-income countries of the Asia Pacific. Over 90% of them do not get any form of education. A small minority of the children, who does get admission in schools, remain largely invisible (e.g. rejected by peers and educators). A number of the countries are aware...
Article
Recent policy changes in the Pacific Islands have seen a strong emphasis on implementing inclusive education. Preparing teachers for this change in education will be essential if they are to have the knowledge, skills and understandings so that they can become inclusive practitioners. Pre-service teacher education will play a critical role in suppo...