Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-16-2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Neil Mathur, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Robert Voelkel, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Jessica DeValentino, Ed.D.

Keywords

Teachers, attitudes, regular classroom, students with disabilities, inclusion, self-efficacy, collaboration.

Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine teachers’ attitudes toward the inclusion of students with special needs in general education middle school classrooms. Extant literature shows that factors such as teachers’ experiences with students with disabilities, ability to manage diverse classroom behaviors, understanding of individual disabilities, collaboration, self-efficacy, available resources, and school leadership support affect teachers’ willingness to consent to the inclusion model. Research reveals that teachers’ attitudes toward inclusion are greatly influenced by their experiences with students with disabilities and extent and level of collaboration in the school. These are the greatest predictors of employing a successful inclusion classroom model. The present study employed a case study approach utilizing questionnaires and follow-up interview questions for the selected teachers to examine their attitudes toward inclusion. Teachers’ experiences and collaboration revealed to be strongly correlated with teachers’ attitudes toward students with disability. The results indicate that special education teachers more than general education teachers feel adequately prepared in teaching the students with disabilities. Teachers in this study felt that their instructional activities had improved as a result of their work in collaboration, demonstrating a positive relationship between collaboration and increased teacher experience with students with disabilities.

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