Dissertation

How teacher's efficacy impacts their attitude towards the inclusion of all learners

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between teacher efficacy and attitudes of elementary and middle school (k-8), general education teachers towards teaching learning disabled, emotionally and behavioral disabled, and significantly intellectually disabled students in an inclusive classroom setting. An online survey, along with 7 face-to-face interviews, was conducted as a means of gathering data regarding teacher attitudes and efficacy toward inclusion. Results from the online survey suggested that while teachers may at first appear to feel positively towards inclusion. Their attitudes are significantly impacted by the amount of time students are included in their classroom, the type of disability student’s presented with and whether students benefitted from inclusion for academic or social goals. Overall, more efficacious teachers were consistently more willing to consider classroom adaptations, modifications, and changes in teaching style to support all learners, then less efficacious teachers. Results from the personal interviews provided some insight as to why teachers had highly different attitudes towards the inclusion of students with different disabilities.. No matter how teachers felt about inclusion, most teachers agreed that all their students benefitted from using different modalities for instruction. All of the teachers interviewed agreed that they could benefit from more training and support in order to successfully include all students in their classroom. This study concluded that further investigation is needed in order to consider the implications of including children of various disabilities and the factors that, impact teachers’ attitudes towards these students.

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