The passage of The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act (2002), formerly known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, sparked a significant rise in the number of students with disabilities receiving their instruction in the inclusive setting. While previous legislation mandated that students with disabilities be included in standardized testing, NCLB called for closing the achievement gap between students with disabilities and their nondisabled peers. Research indicated the success of students with disabilities in the general educational setting was influenced by teacher attitude. This qualitative study addressed secondary general and special education teacher attitudes and beliefs surrounding the practice of inclusion. It focused on comparing data on teacher attitudes towards the inclusion of students with disabilities into the general educational setting. Forty secondary teachers of varying ages, education, and with a range of five to 32 years of experience, from several school districts around metropolitan Saint Louis participated in this study. An electronic survey and semi- structured interviews were employed to query the teachers’ attitudes regarding the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general educational setting and the perceived barriers. The results indicated that teachers’ attitudes were generally positive toward the ideology of inclusion; however, when asked to express their views about the practice of inclusion in open-ended survey questions, results indicated less than positive views toward the practice of inclusion for all students. The most noteworthy factors associated with the negative attitudes was the lack of administrative support, and lack of training. Results also indicated that special education teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion were significantly more positive than those of general education teachers. The analysis of data revealed there was not a significant correlation between teachers’ attitudes of inclusion in regards to their type of certification, degree level, and years of experience.
|Advisor:||Long, John D.|
|Commitee:||Brazeale, Charles, Wisdom, Sherrie|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Disability studies, Educational evaluation, Special education|
|Keywords:||Inclusion, Students with disabilities, Teacher attitudes|
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