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ERIC Number: ED527657
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 132
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-3895-3
"I Get by with a Little Help from My Friends": A Survey of Teachers' Perceptions of Administrative Support and Their Attitudes toward Inclusion in New Jersey
Shemesh, Yael Rachel
ProQuest LLC, Psy.D. Dissertation, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
Prior to federal law PL-94-142, children with disabilities typically were excluded from regular, mainstream classes. This law emphasized the least restrictive environment since research had shown that all children benefited from inclusive learning environments. In the late 1990s, New Jersey was cited as having too high a proportion of children with disabilities in segregated placements. New Jersey received a State Improvement Grant (SIG) to increase the number of students with disabilities in regular education classes. This dissertation was designed to evaluate one aspect of local school districts' program initiatives to achieve this end: teachers' attitudes and perceptions regarding inclusion. Teachers are responsible for the daily implementation of inclusion practices. Their attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs are crucial for the success of inclusion. Although findings from previous research have indicated that teachers favor inclusion, their willingness to implement inclusive practices depends on the availability of supports and resources, as well as the attitudes of school personnel. A total of 856 general education, special education, and special area teachers from seven districts in New Jersey were surveyed regarding: (a) their attitudes and beliefs about inclusion; (b) their perceived administrative support; (c) their perceived ease in meeting the needs of students with disabilities in their classroom; and (d) the factors that have helped or hindered their ability to include students with disabilities in their classroom. Quantitative (Pearson product-moment correlation, multiple regression, independent samples t test) and qualitative (content analysis) methods were used to analyze the survey data. Special education teachers had more positive attitudes toward inclusion than did general education teachers. Relationships between teachers' attitudes and perceptions, and administrative support were found for general education teachers but not for special education teachers. Years of experience working with students with disabilities did not influence these relationships. Teachers identified training, positive attitudes, and support from colleagues, administrators, and other school personnel as factors facilitating inclusive practices. Barriers to implementation included large class size, insufficient planning time, lack of support from colleagues and school administrators, student behavior and ability, and teachers' negative attitudes. Implications for practice are discussed for administrators and school psychologists. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey