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ERIC Number: ED535380
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 378
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-5119-8
ISSN: N/A
The Effects of Institutional Variables, Teacher Background Variables, Teacher Preparedness, and Teachers' Performance Drivers on Teachers' Attitudes toward Students with Learning Disabilities in the Inclusive Classroom
Abercrombie, Diane D.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of South Alabama
As a result of the passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, school systems are required to provide a free and appropriate education for all children with disabilities. This legislation was further supported by The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), which guarantees all students with disabilities access to the general education classroom and general education curriculum (US Department of Education, n.d.). Thus, the delivery of educational services for students with disabilities has shifted from segregated settings to the practice of inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classroom. Although there are many barriers which hinder the successful implementation of inclusion, teacher attitude has been cited as the most important factor for successful inclusion. The purpose of this study was to examine general education teachers' and special education teachers' attitudes towards students with learning disabilities (LD) in the inclusive classroom. The role that teacher background and institutional variables, teacher preparedness, and performance drivers play in determining teachers' attitudes was the focus of this study. Descriptive statistics, multiple regression, ANOVA, t-tests, correlations, and focus groups were used to explore five general research questions and two focused exploratory questions. General and special education teachers were invited to participate in the study. Sixty-three teachers, mostly general education teachers, attending graduate level courses in a College of Education comprised the study pool. Most of the teachers were enrolled in the Alternative Master's program. The participants completed two online surveys: (1) Teaching students with LD in the general classroom and, (2) the modified Opinions Relative to Integration of Students with Disabilities (ORI) teacher attitude survey adapted from Antonak and Larrivee (1995). The six teacher background variables for this study were educational level, program enrollment, years of experience, teaching certification category, years of experience with students with LD in the classroom, and number of students with LD taught. The six institutional variables were grade level taught, school size, school location, level of support for inclusion, level of administrative support for inclusion, availability of instructional materials, resources, and support services. There were four performance drivers: skills and knowledge, motivation, environment, and incentives. Teacher preparedness was the final variable investigated. Teacher background variables and institutional variables were not predictive of teachers' attitudes towards students with LD in the classroom. The performance driver's motivation, environment, and incentives were positively correlated with each other, and predicted some element of teachers' attitudes toward teaching students with LD in the general education classroom. Findings from the focus group studies strengthened this research study by providing rich and substantive data which supports dated and current literature regarding facilitators and obstacles to successful implementation of inclusion. [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: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education for All Handicapped Children Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act