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ERIC Number: EJ1140301
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Abstractor: As Provided
Faculty Epistemological Beliefs as a Mediator to Attitudes toward Persons with Disabilities
Barnard, Lucy; Stevens, Tara; Siwatu, Kamau O.; Lan, William Y.
Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals, p5-15 Fall 2007
Previous research has indicated that university faculty members' attitudes towards students with disabilities varies depending on specific background qualities of those faculty, including gender, type of field (soft or hard science), and type of study (pure or applied). We examined epistemological beliefs as a possible mediator between faculty background qualities and attitudes towards individuals with disabilities. 223 faculty members at a large, public research intensive university in the Southwestern, United States, were surveyed to evaluate their attitudes and epistemological beliefs as well as to collect background information. Structural equation modeling was utilized to compare two competing models, one with background directly impacting attitudes and a second with epistemological beliefs acting as a mediator of this relationship. The mediating model provided a significant improvement over the fit of the first model, which supported the mediating role of epistemological beliefs in predicting faculty members' attitudes towards students with disabilities.
Descriptors: Teacher Attitudes, Beliefs, Epistemology, Disabilities, College Faculty, Attitudes toward Disabilities, Teacher Surveys, Structural Equation Models, Comparative Analysis, Models, Predictor Variables, Online Surveys, Teacher Characteristics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A