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ERIC Number: EJ819943
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 75
ISSN: ISSN-1547-0350
Attitudes of Israeli Teachers and Paraprofessionals towards the New Definition of ID and Their Willingness to Cope with Special Education Law Changes
Lifshitz, Hefziba; Nissim, Shoshanna; Cohen, Sara
Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, v43 n4 p514-528 Dec 2008
Attitudes of teachers (N = 96) and paraprofessionals (N = 48) working with students with intellectual disability (ID) towards the new definition of ID (Luckasson et al., 1992, 2002), was examined. The main innovation of the new definition of ID is the cancellation of the four ID levels, suggesting an optimistic view, especially towards individuals with severe/profound ID. Participants' attitudes towards modifiability and the acquisition of new skills by students with severe/profound ID were investigated. Their willingness to cope with the changes stemming from the implementation of the Special Education Law (1988) was also examined as well as their general educational attitudes (conservatism vs. progressiveness) according to role and type of population. Findings yielded low attitudes towards modifiability of students with severe/profound ID (2-4 out of 6). The Denial Culture and the Integrated Threat Theory of prejudice explain these findings. The "control theory" and the top-down approach explain the low scores in willingness to cope with changes stemming from the Special Education Law. The research hypothesis was supported. Paraprofessionals express a higher level of conservatism and lower scores in the attitudes towards the new definition of ID than teachers, especially those working with students with severe and profound ID. These findings suggest that it is not only the education level, but also the type of occupation that determine the worker's orientation. (Contains 3 tables.)
Division on Developmental Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children. DDD, P.O. Box 3512, Fayetteville, AR 72702. Tel: 479-575-3326; Fax: 479-575-6676; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel