The effects of the adequacy of general education teachers on special needs students in inclusive classrooms
Problem. Many general education teachers have not had the professional training and specific coursework to teach students with special needs (Monohan, Marino & Miller, 1996). Currently, teacher preparation programs differ from general educators and special educators; there are two distinct tracks. ^ This study investigated the effects that teacher attitude and training have on the academic achievement of included special needs students in the Rutherford County Public School System. ^ Method. The participants included 45 teachers who completed the Attitude Inventory. The five categories assessed in the Attitude Inventory were: Teachers' Attitude toward Making Accommodations, Perceived Benefits of Inclusion, Perceived Supportive Environment, Teacher Support for Inclusion and Knowledge of the Process. ^ The instrument used in this study included an Attitude Inventory (Bosch & Edgar, 2001) used to measure the attitude of general education teachers on educating special needs students. The Gateway test was used to measure the academic achievement of students in English, mathematics, and science test scores for included students. ^ Based on the nature of the study, the quantitative method of research was used. Surveys were used for data collection, with the intent of estimating the characteristics of a large population of interest based on a smaller sample from that population. ^ Results. The findings indicated that the teachers' knowledge of the inclusion process and their attitude toward inclusion were statistically significant predictors of their students' achievement on the Gateway Test. There was no statistically significant difference between the teachers years of experience and their attitude toward inclusion. There was not a statistically significant difference in the teachers' attitude toward inclusion based on their ethnicity, gender or level of training in special education. Finally, there was no statistically significant difference in student achievement based on their teachers' level of training in special education. ^ Conclusion. Based on the findings of this study, there is evidence that teachers' attitude regarding inclusion has a definite impact on the academic achievement of included special needs students. Changing teachers' attitude towards the special education student is an important factor for successfully implementing the inclusive program in our schools. (Shepherd & Brown, 2000). ^
Lisa C Currie,
"The effects of the adequacy of general education teachers on special needs students in inclusive classrooms"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.