Date

1-2017

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Phyllis A. Booth

Keywords

Disability, Inclusion, Private Schools, Special Education, Special Needs, Teacher Attitudes

Disciplines

Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Other Education

Abstract

Teachers’ attitudes toward inclusion of students with special needs affect communication with students, curricular decisions, selection and implementation of teaching strategies, and professional development needs. Most research in the United States has focused on the attitudes of public school teachers who must follow federal special education law and regulations, though international research on inclusion has included studies of both public and private school teachers’ attitudes. Private school teachers experience differing conditions (legal, economic, organizational, philosophical, etc.) and may hold differing attitudes toward inclusion from those of their public school peers. Determining these attitudes will help private school personnel to address inclusion needs in their schools. This predictive correlation study of private school teachers’ attitudes toward inclusion used the Opinions Relative to the Integration of Students with Disabilities (ORI) instrument and a demographic survey of years of teaching experience, previous public school teaching experience, teacher level of education, and training in addressing special education needs. The instrument was distributed to teachers at 17 private schools in New Mexico. The final sample size was 69 teachers, a convenience sample of teachers responding. A multiple regression analysis assessed the comparative strength of relationship of each predictor variable to teacher attitude as measured by the ORI and found significant effect from teacher level of education.