Title

Classroom Teacher Attitudes Toward Inclusion With Emphasis on Students With Visual Impairments

Date of Degree

5-2006

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program

Education

Advisor

Dorothy Ettling

Advisor

Jessica C. Kimmel

Advisor

Francis M. Boakari

Advisor

Renee Sethness

Abstract

The purpose of this sequential mixed methods study was to investigate classroom teachers’ attitudes toward inclusion in three school districts. The emphasis was on the students with visual impairments in the second phase of the study. The deductive drive of the research process examined teachers’ favorableness toward certain disabilities; compared teacher favorableness with teacher experience; and examined differences in regular and special educators and their favorableness toward certain disabilities. Four disability groups in the study were social, physical, academic, and behavioral integration. A purposeful sampling and demographic information were extracted from 104 participants for the quantitative phase. Nine participants in the qualitative phase engaged in face-to-face interviews. Mezirow’s transformational learning and Thurston’s attitudinal theory created the backdrop or theoretical framework for this study. Results from the study indicated that teachers most preferred students in the social group and least preferred students in the behavioral group for the inclusive classroom. The second most preferred group was the physical group, which contained sensory impairments like visual impairment. In summary, teachers had none to Reproduced with minimal experience teaching students with visual impairments, and training on this topic was at a minimum. The goal of the researcher in this study was to contribute to the extant body of knowledge regarding teacher attitudes toward inclusion of students with disabilities in the regular education classroom and to suggest future research to promote successful inclusive practices.

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