Date of Award

Spring 5-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Chair

Dr. David E. Lee

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

Dr. James T. Johnson

Committee Member 2 Department

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Committee Member 3

Dr. Rose McNeese

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 4

Dr. Luke Stedrak

Abstract

Since the integration of the inclusion model, supported by the IDEA (1997), within public schools, teacher resistance and frustration has risen (Hardy, 1999). The climate of general education teachers’ classrooms furthermore, has not been the same (Liu & Meyer, 2005). Key elements ensuring success of inclusion and the implementation of inclusive education are the views, perspectives, and attitudes of the personnel who have the responsibility for implementing it; the teachers (Shade & Stewart, 2001). Avramidis and Norwich (2002) argued that successful implementation of any inclusive policy or programming is extremely dependent upon the educators being receptive and positive. Hines (2011) stated that as teacher accountability became more widespread and assessed, teacher resistance, misconceptions, and attitudes not favorable to the idea of educating students with disabilities within the general education classroom/inclusion setting became more prevalent.

This study identified whether their relationship between teacher attitudes about inclusion and their attitudes about the academic performance of students with disabilities. A survey was conducted resulting in 105 participants whom were all general education teachers of an inclusion setting within an elementary or middle school. After receiving questionnaires for this quantitative study, responses were analyzed using SPSS reports of descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and Pearson Correlations.

Findings of this study indicated participants of this study consisted mostly of novelty teachers who exemplified strong, positive beliefs of the capabilities of students with disabilities, especially when support and on-going training is available. The findings of this study indicated that professional development, years of inclusion teaching experience, and college preparation do not have a significant relationship with teachers’ attitudes of student performance. The results of this study suggest that there is a significant relationship between teachers’ attitude of student performance and the support and training received by the general education teacher. The teachers’ attitudes of student performance and their perception of the effect of teacher student ratios have no significant relationship. The results of this research suggest that a significant relationship does exist between teachers’ attitudes of student performance and their perception of student behavior concerns. From this study, recommendations for policy, practice, and future research were addressed.