Middle school personnel's attitudes toward inclusive education in a suburban Texas school district

Theron Thomas Brown

Abstract

Since 1975, inclusion of students in the least restrictive environment has generated skepticism and doubt toward this issue. Proponents of educational reform in the inclusive movement recognize the process of change--how, with whom, and in what sequence the steps or states of change are set into motion. The purpose of this study was to examine the criterion variable of school personnel's attitude toward inclusive education and how they are related to the variables of academic assignment, gender, inclusive education experience, and the number of years of experience in education. Participants in this study included 290 teachers, counselors, and administrators from five middle schools in the Spring Branch Independent School District. Multiple regression analysis revealed that there was a significant difference between the academic assignment groups on the criterion variable of attitude toward inclusive education. The analysis of data supported a significant difference between the teachers', counselors', and administrators' attitudes toward inclusion. The findings in this study support that, administrators demonstrated a more positive attitude toward inclusion than teachers and counselors. There was also a significant relationship between attitude toward inclusive education and the composite set of variables: academic assignment, gender, inclusive education experience, and number of years in education. However, there was a significant independent relationship between attitude toward inclusive education and the predictor variable of academic assignment. Interaction was found between inclusive education experience and gender on the criterion variable of attitude toward inclusive education. There were no interactions found among the other independent variables and the criterion variable attitude toward inclusive education.