Teacher attitudes toward the use of accommodations in the classroom and on standardized tests

Michele Penny Meadows

Abstract

Educating students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment necessitates the use of accommodations and modifications to help these students have better access to the general education curriculum. As a result of inclusion, general education teachers are required to teach students with disabilities in their general education classrooms. Even though regular education teachers have assistance from special education teachers, not all general education teachers (and some special education teachers) believe they have the education, experience, or support to teach these students effectively. This study measured general education teacher and special education teacher attitudes toward the use accommodations for special education students in the regular education classroom and in standardized testing situations. A likert-type survey instrument was used to collect data from general education teachers and special education teachers in public schools containing grades K-12 in south Mississippi schools. The data collected through the study showed varying attitudes among teachers. When teacher attitudes were compared by position (regular education or special education teacher), there was a statistically significant difference in attitudes with special education teacher attitudes being more positive in both the classroom and on standardized tests. Teacher attitudes by grade level taught and position did not differ significantly in either the classroom or on standardized tests. Teachers with a master's degree or higher did not have a more positive attitude toward the use of accommodations in the classroom, but teachers with a master's degree or higher did have a more positive attitude toward the use of accommodations on standardized tests. Teachers with 16 or more years experience tended to have more positive attitudes toward the use of accommodations than those with lower levels of experience both in the classroom and on standardized tests. Teachers at the elementary level had a more positive attitude toward the use of accommodations in the classroom but on standardized tests there was not a statistical difference. Teacher attitudes were more positive toward the use of accommodations in the classroom than toward the use of accommodations on standardized tests.