04 SES 09 B, Transition to Higher Education and Employment
The prevalence of students with disabilities in higher education in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) has increased in recent years (SIHO, 2009; Centre for Diversity and Learning, 2012). In a study of Boulanger (2013), 14.8% of the surveyed students said that they have a disability. The largest group consisted of students with learning disabilities (40.8%). To ensure full participation in higher education, these students need additional support, such as reasonable accommodations, special learning tools and specific teaching staff (United Nations, 2006). In Flanders, the additional support provided are mainly reasonable accommodations such as reading software, the use of a computer in exams, or additional exam duration (Emmers, Mattys, Baeyens, Petry, 2014). Despite these efforts to eliminate or neutralize the effects of the disability, many students still face difficulties such as incomprehension and insecurity (e.g. on the use of reasonable accommodations) and negative attitudes by teachers in higher education (Mullins & Preyde, 2012). Research has shown that the elements of success for an inclusive approach are the confidence that teachers have in their own knowledge (self-efficacy), skills and attributes to implement inclusive education along with other factors such as positive attitudes and contextual variables (TschannenMoran and Woolfolk-Hoy 2001; Forlin et al. 2009).
The student population with disabilities in the Flemish colleges has risen in recent years but there is no insight into the attitudes of Flemish teachers towards this target group and the use of reasonable accommodations or their self-efficacy to teach in an inclusive educational practice. To be able to develop a policy addressing these problems of incomprehension and misunderstandings by teachers in higher education in the future, there is a need to explore the factors associated with attitudes and self-efficacy for Flemish teachers. This study focuses on the following research questions:
(1) What are the attitudes of teachers towards support practice (reasonable accommodations) and students with disabilities?
(2) What are factors that are related to attitudes and self-efficacy (e.g. age, gender, experience...) for Flemish teachers?
Boulanger, V. (2013). Studeren met een ‘functiebeperking’ of studeren met een ‘handicap’: Onderzoek naar het profiel van studenten met een functiebeperking in het Vlaamse hoger onderwijs [Masterproef]. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen. Emmers, E., Mattys, L., Baeyens, D., Petry, K. (2014) Research report OBPWO study 12:02: Inclusive higher education: multi-actor, multi-method study on the procedure and use of support (reasonable accommodations) for students with disabilities. KU Leuven, Leuven. Forlin, C., Earle, C., Loreman, T., & Sharma, U. (2011). The sentiments, attitudes, and concerns about inclusive education revised (SACIE-R) scale for measuring pre-service teachers’ perceptions about inclusion. Exceptionality Education International, 21(3), 50-65. Forlin, C., Loreman, T., Sharma, U. & Earle, C. (2009) ‘Demographic differences in changing pre-service teachers' attitudes, sentiments and concerns about inclusive education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 13, pp. 195–209. Mullins, L., & Preyde, M. (2012). The lived experience of students with an invisible disability at a Canadian university. Disability & Society, 28(2), 147-160. Murray, C., Wren, C.T. & Keys, C. (2008). University Faculty Perceptions of Students with Learning Disabilities: Correlates and Group Differences. Learning Disability Quarterly, 31(3), 95-113. Geraadpleegd op http://www.jstor.org/stable/25474642 . Sharma, U., Loreman, T., & Forlin, C. (2012). Measuring teacher efficacy to implement inclusive practices. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 12(1), 12-21. Steunpunt diversiteit & leren. (2012). Diversiteitspraktijken in het hoger onderwijs [pdf]. Geraadpleegd op http://www.diversiteitenleren.be/sites/default/files/4Groeiend_aantal_studenten_met_functiebeperkingen_Cursief_0.pdf Steunpunt Inclusier Hoger Onderwijs. (2009). Informatieronde: diepgaande bevraging bij Vlaamse Hogescholen en universiteiten. Brugge, België. Geraadpleegd op http://www.siho.be/files/Gidsen/Rapport%20informatieronde.pdf Tschannen-Moran, M., Woolfolk, H. A. & Hoy, W. K. (1998) ‘Teacher efficacy: its meaning and measure. Review of Educational Research, 68, pp. 202–48. Verenigde Naties. (2006, 13 december). Verdrag inzake de rechten van personen met een handicap. Geraadpleegd op http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/specifieke-onderwijsbehoeften/leerzorg/VN/verdrag.pdf Vignes, C., Godeau, E., Sentenac, M., Coley, N., Niavarro, F., Grandjean, H., & Arnaud, C. (2009). Determinants of student’s attitudes towards peers with disabilities. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology (51), 473-479. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8749.2009.03283.x.
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