04 SES 01 D, Teachers' Self-Efficacy and Attitudes Toward Inclusive Education
Inclusion of students with a range of diversities such as disabilities, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds and learning styles in mainstream classrooms is a worldwide trend. Placement of students with different abilities in mainstream classrooms is not always successful. Unless school teachers have positive attitudes towards inclusion, have high degree of efficacy in teaching in inclusive classrooms and are well supported by their school leaders; inclusion is unlikely to be successful. It is, therefore, not surprising that a number of researchers worldwide examine teachers' attitudes and or their efficacy beliefs, and is some case the level of support available to them to determine if inclusion will be successfully implemented in their schools. While the research on attitudes and efficacy beliefs is commendable, it does not provide a complete picture about what teachers say is consistent with their actual practices. We do not yet know if teachers’ perception of being positive about inclusion and being highly efficacious in their ability to teach in inclusive classroom is also consistent with what their students experience in the classrooms. One way to determine if teachers' actual practices are consistent with their intended beliefs is to ask their students about their perception about their experiences being educated in the classrooms. This study uses Ajzen's theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1991) as the guiding framework to determine if significant relationships exist between teachers' attitudes and efficacy beliefs with their intention to teach in inclusive classrooms. It will then examine if teachers' intention to teach in inclusive classrooms are consistent with their students' perception of classroom practices. The study is likely to fill in a significant gap in our understanding about the relationship between teachers’ attitude and behaviour with respect to implementing inclusive practices.
Participants of the study were 517 secondary school students (55.5% males; 10-17 years old) and their 30 teachers (21 females, 9 males) from inclusive classrooms in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany). Participants were selected using a purposive sampling. The participating teachers in this study completed a comprehensive survey. This paper reports findings in relation to their attitudes, teaching efficacy and intentions. The data was collected using previously published surveys (Attitudes towards Inclusion, Sharma, & Jacobs, 2015; Intention to Teach in inclusive Classrooms, Sharma & Jacobs, 2015; Teacher Efficacy to implement Inclusive Practices (Sharma, Loreman, & Forlin, 2012). All scales use likert type anchors and found to have adequate reliability (alpha values= 0.81-0.89) across international contexts. Teachers in the current study also provided information about their demographic variables such as gender, age, year of experience in teaching and in teaching in inclusive classes. Data from students was collected using a newly developed Inclusion Climate Scale (Schwab, Sharma, & Loreman, submitted). The inclusion climate scale has 14 items and requires students to indicate their level of agreement with each item using a 4-point likert type ratings of Not at all True (1) to Completely True (4). The scale was found to have a reliability of 0.88 and it provides scores on two sub scales (alphas 0.84 and 0.87). In order to determine if significant relationship existed between teachers’ attitudes and efficacy beliefs with their intentions to use inclusive classrooms practices, Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated. To determine if significant relationship existed between teachers’ attitudes, efficacy and intention with their students’ perception of Inclusion Climate a multilevel regression analysis (for the total score as well as for both subscales) was calculated using hierarchical structure of the data (students were clustered into classes) with corresponding teachers. In addition, we also examined for gender effects on both levels and for teachers’ age on class level.
Preliminary analysis were undertaken. Descriptive analysis showed that the attitudes towards inclusion scores were neutral (M=3.91, SD=1.08) compared to the theoretical mean of 4, suggesting that the participants were neither very positive or negative about inclusion. The participants’ intentions to use inclusive classroom practices scores were positive (M=5.46, SD=0.78) relative to the theoretical mean of the scale (M=4). Participants’ level of teaching efficacy to teach in inclusive education was also found to be positive (M=4.70, SD=0.62; theoretical mean=3.5) relative. The correlation analyses showed a small (non significant) positive correlation between teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion and their teaching efficacy belies (rs = .21, n.s.) but not significantly linked to teachers’ intention to use of inclusive classrooms practices (rs =.03, n.s.). Further, teachers’ self-efficacy was highly correlated with their intention to use of inclusive classrooms practices (rs=.75, p<.01). The results of the three multilevel regression analyses showed significance variance at the class level (12.8-16.2%). The only significant predictor for the inclusion climate (for the total score as well as for both subscores) was the intentions to use inclusive classrooms practices. All other variables (students’ gender, teacher’s gender, teacher’s age, teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion and teacher’s self-efficacy) did not explain the variance significantly. Further analysis and implications of the findings for school educators, policy makers and researchers will be presents at the conference.
Ahmmed, M., Sharma, U., Deppeler, J. (2013). Variables affecting teachers’ intentions to include students with disabilities in regular primary schools in Bangladesh. Disability & Society, 29(2), 317- 331, DOI:10.1080/09687599.2013.796878 Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179-211. Sharma, U. & Jacobs, K. (2016). Predicting in-service teachers’ intention to teach in inclusive classrooms in India and Australia. Teaching and Teacher Education, 55, 13-23. 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. Schwab, S., Sharma, U. & Loreman, T. (submitted). Are we included: Secondary students' perceptions of inclusion climate in their schools?
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.