11 SES 14, Culture, Curriculum and School Effectiveness
Coping with academic activities is a daily challenge for learners and teachers that wish to have better achievements and to improve schools' quality (Marsh, 2015). Nevertheless, learners with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) often challenge themselves, their teachers, and their peers while they try to deal with the variety academic activities they have (Chandler, 2010). Understanding that better inclusion of learners with ADHD may be based on better teachers' training, variety of teaching strategies were developed along with different academic courses (Levine, 2003). Without reducing the importance of professional teacher training and teaching strategies, during the last decade researchers claim that teachers' attitude toward learners with special needs is the most effecting factor on the success of inclusion. In other words, the more positive attitude teachers have, the better inclusion process learners experience.
Nowadays, up to 10% of the learners in schools are diagnosed with ADHD (Chandler, 2010). Although their challenges on a daily basis to succeed in all academic domains despite their ADHD are enormous, their secondary deficient that may result of the ADHD often causes to miss behave, to have difficulties in sitting in class, to forget things, or to talk a lot (Greenspan & Salmon, 1995). Consequently, teachers to not have the opportunities to experience the academic strengths they may have, and their inclusion process is not successfully fulfilled.
Understanding the importance of teachers' attitudes and know the strengths learners with ADHD have, led to conduct this study.
Academic-quality, ADHD, inclusion, teachers' attitudes
Methodology The study referred to teachers who teach in a variety of educational settings: from kindergarten to high-school and even academic studies, in mainstream and in special education classes. 476 participants completed a questionnaire which was distributed in two identical versions: online and printed. Main Variables Variables Related to the Subject’s Background and Family The questionnaire referred to background variables such as gender, age, religion, personal status, education, number of years in the profession, and age and type of the population with whom the subject works routinely (mainstream or special education). Subjects were also asked whether they themselves were diagnosed as people with Learning Disabilities (LD), and whether people in their immediate vicinity have it (i.e. relatives, close friends etc.). Dependent Variables The questionnaire included 36 items scaled 1 (totally disagree) to 6 (agree completely). 25 0f them measured four variables: The degree of agreement of the subject with positive myths about people with ADHD; the degree of agreement of the subject with negative myths about people with ADHD; The degree of agreement of the subject with myths about the contribution of people with ADHD to their environment; and the subject's perception of students with ADHD as challenging the teacher. The rest of items examined the subject's perception as to the source of the disorder. Data Analysis The data were first analyzed descriptively: The distribution of variables was examined and averages and standard deviations were calculated. Internal reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) was examined for variables containing several items, factor analysis was conducted for variables with a low rate of internal reliability, and content areas were defined. Finally, correlations between the study variables were calculated to find significant relationships. T-tests for independent samples and one-way ANOVA were used to test the statistical significance of the differences found between various types of teachers.
Results deriving from this study are: - Teachers with LD are significantly more positive toward the inclusion of learners with ADHD, in compare to teachers without LD. - Teachers with second academic degree. secular teachers, and teachers that one of their family members is with LD share less negative myths about learners with ADHD and their abilities to learn with other learners. - Teachers with LD, or teachers that one of their family members is with LD, views the potential contribution significantly higher then other teachers. - Kindergarten- teachers are more likely to claim that "there are no learners with ADHD but there are unskilled teachers". This claim may be developed from the different educational environment kindergarten-teachers work in, and in which children do not required to sit and concentrate for long time as they do in school. - Novice teachers believe that learning strategies are efficient for all learners and not only for those with ADHD. - Teachers with LD understand the positive use of cognitive and ADHD assessments, and do not think they are based on any stigmas. - Teachers with LD, and teachers that members of their family have LD, better understand the positive affect of medication on ADHD. They are also more motivated to help learners with ADHD who use proper medicines. - Teachers that members of their family have LD are more likely to agree that personal relation with teachers contributes to academic success Discussion This study conducted in order to understand teachers' perspectives in regard to learners with ADHD and if they understand those learners' strengths in learning and social skills. Factors such as the role of academic studies, religion perspectives, personal relations and personal experiences were found as significantly effective on the perspectives of teachers on the inclusion of learners with ADHD.
Chandler, C. (2010). The science of ADHD. A guide for parents and professionals. MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, Ltd. Greenspan, S., & Salmon, J. (1995). The challenging child. Mass: Perseus Books. Levine, M. (2003). The myth of laziness. NY: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. Marsh, S. (2015). Five top reasons people become teachers – and why they quit. Retrieved on 25.12.2017 from: https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/jan/27/five-top-reasons-teachers-join-and-quit
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