04 SES 02 A, Attitudes of Different Groups I
Parallel Paper Session
In the past three decades Spain has developed a very progressive legislative body regarding the inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN) in regular settings (LISMI, 1985; LOGSE, 1990; LOE, 2006). At present, teachers have to confront the new demands of having all students in their classes, regardless of multiple and diverse educational needs. The presence of SEN students in regular classrooms implies new ways of understanding education and the instruction of these students. Therefore, it is important to know what teachers think about inclusion and the conditions under which it is being devoloped in Spain in order to take adequate and responsible decisions to promote more inclusive settings. In Spain, although the inclusion movement has contributed to reinforce general education teachers’ basic responsibility for increasing student participation, little is known about teachers’ complete acceptability of this practice and the reasons that may lay behind it.
Teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion have been, indeed, one of the major concerns in educational research. Literature reflects that teachers agree with the general concept of inclusion (Authors, 2011; Avramidis & Norwich, 2002; Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996). However, their attitudes are less positive when they have to include SEN students in their classrooms. This ambivalence seems to be related to some variables that may lessen their willingness to teaching these students in regular classes, such as the lack of training, time, resources and supports to address students’ needs. According to Avramidis, Bayliss and Burden (2000) teachers request more pre-service and in-service training to respond to their students’ needs, particularly, to attend to students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Moreover, Van Reusen, Shoho and Barker (2001) concluded that teachers with more negative attitudes towards inclusion were those who had little knowledge or training in special education. In other studies teachers demanded more time, resources and personal supports to adequately respond to diversity in their classes (Horne & Timmons, 2009; Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996). Teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion have been sufficiently studied (Author, 2011; Avramidis & Norwich, 2002), but little is known about how specific conditions in terms of training, time to individualised teaching, and availability of resources and supports may affect these attitudes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ attitudes on inclusion considering the specific conditions under which this practice is being devoloped in the province of Alicante, Spain, by examining the following research questions:
1) What attitudes do kindergarten, elementary, and secondary teachers in the province of Alicante hold towards inclusion?
2) To what extent do training, time, and availability of resources and supports affect these teachers’ attitudes?
Alemany, I. & Villuendas, M. D. (2004). Las actitudes del profesorado hacia el alumnado con necesidades educativas especiales. Convergencia.Revista de Ciencias Sociales, 11(34), 183-215. Avramidis, E., Bayliss, P. & Burden, R. (2000). A survey into mainstream teachers' attitudes towards the inclusion of children with special educational needs in the ordinary school in one local education authority. Educational Psychology, 20(2), 191-211. Avramidis, E. & Norwich, B. (2002). Teachers' attitudes towards integration / inclusion: a review of the literature. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 17(2), 129-147. Author (2011). Teachers’ opinion relative to inclusion in Spain: A comparison between experienced and inexperienced teachers. The International Jouranl of Diversity in Organisations, Communities, & Nations, 11(3), 151-168. Authors (2011). A study of teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion and its relationship with some demographic variables in Spain. In IASE (Ed.), Educating every learner, every day: A global responsibility (pp. 119-123). Carbonadale, IL: IASE. Horne, P. E. & Timmons, V. (2009). Making it work: teachers' perspectives on inclusion. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 13(3), 273-286. Idol, L. (2006). Toward inclusion of special education students in general education. A program evaluation of eight schools. Remedial and Special Education, 27(2), 77-94. LISMI (1982). Ley 13/1982, de 7 de abril, de Integración Social de los Minusválidos. Boletín Oficial del Estado, 20/04/82. LOE (2006). Ley Orgánica 2/2006, de 3 de mayo, de Educación. Boletín Oficial del Estado, 04/05/06. LOGSE (1990). Ley 1/1990, de 3 de octubre, de Ordenación General del Sistema Educativo. Boletín Oficial del Estado, 04/10/90. Scruggs, T. E. & Mastropieri, M. A. (1996). Teacher perceptions of mainstreaming/inclusion, 1958-1995: A research synthesis. Exceptional Children, 63(1), 59-74. Van Reusen, A. K., Shoho, A. R., & Barrer, K. S. (2001). High school teacher attitudes toward inclusión. The High School Journal, 84(2), 7-17.
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