04 SES 09 A, Attitudes towards Students with SEN in Mainstream Schools
At the moment, 77.3% of Styrian pupils with SEN are integrated into mainstream schooling. The attitude towards the integration of pupils with SEN in mainstream schools is considered an essential aspect. While standardized instruments have been implemented repeatedly for surveying teachers, parents and pupils, such instruments are usually not useful when working with laypersons. For this reason a new short instrument, the Attitudes Towards Integration Scale (ATIS), was constructed and psychometrically tested. The scale is based on cases dealing with different disorders, namely physical disability, learning disability, intellectual disability and emotional disorder. Therefore, people which have little or no experience with the integration of students with SEN can also express their opinions. The sample consisted of 2158 people. 1244 people were questioned online and 914 people were interviewed in public places. The participants were randomly assigned to questionnaires beginning with a case in integrated instruction or a case in special education instruction. Each questionnaire dealt with one form of specific disorders. The results show that the scale (Cronbach’s alpha=.81) exhibits acceptable internal consistencies and that the factorial structure can be considered as largely confirmed. The descriptive results show that the German-speaking public’s attitude towards inclusive education is generally positive.
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