Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Sociology

Abstract

This study examined the elements that may influence teacher attitudes in a positive manner toward including students with special needs. The purpose of this project was to explore the factors that may impact the attitudes of general education teachers toward including students with disabilities. The factors examined in this study included experience, professional development, and administrative support. Each of these factors have been indicated by research as having an impact on the attitudes of teachers toward inclusion, however a deeper understanding and description of how these factors impact teachers was needed. Elementary general education teachers were surveyed to determine their attitudes toward inclusion, involvement in professional development, and perceived support from administrators and special education teachers. Teachers were also randomly selected to participate in a short interview. The results from this study revealed that principal support, in the form of emotional, instrumental, and informational support, and professional development had a positive impact on teachers' attitudes toward including students with special needs. It is recommended that future research is needed to further investigate these two areas.

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