Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

Teachers’ Attitudes Towards Students With Disabilities: A Plan for Assessment and Modification

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by Jennie Lewin

The nature of this project was to explore teacher attitudes towards students with disabilities, explore the effects of training on teacher attitude and behaviors in the classroom, and develop resources for use in the classroom. The first portion of the project, my original research design using Osgood’s Semantic Differential Scale, has allowed me to examine teacher attitudes towards children with special needs versus attitudes towards children who are not identified with a specific disability. The study has been given to three different schools in GISD thus far, with scheduled plans to distribute the study at two more schools in the next month. Preliminary data suggests that teachers in fact favor children identified with special needs. However, many more variables need to be examined in order to determine if teacher training and experience possibly play a role in these perceptions. Using the information obtained from this study, along with additional research, I am developing specific teaching kits and tools for teachers to use in the classroom. Materials for the first trial kit have been ordered. In the upcoming months, I will begin to train teachers to use the kit and activities in the classroom. It is with these new resource materials that I hope to help teachers create a more inclusive environment in the classroom.