Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Federal legislation mandates the inclusion of students with disabilities into the regular classroom. This integration is often met with resistance from the educators. The purpose of this study was to determine teachers' attitudes toward the inclusion of students with severe disabilities in the general education classroom. The research problem addressed the attitudes of educators who are implementing inclusion practices for students with severe disabilities. These attitudes are an integral part of successful inclusion practices. The theoretical basis for inclusion can be found in Wolfensberger's normalization principle and his examination of social role valorization which support placing a person with a disability into "normal" social roles which can develop self-confidence and a sense of belonging. This quantitative research survey questioned if teacher attitudes toward students with disabilities varied by severity of student disability, type of teacher, and length of teaching experience with students with severe disabilities. Teachers (n=113) completed an adapted version of the Physical Educators' Attitudes Toward Individuals with Disabilities-III (PEATID-III). The data were analyzed through descriptive statistics, a Wilcoxon test, and the Mann-Whitney test. Results indicated that teachers displayed a significant difference in attitude based on the severity of disability showing a need for varied training. As indicated by the results, no significant difference in attitude existed between special education and regular education teachers. Experience with students with severe disabilities was not considered a determinant of attitude. This research contributes to the societal integrity by stressing the national impact of inclusion on teachers. The results of this study can be used by school districts to develop adequate preparation of all teachers in order to instill a proper attitude for teaching individuals with disabilities.