Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Educational reformers have mandated inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classroom. However, general education teachers often do not regularly receive training in inclusive practices, and this lack of training can affect teachers' attitudes and levels of self-efficacy, which may ultimately affect their ability to successfully teach students with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to examine the difference in general education and special education teachers' attitudes towards inclusion of students with disabilities and if levels of self-efficacy (overall and 3 subscales), gender, education level, teacher type, and grade level taught were predictors of Teachers' Attitudes Toward Inclusion. The theoretical framework for this cross-sectional study was Bandura's theory of self-efficacy. The sample consisted of 118 elementary and middle school teachers in a rural district in South Carolina. Data were collected using an online survey, and a 2-way ANOVA and multiple regression were conducted to answer the research questions. Results indicated that special education teachers' attitudes towards inclusion were significantly more positive than those of general education teachers and that teacher type and the 3 self-efficacy subscales were predictors of Teachers' Attitudes Toward Inclusion. For each, higher levels of self-efficacy were associated with more positive attitudes toward inclusion. Social change may be achieved if school district administrators implement teacher training to improve teacher self-efficacy regarding inclusive practices. By doing so, teachers might increase their appropriate use of inclusive strategies, which might ultimately improve student outcomes.