Teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion, perceived adequacy of support and classroom learning environment

Abstract

Inclusive education has become a cornerstone of many government policies in an increasing number of countries, yet teachers have been found to hold mixed attitudes towards its implementation and usefulness. This article, using English terminology and thinking, aims to extend previous research on the effect of teacher attitudes towards inclusion in classroom learning environments, and to explore perceived adequacy of support, levels of stress, and willingness to include pupils with certain difficulties. Teachers (N = 95) completed questionnaires on attitudes to inclusion, classroom learning environment, support and stress. Pupils (N = 2,514) completed a questionnaire on classroom learning environment only. Teacher attitudes towards including special educational needs pupils in mainstream settings were found to have a significant impact on how they managed their classroom learning environments and how adequately they perceived available support. Teachers with more positive attitudes towards inclusion were reported by their pupils to have classroom environments with greater levels of satisfaction and cohesiveness and lower levels of friction, competitiveness and difficulty than for those with teachers who held less positive attitudes. Teacher attitudes towards inclusion increased with greater perceived adequacy of both internal and external support. Teachers were less willing to include pupils with behavioural difficulties than pupils who were able/gifted or had physical difficulties, irrespective of attitude to inclusion.

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Correspondence to Donna L. Ewing.

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Monsen, J.J., Ewing, D.L. & Kwoka, M. Teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion, perceived adequacy of support and classroom learning environment. Learning Environ Res 17, 113–126 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10984-013-9144-8

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Keywords

  • Classroom learning environments
  • Inclusion
  • My Class Inventory (MCI)
  • Teacher attitudes