Does Age Experience or Training Effect Teachers Attitudes Toward Inclusion
The aim of the present study is to examine factors, that influence Irish teachers’ attitudes and perceived teaching self-efficacy. The factors will include the teachers age, the amount of years’ experience including students with SEN and the amount of training courses aimed at inclusion a teacher has taken. In addition, this study will examine if there is a relationship between teachers’ total attitude and self-efficacy scores.
Inclusive education or inclusion refers to the schooling of a child with Special Educational Needs, in a mainstream classroom, with the use of supports required by that child. Teachers’ attitudes and teaching self-efficacy, toward inclusive education, has been highlighted as a fundamental aspect for success, when teaching students with special educational needs. This study sought, to determine if teachers’ age, experience, or training, influenced their attitudes or self-efficacy toward teaching students within an inclusive environment. Additionally, examining the relationship between attitudes and self-efficacy, toward teaching in an inclusive setting. 64 professional teachers took part in a questionnaire based study.
Teachers’ in the two lower age groups, reported lower attitude scores when they received more training. Furthermore, teachers reported lower self-efficacy scores, across the three age groups, when they had part taken in more training aimed at inclusion. As inclusive education becomes increasingly popular in mainstream schools, implementing further teacher training, or improving the type of training available may in turn, enhance teachers’ attitudes and perceived teaching efficacy, further promoting student success.