Phase 1: Summary
The research question is “Do I Really Need a Course to Learn to Teach Students with Disabilities? I’ve Been Doing It for Years”. There are two research questions that go along with the title of the article. These questions are: 1. Are there significant differences in attitudes, concerns, and efficacy in three groups of teachers? 2. What teacher characteristics are significantly associated with positive attitudes, higher efficacy, and lower concern scores?
This study included three groups of teachers in Manitoba, Canada.from in-service teachers and in person from pre-service teachers where both groups completed the same set of measurements. “The three groups included pre-service teachers with coursework about inclusive education, but limited experience in inclusive settings; in-service teachers with experiences in inclusive settings, but no coursework about inclusion; and in-service teachers with inclusive teaching experiences as well as coursework about inclusion” (p.739). The participants took part in a survey that was made up of several questions in a four part survey.
The results were collected from both pre-service teachers and in-service teachers. The data from the in-service teachers were collected online and the data from the pre-service teachers were collected in person at the end of their schooling for inclusive education with a pencil and paper written survey.
The data was collected in a four part survey instrument. For the first part of the survey, they were asked about their demographic information such as their level of education, their age, gender and asked if they knew someone with a disability. For the second part of the survey both parties were asked questions about their attitude towards inclusion. Out of 24 questions, 15 were worded negatively. Both parties were to answer the question on a scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). The third part of the survey was dedicated to the concerns about inclusive education. There were 21 concerns listed for this part of the survey. Each item presented a concern such as “my workload will increase” where both parties were asked to rate their level of concern from 1 (not at all concerned) to 4 (extremely concerned). Finally, the fourth part of the questionnaire allowed both parties to answer questions based on the perceived level of teacher efficacy using the teacher efficacy for inclusive practices scale. This part of the survey had 18 questions where the parties were asked to answer on a scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree) (p.748).
The results say that in-service teachers with experience and education were more positive in their attitudes, concerns, and efficacy scored as compared to pre-service teachers and in-service teachers with no education. The results say that education in inclusive and special education has a positive effect on teachers.
The conclusions support that it is important for teachers to have experience in inclusive education and have a background of coursework in inclusive education. With regards to efficacy, teachers with both experience and education in inclusion have a higher efficacy and more positive attitudes than those with education but little experience with inclusion. With these findings it was concluded that “neither extended experience alone nor professional learning alone is enough to garner the same benefits as both experience and education”(p752). It is mentioned that “both high-quality education in inclusive education as well as extended experiences in high-quality inclusive settings are necessary in order for teachers to develop positive attitudes and efficacy for inclusion while decreasing their concerns.