Teachers, principals, and severely disabled students in the regular classroom: A change perspective

Jane Frommer Gertler, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was fourfold. First, the study investigated regular teachers' attitudes toward inclusion of severely disabled students in the classroom. Second, it assessed the change facilitator style of the principal. Third, it measured the level of special education training of the regular teachers. Finally, the study was conducted to test the hypothesis that teachers with higher levels of special education training in schools with principals demonstrating the initiator style of change facilitator would have the most positive attitudes toward the inclusion of students with severe disabilities.^ Questionnaires were mailed to 363 regular teachers in 13 schools in New York State that had included students with severe disabilities in the regular classroom. One questionnaire measured teachers' attitudes toward six dimensions of inclusion: the educational soundness of the concept of inclusion, teacher's responsibilities, effects of placement, student achievement organizational support, and personnel and resource support. Another questionnaire measured the change facilitator style of the principal as either responder, manager, or initiator. Demographic information concerning the teachers' level of special education training was collected. Fifty-five percent of the teachers returned completed questionnaires.^ Regardless of whether teachers rated their principals as initiators, managers, or responders, teachers' total attitudes toward the inclusion of students with severe disabilities in the regular classroom were neither strongly positive nor negative. However, a two-way analysis of variance indicated that teachers in schools with responder style principals had significantly less positive attitudes about personnel and resource support than teachers who rated their principals as either managers or initiators. Furthermore, the hypothesis that teachers' attitudes would vary as a function of the teacher's level of special education training was rejected. The hypothesis that there would be an interaction between teachers' level of special education training, the change facilitator style of the principal, and teachers' attitudes toward inclusion was also rejected.^ Further recommendations were made to practitioners and researchers concerned, in general, with the inclusion of severely disabled students in the regular classroom as part of the school reform agenda and, in particular, with issues affecting regular teachers who are key players in the implementation of inclusion. ^

Subject Area

Educational administration|Special education

Recommended Citation

Gertler, Jane Frommer, "Teachers, principals, and severely disabled students in the regular classroom: A change perspective" (1994). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9530962.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9530962

Share

COinS