Date Approved

5-14-1997

Embargo Period

8-29-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Special Education

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, S. Jay

Subject(s)

Learning disabled children--Education; Mainstreaming in education--New Jersey

Disciplines

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

This study sought to examine the readiness of regular educators to accommodate students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. Determining the quality and effectiveness of school district professional development/inservice programs intended to train regular educators for the challenges of an inclusive classroom was of particular interest. Prior research asserts that the success of inclusion is dependent upon the advanced planning of district personnel and administrators. Researchers assert that in order for the regular education environment to effectively support students with disabilities, teachers must receive effective inservice training and ongoing technical assistance. This study hypothesized that regular classroom teachers do not feel adequately prepared to teach students with special needs because they often lack comprehensive and organized professional development/inservice training.

Through a survey disseminated randomly to elementary school teachers in southern New Jersey, five topics of specific interest were explored. These included: the attitudes of regular educators toward inclusion, instructional and behavioral accommodations currently employed by regular educators, teacher preferences regarding professional development, assessment of current inservice programs for inclusion, and specific personal data. Upon careful analysis, the data demonstrated that despite the use of a variety of teaching strategies, regular educators do not feel sufficiently trained to teach students with disabilities. The professional development programs offered by districts generally lack the structure, content, and characteristics to effectively meet the needs of teachers preparing for inclusion.

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