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DOI

10.14221/ajte.2018v43n6.8

Abstract

Teachers are responsible for meeting the needs of increasingly diverse learners. Given their position as catalysts for educational change, teachers’ positive attitudes towards inclusive education must be considered prerequisite to its success in Australian classrooms. This study investigated the extent to which pre-service training affects pre-service primary teachers’ attitudes towards inclusive education. A survey was designed to examine such attitudes among primary pre-service teachers at all year levels of their Bachelor of Education (Primary). To reflect the increasingly broad definition of inclusion established in the literature, participants’ attitudes towards gifted and talented students, those learning English as a second language or dialect and those with disabilities were considered. Using a sample of 56 primary pre-service teachers from three metropolitan universities in Australia, this study examined the nature of these attitudes according to child, teacher and environment related variables across the training years. Results showed that primary pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion were generally positive and strengthened across the training years, though they varied according to demographic characteristics, constructs and areas of inclusion. The findings of this study have implications for teacher educators, teacher education institutions and future research.


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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2018v43n6.8