Regular Teachers' Attitudes to the Need for Additional Classroom Support for the Inclusion of Students with Intellectual Disability
Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
This study examined regular classroom teachers' attitudes to additional classroom support, both curriculum and personnel, for students with mild and severe intellectual disability integrated into regular classrooms. The dependent variables were levels of desired curriculum and personnel support. The major independent variables were ability and effort. Seventy-two female, primary classroom teachers from eight east metropolitan Catholic primary schools in Perth, Western Australia, were interviewed. Each was randomly assigned a vignette describing a hypothetical male student. Ability (average, mild, severe) and effort (low, moderate, high) were systematically varied to create a nine-cell design. Teachers responded to a seven-point Likert scale and a magnitude scaling instrument. A multivariate analysis was completed using the seven-point scale and magnitude scale as dependent variables. The multivariate analysis yielded a main effect for ability for both dependent variables. The teachers perceived a significant difference between the need for additional personnel support for students with mild and severe intellectual disability. There was no difference between the level of required curriculum support for those with mild and severe disability. Regular classroom teachers did not perceive student effort as being important to their judgements of desired support.