Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr Ken Knibb

Second Advisor

Les Puhl


Western Australia schools are now encouraged to provide education for an increasingly wider diversity of students and referral to special classes is less common place than it was in the past(EDWA, 1993). As a consequence the responsibility for teaching these students with disabilities, who were once eligible for education support has been given to the regular classroom teacher. This study focused on teachers' attitudes towards using Individual Education Plans for students with specific learning difficulties in regular Western Australian primary classrooms. A sample of 300 regular metropolitan classroom teachers was randomly selected from regular primary schools and Priority School Program schools within the Perth metropolitan area. Survey variables were teachers' ages, special education provisions at their school, year group taught, amount of practical teaching experience, qualifications, confidence as a result of teacher training and their previous success with students experiencing difficulty with learning. A mailed questionnaire produced a response rate of 48% (145 responses), marginally below the minimal 50 percent return rate expected for mail surveys (Deschamp & Taguolini, 1988). The study identified a number of anxieties and apprehensions that mainstream Western Australia primary school teachers have in regard to Individual Education Plans and students experiencing difficulties with learning. It also emphasised teachers' perceptions of the availability and adequacy of classroom support and resources for teachers of students experiencing difficulties with learning in mainstream Western Australia primary schools.