Perceptions of early career teachers regarding inclusion

Sooley-Dyke, Gail (2014) Perceptions of early career teachers regarding inclusion. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This research study examined early career teachers’ perceptions of the inclusion of students with special education needs in the general education classroom. Six participants were included in this study. Three were students enrolled in the Intermediate Secondary Education program at Memorial University of Newfoundland and three were teachers from a school board in Newfoundland and Labrador. Qualitative methods were used to explore early career teachers’ perceptions of inclusion and in-depth interviews served as the main source of data. The participants in this study indicated that the while teachers generally held a positive view of inclusion, there was confusion about what was meant by inclusive education. The participants suggested several pros and cons of the inclusion of students with special education needs in the general education classroom. The pros included: social benefits of all students, exposure to curriculum, and a decreased stereotyping of students with disabilities. The cons included: teachers’ limited ability to deal with students’ experiencing behavioural difficulties, lack of training to implement inclusive policies, limited resources (including time and human resources) and participants’ perception of increased workloads. There were discrepancies amongst the individual participants regarding the acceptance of students with disabilities; some participants reported high levels of acceptance whereas others described lower levels, especially as students aged. The participants shared that their university programs and/or professional development opportunities were not adequate in preparing them to teach in inclusive environments. These findings suggested that alterations to the implementation process, resources provided, professional development, and university programs may be required to ensure that inclusion is a successful and effective educational reform.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6359
Item ID: 6359
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 83-90).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: May 2014
Date Type: Submission

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