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Title: Teachers' attitudes towards the inclusion of children with Down's Syndrome within mainstream educational settings and the influencing variables
Author: Krause, Natasha
ISNI:       0000 0004 9354 4508
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2020
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Background: A factor that has been frequently referred to as being important in relation to the effective inclusion of children with Down’s Syndrome (DS) is teachers’ attitudes towards their inclusion. From reviewing previous research, it is difficult to establish whether teachers have positive, neutral or negative attitudes towards the inclusion of children of DS. Likewise, it is not possible to determine the three dimensions of attitudes, namely cognitive, affective and behavioural. The attitudes that are held by teachers are thought to be influenced by a range of teacher-related and environmental-educational related variables. Reflecting on the related variables enables professionals to support teachers to implement successful and inclusive education. Objectives: This research aimed to investigate teachers’ attitudes towards the inclusion of children with Down’s Syndrome (DS) and the influencing variables. There were two research questions: 1. What are mainstream teachers’ overall attitudes, as well as the dimensions of attitudes towards the inclusion of children with DS? 2. What variables impact on mainstream teachers’ overall attitudes, as well as the dimensions of attitudes towards the inclusion of children with DS? Method: 100 teachers completed an online questionnaire (69 primary school teachers and 18 secondary school teachers). An adapted version of ‘The Multidimensional Attitudes towards Inclusive Education Scale’ (MATIES) was used to measure attitudes. The questionnaire also collected data on relevant variables informed by the literature review, and multiple-linear regressions were used to explore the variables that predicted teachers’ overall attitudes and the dimensions of inclusion. Findings: The findings on attitudes include that teachers have on average positive attitudes overall, positive attitudes for the three dimensions and neutral attitudes towards educational setting. They were also found to be more positive about the social than academic inclusion of children with DS. The variables found to influence attitudes were categorised into teacher-related practice variables, teacher-related demographic variables and environmental variables. The most prominent teacher related practice variable was experience of inclusion, with more experience resulting in more positive attitudes towards inclusion. There was also found to be value in teachers having high confidence in the understanding of inclusion and a moderate level of confidence in their knowledge of DS. Findings regarding teacher-related demographic variables include that secondary school teachers, male teachers and teachers with less experience have less positive attitudes. Educational environmental-related variables were also found, with a significant positive association between access to environmental support and the behavioural dimension of attitudes. Author’s conclusion: There are implications of the findings for service users, namely children with DS and their parents, such as the impact of neutral attitudes. There are also implications for Educational Psychologists (EPs), particularly around teacher training.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology