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Record identifier : 568927
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Silverman, Jennet
Title and statement of responsibility : There is always a path to success for every student:" Educator thinking patterns and inclusion at Parkview Primary Center [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : University of Minnesota, 2008
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , University of Minnesota
Summary or Abstract : Since the passage of the landmark Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142) in 1975, and its subsequent reauthorizations as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), increasing numbers of students with disabilities have been educated in regular K-12 classrooms every year. The move toward greater inclusion, however, has involved considerable controversy throughout its history. For decades, educators, policy makers, researchers, and advocates have debated what constitutes the least restrictive environment and appropriate degree of inclusion. Complicating the issue is the fact that many teachers, particularly general educators, have had serious misgivings about teaching students with disabilities in regular classes. These stem from a lack of adequate preparation and training for inclusion, and of administrative and collegial support, leading to the formation of negative beliefs about inclusion of these students.Prior studies have identified characteristics of successfully inclusive schools, such as strong leadership and support from principals and special educators, a welcoming attitude toward students with disabilities on the part of general educators, and a flexible approach to student placement and teaching methods. Also, previous studies consistently show that educators who have strong critically reflective thinking skills, high-level epistemological beliefs (i.e., beliefs about knowledge and learning), and a high comfort level with inclusion are likeliest to create an inclusive school environment.The present study's purpose was to determine the degree to which teachers, paraeducators, and the principal at a diverse elementary school exhibit the essential cognitive variables for inclusion listed above, and the degree to which the staff display the characteristics identified as hallmarks of inclusive schools. Nine teachers, two paraeducators, and the principal completed surveys and interviews measuring their comfort level with inclusion, epistemological beliefs, and critically reflective thinking skills. Results indicate participants show moderately high levels of all three variables, and that they express many characteristics consistent with inclusive staff behavior. Although the study has several significant limitations, these results are useful in confirming earlier findings regarding educator thinking about inclusion. Implications for further inquiry, teaching practice, and placement of students with disabilities are discussed.School name is fictitious, to protect participant privacy..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Elementary education
: Educational psychology
: Special education
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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