Teacher perceptions of required support for increased integration of high school students with learning disabilities.
AuthorAnderson, Allison Rey.
People with mental disabilities -- Education.
Mainstreaming in education.
Committee ChairGriffin, Gary A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to determine what support and programmatic changes high school teachers view as necessary for the successful implementation of a mainstreaming program as described in the Regular Education Initiative (REI). The REI is a position statement from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, that calls for a new partnership between regular and special educators in addressing the needs of all children with learning problems, including those with disabling conditions. This study utilized the standardized focus group interview method to determine the opinions of high school general education and special education teachers regarding the resources, professional development, and programmatic changes which would support an increase in mainstreaming of students with learning disabilities (LD). Several unanticipated themes emerged in the interviews, giving indications of teachers' beliefs about students with LD, changes in the structure of the general education classroom with mainstreamed students, LD as a viable category of special education, and reactions to assumptions found in the REI. Teachers were largely unsupportive of changes suggested in the REI, believing that they were unprepared to deal with students with special needs, and preferring to retain the continuum of services provided by a special education department. Beliefs about LD as a special education category, and attitudes toward students with LD were largely positive. Although teachers' understanding of what constitutes a learning disability was inconsistent and vague, there was agreement in the viability of this special education category. Teachers reported positive reactions toward students with LD and appreciation for the services that accompany them into the general education classroom. In response to the research questions, teachers preferred the presence of a special education teacher in the general education classroom or access to special education personnel, over more materials or texts. There was some speculation that general education teachers, while willing to adjust some classroom practices for students with different learning styles, were less committed to the prospect of reconceptualizing the knowledge base of general education teachers, preferring to rely on the presence of special education teachers for specialized strategies and materials. Special educators and general educators were in agreement on most issues related to the research questions. Results of this study hold implications for teachers, researchers, school administrators, and particularly special education department chairs and directors.
Degree ProgramEducational Administration