Elementary and secondary preservice educators' attitudes and knowledge about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractGeneral education teachers are largely responsible for the education of students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This is partially due to the educational movement toward inclusion for students with disabilities, and partially due to the ability of about 50% of students with ADHD to progress normally in school when given classroom accommodations and/or instructional modifications. General educators are teaching students with ADHD, yet limited information about teacher attitudes and knowledge about ADHD exists. This study is an initial exploratory investigation that examined the attitudes and knowledge about ADHD of preservice general education teachers at the elementary and secondary levels. Preservice elementary and secondary teachers completed an instrument designed to assess their attitudes and knowledge regarding ADHD. Two scales were created: one scale for items related to attitudes, and the second scale related to basic knowledge about ADHD. Research questions addressed preservice teachers' overall attitude and knowledge about ADHD, and whether grade level, gender, or perceived experience with ADHD influenced their attitude and/or knowledge about ADHD. Findings demonstrated that preservice teachers were in general agreement with positive attitude statements about ADHD. Differences in attitude ratings by grade level were significant, with elementary preservice teachers in stronger agreement with statements about ADHD than secondary preservice teachers. No significant differences in attitude were evident for gender. There was, however, a significant difference in attitude based on teachers' reported experience with ADHD. Teachers with basic or moderate/extensive experience had significantly more positive attitudes than teachers with no experience. Preservice teachers answered slightly more than half of the 11 knowledge items correctly. Elementary preservice teachers correctly answered more knowledge items about ADHD than secondary preservice teachers. No differences in knowledge were identified based on preservice teachers' gender or experience with ADHD. The findings are discussed in relation to other research on teacher attitudes and knowledge for ADHD. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Special Education and Rehabilitation