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Assessing Teacher Characteristics And Attitudes Towards The Inclusion Of Students With Disabilities In Rural School Districts

1310 words - 6 pages

lacked proper training opportunities that are vital for successful implementation. Knoblauch and Hoy’s (2008) study found that most teachers did not feel properly prepared to implement inclusion, and that may be a factor in why rural teachers often fail to refer students for special education. Hammond and Ingalls (2003) noted that rural educators might face additional challenges in comprehension to their urban counterparts. Rural schools have a high number of teachers on emergency certification to serve children with disabilities, therefore these educators find implementing an inclusionary program quite difficult. ...view middle of the document...

These school districts are part of the Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101. All teachers within each selected district will be elicited through an email to participate in the study after school administrators have granted permission. Teachers will be required to be full-time regular or special education teachers who are teaching within one of the school districts for the 2013-2014 school year.

A researcher-developed questionnaire will be used to collect personal and professional attitudes and characteristics of participants. Demographic characteristics that will be obtained included gender, age, degree status, years of teaching, experience, and grade level currently teaching. The questionnaire for this study will be a web-based survey called Survey Monkey, which will be completed on the computer. This program allows the teacher to exit at any time during the survey if he or she chose to discontinue participation with the study. A copy of the survey (Appendix A) and an accompanying release form (Appendix B) will be provided to each participant.
A 31-item survey consisting of three different sections will be administered as the data
collection tool in this study. The first part of the survey collects demographic data
through checkbox items. Section two consists of 21 statements with a Likert scale ranging from strongly agree (4) to strongly disagree (1) for responses. Section three will include a comments section and information recorded will be documented and analyzed.
Approval will be obtained from the Human Subjects Review Board at Whitworth University. Participants will be assured of voluntary participation and that all collected data would be kept unanimous and confidential. Participants will be sent an email containing a brief description of the present study. If they choose to participate, they will be provided with a link to access the study, which will direct them to complete a questionnaire. The teacher's voluntary entry into the survey program will be considered the teacher's consent for study participation.

Limitations within the study could affect the ability to generalize overall findings. These include the research design, emailed notification of the survey, and a selective population limited to a specific educational cooperative in Northeast Washington State. The use of an emailed survey notification could have limited results given the fact that some teachers may not use their email accounts or may have limited access to them. This research may not be representative of a national population of rural teachers.
Planned Data Analysis
Data from the returned surveys will be scored and recorded using a computer spreadsheet program. Data from the Likert rating scale statements will be organized using frequency distribution. Percentages will be calculated and reported using tables.

Avramidis, E., Bayliss, P., & Burden, R. (2000). A survey into mainstream teachers'...

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