Purpose and Hypotheses of the Study
The purpose of the study by DeSimone & Parmar (2006) was to scrutinize the beliefs and knowledge of general education teachers of mathematics at the middle school level concerning teaching learning disabled students in inclusive classes. The study explored the following four questions:
1. What are the generally held beliefs of general education teachers of mathematics in the middle school toward including learning disabled students in the general education classroom?
2. What knowledge base does the general education teachers of mathematics in the middle school have about the learning needs of learning disabled students who are in their class and their skill at adapting instruction?
3. What is the impression of the general education teachers of mathematics in the middle school concerning administrative support and resources allocate for inclusion classes?
4. What is the impression of the general education teachers of mathematics in the middle school concerning the preparation they have received in their pre-service programs for teaching in an inclusive class?
Names of possible participants were obtained through professional organizations and school districts. Surveys were sent nationwide to 361 middle school mathematics teachers with inclusion classes. The researchers received 228 responses from 19 different states from all over the United States. The sample appeared to be a reasonable representation of middle schools across the country (DeSimone & Pamar, 2006). The respondents were approximately 71% female, 80% completed or pursuing a Master’s degree, with varying years of experience from one year to 15 or more.
Methods and Procedures
The survey consisted of a three-part questionnaire designed by DeSimone and Parmar. Part 1 or the questionnaire contained 12 items. This part of the survey asked the participants about their perceptions of administrative support and resources that were allocated for inclusive classes. Part II of the questionnaire contained 14 items and used a Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree) to measure beliefs held by the participants pertaining to inclusive mathematics classes, students with a learning disability, and any preparation received about teaching an inclusion class. Part III of the questionnaire had two parts and used a 4-point (very comfortable, quite comfortable, somewhat comfortable, not comfortable) Likert scale to determine the participants’ level of comfort to (a) accommodate or modify their mathematics instruction for students with different abilities (11 items), and (b) modify their instruction for students with different abilities in specific topics related to the mathematics curriculum used in the middle schools (17 items). After...