The study by Burke and Sutherland (2004) was conducted to ascertain if experiences with disabled students determine a teachers’ attitude toward inclusion. The attitude of teachers involved in classes that include special needs students may determine the success or failure of any inclusion program. The teacher who will adapt the curriculum and his/her own teaching style to meet the needs of all students in the class, will have a better chance of utilizing techniques that create a successful inclusion environment.
Participants for this study were pre-service teachers who attended a private college in Brooklyn, New York and in-service teachers employed in an elementary school in Queens Village, New York. The emphasis for this college is on teacher preparation. The pre-service teachers were all expected to graduate with certificates in both general and special education to grade six. They all had previous experience in an Inclusion class. There were 75 teachers in the elementary school that was chosen. Approximately 70% of those teachers had taught for two or more years at the elementary school with approximately 90% with a master’s degree. The participants were chosen randomly with each person having an equal chance of being chosen. An equal number of pre-service and in-service teachers were chosen (Burke & Sutherland, 2004).
Methods and Procedures
Each participant was asked to complete a survey created by the researcher. The surveys were distributed to each participant and collected over a four-day period. The survey contained twelve items. All items, except for the first, which asked whether the respondent was a pre-service or in-service teacher, were answered using a Likert-type scale. The answer choices were strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree. Two statements contained in the survey were used to establish the type of experiences and the amount of experiences the participant had with special needs students. The remaining statements were used to uncover the opinions...