Attitudes and Self-Efficacy of Romanian Primary School Teachers towards Including Children with Special Educational Needs in Regular Classrooms
Keywords:inclusive education, special education needs, teachers’ attitudes, self-efficacy
AbstractIn the last years, as a consequence of inclusive policies, the number of children with special educational needs in Romanian primary classrooms has increased. In this context primary school teachers face numerous challenges when teaching children with special educational needs in their classrooms. It is assumed that regular education teachers are the critical agents in this process of inclusion. Their attitudes toward the inclusion of children with special educational needs in regular classrooms is especially important for the success of inclusionary efforts. Teacher self-efficacy has also an essential role when addressing diverse learners. In this study we examine the relationship between teacher selfefficacy and teacher attitudes toward the inclusive education. Data were collected from 126 Romanian in-service primary school teachers that have in their classrooms students with special educational needs. There is a significant positive correlation between primary school teachers’ perceived selfefficacy and their attitudes towards inclusive education. Younger primary school teachers have more positive attitudes towards children with special educational needs and inclusive education. Those primary school teachers that have attended more special education courses appear to have less positive attitudes and are less willing to accept students with disabilities in regular classrooms. Practical implications of teachers’ attitudes and self-efficacy in inclusive classrooms are discussed.
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