Inclusive education in pre-schools: predictors of pre-service teacher attitudes in Australia

Jake Hoskin, Christopher Boyle, Joanna Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Teachers? attitudes have been identified as being vital to the success of inclusive education (IE). With pre-school student populations becoming increasingly diverse, and many children experiencing this as their first involvement in formal education, the attitudes towards IE of pre-school teachers are more important than ever. This study investigated pre-service pre-school teachers in an attempt to identify the factors that contribute to the formation of positive attitudes towards IE in this population. Participants were 139 undergraduate and postgraduate early education students studying at a metropolitan university in Australia. Results indicated that participants generally held positive attitudes towards IE, despite having concerns regarding their ability to implement the construct. Attitudes did not significantly vary through years of study of the undergraduate degree; however, postgraduate participants reported significantly lower attitudes. While those who completed a tertiary-level unit on IE were significantly more likely to display positive attitudes, neither personal experience with persons with special needs nor practical classroom experience significantly influenced attitudes. Experience, however, was found to significantly increase perceptions of self-efficacy. Findings imply the presence of unique factors associated with the attitudes of pre-service pre-school teachers. Implications for the structure of pre-service pre-school education programmes and directions for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974-989
Number of pages16
JournalTeachers and teaching: theory and practice
Volume21
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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