Israeli high school teachers perceptions and attitudes towards a pedagogy of inclusion

Michal Razer, David Mittelberg, Michael Motola, Noa Bar-Gosen

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate attitudes of teachers towards a pedagogy of inclusion in their classroom, focusing on differences between teachers in schools with lower socioeconomic status (SES) populations and those in schools with more affluent students, and between homeroom as opposed to subject teachers. Our study population consisted of 214 teachers from Jewish secondary schools (7th through 12th grade) in Israel's state school system. The schools surveyed were classified by socioeconomic level (high, intermediate, or low). The study demonstrates that teachers in low-SES schools report more inclusive attitudes and behaviour than do teachers in high-SES schools. Another key finding was that homeroom teachers self-report greater inclusiveness than do subject teachers. This finding is very important for the Israeli high school system, since subject teachers constitute roughly 70% of its teaching personnel, whereas students engage with homeroom teachers, on average, no more than 10% of their time in school. In the context of exclusive practices, we found a lack of differentiation between various types of behavioural problems: teachers responded to aggressive or disruptive behaviour in the same manner as they would handle disengagement, truancy, or learning avoidance. Finally, with regard to the form of punishment imposed by schools, a common response encountered in this study was the withholding of remedial instruction in response to problematic behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)944-964
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Volume19
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • academic achievement
  • homeroom teachers
  • inclusive education
  • social exclusion
  • socioeconomic status
  • subject teachers

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