In the process of educational reforms for promoting equity and inclusion in education, pre-service teacher preparedness has been identified as a vital factor that has an impact on the success of inclusive education. Bangladesh, like other parts of the world, has taken various initiatives to promote inclusive education in the country context. This study is an attempt to explore factors related to pre-service teachers’ preparedness for inclusive education in Bangladesh. The current study is an extension of the work completed in previous studies and specifically examined participants’ attitudes and factors that influenced their attitudes. Following a mixed method design, this multi-phase study measured 1,623 pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards inclusive education in phase 1. By applying a multiple regression procedure, several variables were identified that impacted on pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion. The results indicated that Bangladeshi pre-service teachers hold a less positive attitude towards the inclusion of children who have high support needs (that is, those who use Braille or sign language, or those who need to have an Individualised Academic Programme). In order to better understand the findings about apprehensive attitudes among pre-service teachers, semi-structured interviews were conducted with six institutional heads of pre-service teacher education institutions. The interviews provided a new perspective on apprehensive attitudes among participants. Several curriculum reform suggestions are made that may have implications for policy-makers and researchers in Bangladesh and beyond.
- attitudes towards inclusion
- inclusive education
- pre-service teacher
- students with high support needs