Secondary school teachers perceived adequacy of support, stress and attitudes towards inclusive education in the Midlands region of Ireland
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Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The teacher’s role in providing an inclusive environment is critical for the educational success of all students, in particular those with Special Educational Needs (SEN). It is generally accepted that inclusive practice relies on teacher attitude. This study aimed to assess teachers’ attitudes towards inclusive education and factors affecting those attitudes, such as training, stress, adequacy of support, years of service and postgraduate training. Mainstream secondary teachers from two schools in the midlands region of Ireland were recruited for data collection. Self-report questionnaires were used which comprised of a demographics section and two standardised scales: The Teachers Attitudes Towards Inclusion Scale and the Perceived Stress Scale (Monsen, Ewing & Boyle, 2015; Cohen, Kamarck & Mermelstein, 1983). Teachers were found to possess positive attitudes towards inclusion, however no significance was found during statistical analyses. Results indicate that need for SEN training was identified as issue requiring immediate attention, while it was also discovered that many teachers hold conditional attitudes towards inclusion, based on severity of the students’ needs. Shortcomings in full inclusion, as understood in the international context, were identified in this sample. Based on these findings it is believed that many teachers are providing integrative as opposed to inclusive education.