An International Comparison of Pre-service Teacher Attitudes towards Inclusive Education

Chris Forlin, Umesh Sharma, Tim Loreman


education of pre-service teachers in teacher training institutions in four different countries: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Using the Attitudes Towards Inclusive Education Scale (Wilczenski, 1995) and a series of demographic variables, this study concludes that pre-service teachers' attitudes towards inclusive education differ between countries across three factors which have been labeled academic and physical, social, and behavioral. Pre-service teachers in this sample are most positive about including students with social concerns. An examination of the items in this factor revealed that these issues, such as shyness, would rarely require immediate intervention and large amounts of extra time and effort on the part of the teacher in the same way that the behavior factor would, which rated low in terms of positive attitudes internationally. Demographic variables which can be emphasized by teacher training institutions such as close contact with a person with a disability, training, teaching experience, knowledge of policy and law, and confidence levels, all had a significant impact on attitudes. This paper argues that teacher training institutions should consider for inclusion in their programs practical experiences with inclusive education in positive and supportive environments, opportunities for students to experience success and reflection, and academic content regarding knowledge of policy and law relating to inclusive education.

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Copyright (c) 2007 Chris Forlin, Umesh Sharma, Tim Loreman

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