Date of Award

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Candice Hollingsead

Second Advisor

Rudi Bailey

Third Advisor

Larry Burton

Abstract

Problem. The implementation of inclusive programs has met disapproval and concerns from many general educators regarding the presence of students with learning disabilities in their classes. The purpose therefore of this study was to survey junior high teachers in New Providence, Bahamas, to determine their attitudes toward teaching students with learning disabilities in general education classes; to investigate the type of instructional methodology used in general classes and to determine if instructional delivery is modified to assist students with learning disabilities; examine whether general educators collaborate with special educators when planning their instruction; and to identify if there are differences between educators’ attitudes on the basis of age, gender, training, years of teaching experience, and teaching assignment.

Method. Participants in this study included 122 teachers, both general and special education, from seven public junior high schools in New Providence, Bahamas. A survey instrument was used to collect the data in determining the attitudes of educators and to determine if general and special educators collaborated when planning instruction. Ten percent of lesson plans from the respondents were perused to ascertain if any and the type of modifications were made to instructional methodologies to assist students with learning disabilities in general education classes. The analysis of the data was done using descriptive statistics and analysis of variance.

Results. Educators in New Providence, Bahamas, both general and special, do not support the inclusion of students with learning disabilities in general classes in current or ideal practices. Some modifications were made to assist students with learning disabilities, but on a small scale. In current practice, there is very little collaboration and minimal support for collaboration of general and special educators when planning instructional interventions. Finally, there was no significant difference in attitude on the basis of age, teaching experience, and teaching assignment However, difference was found regarding gender and training. Males were more favorable to inclusion than females. Additionally, educators who received special education training in three or more courses were more favorable to inclusion.

Conclusion. Junior high public-school general and special educators of New Providence, Bahamas, do not support the inclusion of students with learning disabilities in inclusive classes currently or in an ideal practice. Hence, education officials are faced with a mammoth task of determining how to change the attitude of junior high educators if the inclusive program implemented is to be effective.

Subject Area

Learning disabled children--Education (Middle school)--Bahamas, Mainstreaming in education--Bahamas.

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