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Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education

Abstract

General education teachers have differing views about the inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms. However, the type and severity of the children’s disabilities affect teachers’ willingness to accommodate certain students and their confidence that they will effectively manage their classroom. It has been reported that teachers have expressed concerns about having students with autism and emotional behavioral disorder in the general education setting because of the children’s lack of social skills, behavioral outbursts, modifications made to the curriculum, and lack of training and supports. Many instructors do not believe they are able to teach these populations effectively while simultaneously teaching a large group of typically developing students. Teachers’ attitudes toward their current student population with special needs dramatically affect the success and effectiveness of their instruction. Using a snowball sampling method, 25 general education teachers were surveyed regarding their willingness to include a child with autism and a student with EBD in their classroom to determine if there was a significant difference in their attitudes toward the disabilities. An independent sample t-test was used to compare the mean scores of the data in addition to a descriptive statistics method to examine the ranges of the two groups. Results suggest that the presence of typical characteristics of the two disabilities influence teachers’ willingness to have the populations in their classrooms. The significant difference in mean scores suggests that the participants were more accepting of having a student with autism in their general education classrooms than a student who has EBD.