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09/01/2007

Attitudes of Preservice Teachers Enrolled in an Infusion Preparation Program regarding Planning and Accommodations for Included Students with Mental Retardation


By: David L. Cameron and Bryan G. Cook

Abstract: The beliefs, skills, and intended practices of general (n = 34) and special education (n = 23) preservice teachers regarding planning and making accommodations for included students with mental retardation were investigated. Participants were drawn from teacher preparation programs that infused content related to inclusion into pre-existing courses. Results of a repeated-measures ANOVA indicated a significant main effect of teacher type—that preservice special educators rated their beliefs, skills, and intended practices significantly higher than their general education counterparts. A significant main effect of attitudinal category showed that participants also rated their beliefs and intended practices significantly higher than their skills. A significant interaction effect was evidenced due to the varying discrepancies between general and special educators’ ratings of their beliefs, skills, and intended practices. Specifically, general educators’ ratings were further below those of special educators in skills and closest in the area of beliefs. Findings suggest that this infusion teacher preparation program was more effective at generating positive beliefs and intentions than skills, especially among general educators. Implications for teacher preparation and practice are discussed.
 
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