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Measuring Attitudes Toward Inclusion

Keywords: attitudes , inclusion , parents , teachers

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Abstract:

The considerable worldwide demand for an inclusive education system has driven Switzerland to reconsider the approach of segregated schooling for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). Recently, an agreement was signed among the states with the intention to adopt a more inclusive practice in school. There is evidence suggesting that an inclusive practice established at policy level is not enough, as many times it becomes teacher’s effort to translate the policies in classroom setting. The effectiveness of inclusive practices can be tightly related to the attitude of teachers, parents and students to inclusion of children with SEN in mainstreaming classes. Attitude towards inclusion is an observable construct but it presents difficulties in terms of measurement. For this purpose, in order to evaluate the attitude to inclusion of teachers, parents and students, an American Scale, the 11-items Parent Attitude to Inclusion (Palmer et al., 1998a, 1998b, 2001) and the version for teachers (Stanley, Grimbeek, Bryer, Beamisch, 2003; Bryer, Grimbeek, Beamish, Stanley, 2004), has been slightly modified and translated into German language. The resulting scales have been used to collect data in Switzerland in two regions. Results show that the German version of the scale can be potentially used for reliable measurement of attitudes toward inclusion in German speaking countries.

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