Preservice Teacher Perceptions of Preparedness to Teach in Inclusive Settings as an Indicator of Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness
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Type of Work19 pages
Citation of Original PublicationMichele L. Stites et al., Preservice Teacher Perceptions of Preparedness to Teach in Inclusive Settings as an Indicator of Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness, Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 21-39 (2018), https://doi.org/10.2478/dcse-2018-0012
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This mixed methods study examined preservice teacher perceptions of their needs related to inclusion. The study examined 120 early childhood and elementary preservice teachers from two universities, from both general and special education programs. Inclusion has been considered best practice in education for many years; however, how to best facilitate inclusive practices to meet the needs of all learners remains an area of uncertainty for preservice teachers. Prior research has connected perceptions of preparedness to effective inclusive practices. A survey was developed and validated about inclusion and perceptions of preparedness to teach in an inclusive setting. The survey included both Likert-scale items and open response questions. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine the structure of the survey. Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and multiple regression were used to examine the quantitative results. Responses to open-ended questions were coded to identify qualitative themes. The findings indicated that preservice teachers lacked a coherent understanding of inclusion and perceived themselves as needing additional development to be fully prepared to teach in an inclusive setting. The results suggest that teacher preparation programs need to provide a more coherent conceptual framework to guide the enhancement of both course and field work related to inclusion and effective inclusive practices.
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