Title: Teacher Beliefs of Educating Diverse Students in Inclusive Settings
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education, Special Education, Learning Difficulties & Disability
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Esra Kaskaloglu-Almulla, University of Bahrain, Bahrain
This study identified one of the Gulf Cooperation Council member countries (GCC) teachers’ attitudes to and beliefs about serving the academically diverse student population. It is aimed to determine the difference in private and public school teachers’ attitudes and beliefs of academic diverse student education in mainstream classrooms. The researcher evaluated how well teachers of mainstream classrooms can cater to the special needs of academically diverse students. The central research question was formulated as follows: “How do teachers’ beliefs and attitudes to academically diverse students affect their ability to meet academically diverse learners’ needs in the mainstream classroom?” The researcher employed Survey of Practices with Students of Varying Needs (SOP) with a sample of 410 private- and public-school teachers (PPST) to measure their attitudes to remedial and gifted students, to determine their confidence level in differentiated instruction, and to see what instructional strategies they see fit for each of the student population groups. Data is analyzed quantitatively using degrees of freedom, statistical significance, and t-test results. No statistically significant differences were found for PPST regarding attitudes and beliefs, with private-school teachers voicing slightly better attitudes and reporting the allocation of more time to academically diverse students. Teacher confidence was moderately high, with the weakest points relating to giftedness identification and lesson adaptation. Younger and male teachers spent more time with gifted students, while older and female teachers dedicated more time to remedial and typical learners. The variety of instructional strategies was much wider among private-school teachers.
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