Investigating Differences in Attitudes, Beliefs and Knowledge of Inclusion of Students with Autism between Special and General Primary Teachers in Jordan
The University of Sydney, Australia
This research profiles the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of general and special primary school teachers towards inclusion of students with autism into the general classroom in Jordan. The study was designed to investigate the correlation between general education teachers and special education teachers’ attitudes’ towards inclusion in the mainstream education classroom. Results will be analysed in regards to the background of teachers (e.g., training, teaching practice, professional development opportunities, experience in teaching students with autism).
Two hundreds and forty copies of the questionnaire were distributed to 24 primary schools, 240 were returned. Of those, 120 were elementary teachers from female only schools, and 120 were elementary teachers from male only schools. The questionnaire contained a series of statements, and teachers responded using a five point Likert scale (i.e., 1 to indicate strongly agree, 2 to indicate agree, 3 to indicate neutral, 4 to indicate disagree, 5 to indicate strongly disagree). Descriptive statistics are reported, along with t test and ANOVA used to compare the differences between the two groups of teachers.
Results showed there were non-significant differences between special and general education elementary schools’ teachers on their perspectives on the inclusion of students with autism in general classroom. The significant factors were found to include age and years of experience. More research studies should be conducted to analyse the above mentioned factors in depth to determine attitudes concerning the education of students with autism in the general classroom in the whole regions of Jordan to produce a clear illustration of teachers’ attitudes’ towards inclusion. Reviewing university courses and the education system in Jordan will highlight its weaknesses which might help special and general education teachers to improve their teaching methods to include students with autism into general classroom learning.