The Perceptions of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Full-Time Seminary Teachers Regarding the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities
Author(s)Slocombe, Reginald S.
Students with Disabilities
Special Education and Teaching
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AbstractEfforts to formally educate students with special needs have been ongoing for over 50 years in the United States. Teachers are on the front line of the work to include students with disabilities. Previous research indicates a correlation between the attitudes of teachers and successful inclusion of students with disabilities. Two-hundred and fifty-one full-time released-time seminary teachers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Seminaries and Institutes of Religion (S&I, formerly the Church Education System or CES) in Utah responded to a questionnaire regarding their attitudes toward including students with disabilities in their classrooms. Selected personal and professional characteristics were correlated with these attitudes and perceptions. Results indicate that most teachers feel they understand the concept of inclusion, have had positive experiences teaching students with disabilities, and are willing to include students with all types of disabilities, even multiple disabilities, yet teachers also feel that they lack confidence in the skills to include students with disabilities successfully. Results also show that teachers are in need of and are willing to participate in professional development regarding best inclusionary practices. Many teachers reported that they were unaware of policies that deal with adapted programs for seminaries, and that they were not secure in their abilities to adapt curriculum for students with disabilities that are mainstreamed into their traditional classrooms.