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General Education Pre-service Teachers' Attitudes toward Inclusion in Egypt

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024244/00001

Material Information

Title: General Education Pre-service Teachers' Attitudes toward Inclusion in Egypt
Physical Description: 1 online resource (141 p.)
Language: english
Creator: El-Ashry, Fathi
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: attitude, education, egypt, general, inclusion, perspective, preservice, teacher
Special Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Special Education thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Research on pre-service teachers perspectives toward inclusion in the Egyptian context is almost non-existent. Given this dearth of research, the purpose of this study was to examine pre-service teachers attitudes toward including students with special needs in general education classrooms in Egypt. More specifically, this study examined the general attitudes of pre-service teachers toward inclusion and the variables that are believed to be associated with these attitudes. Investigating pre-service teachers attitudes toward inclusion is important to understanding factors that contribute to the formation and change of these attitudes, and the extent to which teacher education makes a difference for pre-service teachers. To examine pre-service teachers attitudes, a cross-sectional study was designed. Sixteen-hundred and twenty five pre-service teachers, who were sophomores, juniors, and seniors studying general pre-service education, were surveyed at a single point in time. All participants were undergraduates who majored in elementary and secondary education at the Kafrelsheikh University in Egypt. The inclusive attitudes of these pre-service teachers were measured using the Pre-service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion questionnaire. Data were analyzed using a two-way between-subjects analysis of variance. Results showed that pre-service teachers held more negative than positive attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms. However, pre-service teachers in this study had more negative attitudes toward the inclusion of children with mental retardation and emotional and behavioral disorders than they did toward students with other disabilities. Sophomores exhibited significantly more positive attitudes toward inclusion than both juniors and seniors while there were statistically non-significant differences between juniors and seniors. Furthermore, pre-service teachers who reported social relationships with persons who have disabilities exhibited more positive attitudes toward inclusion than pre-service teachers who did not report such relationships. The qualitative analysis of the written responses to the third part of the questionnaire revealed that pre-service teachers appeared unsupportive of the general concept of inclusion, and believed that the general education classroom was often not the most appropriate setting for students with special needs. The implications and recommendations based on these results are discussed.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Fathi El-Ashry.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: McLeskey, James L.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024244:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024244/00001

Material Information

Title: General Education Pre-service Teachers' Attitudes toward Inclusion in Egypt
Physical Description: 1 online resource (141 p.)
Language: english
Creator: El-Ashry, Fathi
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: attitude, education, egypt, general, inclusion, perspective, preservice, teacher
Special Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Special Education thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Research on pre-service teachers perspectives toward inclusion in the Egyptian context is almost non-existent. Given this dearth of research, the purpose of this study was to examine pre-service teachers attitudes toward including students with special needs in general education classrooms in Egypt. More specifically, this study examined the general attitudes of pre-service teachers toward inclusion and the variables that are believed to be associated with these attitudes. Investigating pre-service teachers attitudes toward inclusion is important to understanding factors that contribute to the formation and change of these attitudes, and the extent to which teacher education makes a difference for pre-service teachers. To examine pre-service teachers attitudes, a cross-sectional study was designed. Sixteen-hundred and twenty five pre-service teachers, who were sophomores, juniors, and seniors studying general pre-service education, were surveyed at a single point in time. All participants were undergraduates who majored in elementary and secondary education at the Kafrelsheikh University in Egypt. The inclusive attitudes of these pre-service teachers were measured using the Pre-service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion questionnaire. Data were analyzed using a two-way between-subjects analysis of variance. Results showed that pre-service teachers held more negative than positive attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms. However, pre-service teachers in this study had more negative attitudes toward the inclusion of children with mental retardation and emotional and behavioral disorders than they did toward students with other disabilities. Sophomores exhibited significantly more positive attitudes toward inclusion than both juniors and seniors while there were statistically non-significant differences between juniors and seniors. Furthermore, pre-service teachers who reported social relationships with persons who have disabilities exhibited more positive attitudes toward inclusion than pre-service teachers who did not report such relationships. The qualitative analysis of the written responses to the third part of the questionnaire revealed that pre-service teachers appeared unsupportive of the general concept of inclusion, and believed that the general education classroom was often not the most appropriate setting for students with special needs. The implications and recommendations based on these results are discussed.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Fathi El-Ashry.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: McLeskey, James L.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024244:00001


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1 GENERAL EDUCATION PRE SERVICE TEACHERS ATTITUDES TOWARD INCLUSION IN EGYPT By FATHI REZK EL -ASHRY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FO R THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009

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2 2009 Fathi Rezk El -Ashry

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3 To my mother and my wife Thank you

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Special gratitude is extended to Dr. James McLeskey who wisely cu ltivated my potential as a doctoral student and expertly framed my thinking in the field of teacher education in special education. I am indebted to him for his never -ceasing support and the time he spent providing me with continuous feedback related to my writing and provoking me to think critically. I will be forever thankful and deeply appreciative for his mentorship. I would like to thank Dr. Dorene Ross who provided me with professional constructive feedback and tremendous support. I am deeply grateful for the time and effort she invested in mentoring me. To Dr. David Miller, I owe many thanks for his expert guidance in all that mattered for dissertation methodology. I would also like to thank him for the knowledge he provided me with throughout the met hods courses he taught. I also extend my thanks to Dr. Penny Cox who was always there for me in my times of need and provided me with consistent encouragement and understanding. Thank you to several professors who served as mentors to me while in my doctor al program. Dr. Patricia Snyder, Dr. Paul Sindelar, Dr. Jean Crockett, Dr. Jeanne Repetto, Dr. Mary Brownell, Dr. Buffy Bondy, and Dr. Rod Webb were all immensely helpful in all stages of my Ph.D. program. I also wish to acknowledge the support of my colle agues in the doctoral program. Jill Storch has been a great colleague and friend who read the early drafts of this work and provided valuable feedback and stylistic advice. I also thank my friends and colleagues: Ann -Marie Orlando, Tara McLaughlin, Jennifer Montgomery, Chris Van Loan, Brian Barber, Gregory Taylor, Mallory Becker, Alie Montoya, and Cathrine Beaunae. Working with all of them has been a privilege. Finally, I want to thank my family for their tremendous support, understanding and encouragement as I completed my graduate studies. I also want to thank all pre -service teachers who participated in the study at the College of Education, Kafrelsheikh University, for their

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5 cooperation. Of course, this dissertation could not have been possible without t he generous support of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program I appreciate the Programs dedication to prepare future leaders who share a commitment to academic excellence and community service.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................................... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................................................................................................................ 8 LIST OF FIGURES .............................................................................................................................. 9 ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................................................ 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM .................................................................................. 12 Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................................... 17 Research Questions ..................................................................................................................... 17 Scope of the Study ...................................................................................................................... 17 Delimitations .................................................................................................................... 17 Limitations ........................................................................................................................ 18 Brief Definition of Terms ........................................................................................................... 18 Study Overview ........................................................................................................................... 19 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ........................................................................................................... 20 Teachers Beliefs toward Teaching and Learning ..................................................................... 20 Teachers and Pre -service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion ............................................... 22 Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion ............................................................................. 23 Variables Related to Teacher Attitudes toward Inclusion ............................................. 24 Pre -service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion ........................................................... 28 Variables Related to Pre -service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion ...................... 29 Contact experience with people with disabilities ....................................................... 29 Nature and severity of the disability ........................................................................... 34 Teacher education programs ........................................................................................ 38 Conclusion ................................................................................................................................... 47 3 RESEARCH DESIGN ................................................................................................................ 49 Setting .......................................................................................................................................... 49 Participants .................................................................................................................................. 49 Instrumentation ............................................................................................................................ 51 Pilot Study ................................................................................................................................... 54 Procedure ..................................................................................................................................... 55 Data Analysis ............................................................................................................................... 56

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7 4 RESULTS .................................................................................................................................... 62 Quantitative Results .................................................................................................................... 62 Preliminary Analyses ....................................................................................................... 62 Quantitative Research Questions and Findings .............................................................. 62 Qualitative Results ...................................................................................................................... 65 Support for Inclusion Concept ........................................................................................ 66 Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms .................................................................................. 69 Who Benefits from Inclusive Education? ....................................................................... 72 The Effect of Students with Dis abilities ......................................................................... 74 Teachers Training and Pre -service Preparation ............................................................ 77 School Resources ............................................................................................................. 80 5 DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS ..................................................................................... 89 Discussion .................................................................................................................................... 89 Pre -service Teachers General Attitudes toward Inclusion ........................................... 91 Variables Related to Pre -service Teachers Attitudes ................................................... 95 Class standing ............................................................................................................... 95 Educational program .................................................................................................... 97 Experience of contact ................................................................................................... 98 Gender differences ....................................................................................................... 99 Pre -service Teachers Concerns about Inclusion .......................................................... 100 Support for the inclusion concept .............................................................................. 100 Teaching in inclusive cla ssrooms .............................................................................. 101 Benefits of inclusive education ................................................................................. 102 Effect of students with special needs ........................................................................ 103 Pre -service preparation and in -service training ........................................................ 104 School resources for inclusion ................................................................................... 108 Implications ............................................................................................................................... 109 Limitations and Recommendations for Future Research........................................................ 112 APPENDIX A PRE -SERVICE TEACHERS ATTITUDES TOWARD INCLUSION SCALE ................. 114 B INFORMED CONSENT .......................................................................................................... 127 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................................................................................................. 130 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETC H ........................................................................................................... 140

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Demographic characteristics of participants. ....................................................................... 58 3 2 Instruments used to measure pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion .................. 59 3 3 Demographic characteristics of participants (pilot study) ................................................... 61 4 1 Questionnaires items and their correlation with the scale (alpha = .89). .......................... 83 4 2 Pre -service teachers mean scores and standard deviations subdivided by special needs c ategory. ....................................................................................................................... 86 4 3 Between -subjects (2 x 3) analysis of variance source table. ............................................... 86 4 4 Scheffe comparison for class standing. ................................................................................. 86 4 5 Themes and codes of pre-service teachers perspectives toward issues related to inclusion. ................................................................................................................................. 87

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 Mean scores of the secondary and elementary majors at the three class standing levels. ...................................................................................................................................... 88

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10 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy GENERAL EDUCATION PRE SERVICE TEACHERS ATTITUDES TOWARD INCLUSION IN EGYPT By Fathi Rezk El -Ashry May 2009 Chair: James McLeskey Major: Special Education Research on p re -service teachers perspectives toward inclusion in the Egyptian context is almost non -existent Given this dearth of research, the purpose of this study was to examine pre service teachers attitudes toward including students with special needs in general education classrooms in Egypt. More specifically, this study examined the general attitudes of pre -service teachers toward inclusion and the variables that are believed to be associated with these attitudes. Investigating pre -service teach ers attitudes toward inclusion is important to understanding factors that contribute to the formation and change of these attitudes, and the extent to which teacher education makes a difference for pre -service teachers. To examine pre -service teachers at titudes, a cross -sectional study was designed. Sixteen hundred and twenty five pre -service teachers, who were sophomores, juniors, and seniors studying general pre -service education, were surveyed at a single point in time. All participants were undergradu ates who majored in elementary and secondary education at the Kafrelsheikh University in Egypt. The inclusive attitudes of these pre -service teachers were measured using the Pre -service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion questionnaire. Data were analyze d using a two -way between -subjects analysis of variance. Results showed that pre -service teachers held more negative than positive attitudes toward the inclusion

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11 of students with disabilities in general education classrooms. However, pre -service teachers i n this study had more negative attitudes toward the inclusion of children with mental retardation and emotional and behavioral disorders than they did toward students with other disabilities. Sophomores exhibited significantly more positive attitudes towar d inclusion than both juniors and seniors while there were statistically non -significant differences between juniors and seniors. Furthermore, pre -service teachers who reported social relationships with persons who have disabilities exhibited more positive attitudes toward inclusion than pre -service teachers who did not report such relationships. The qualitative analysis of the written responses to the third part of the questionnaire revealed that pre -service teachers appeared unsupportive of the general concept of inclusion, and believed that the general education classroom was often not the most appropriate setting for students with special needs. The implications and recommendations based on these results are discussed.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE PRO BLEM Students with disabilities have been increasingly receiving special education services in general education classrooms (McLeskey & Henry, 1999; McLeskey, Henry, & Hodges, 1999) Consequently, special and general education teachers are facing the chall enge of providing services in general education classrooms that were historically provided in two different educational settings. Terms like i ntegration, m ainstreaming, and, eventually, i nclusion have been used to describe this educational movement. Inclus ion is the contemporary term that refers to the practice of educating students with moderate to severe disabilities alongside their chronological age peers without disabilities in general classrooms within their home neighborhood schools (Alper, 2003, p. 15). The inclusion philosophy is based on the principle of equal opportunity for all people. Accordingly, in a democratic society, students with disabilities should not be denied access to public education based on their disabilities. The success of i nclusion depends on many fact ors, including the attitudes of educators and the quality of instruction they offer their students (Leyser & Tappendorf 2001) More specifically, teachers attitudes about inclusion have been found to be a crucial factor that impacts the implementation of inclusion for children with disabilities (Bender, Vail, & Scott, 1995). For instance, it has been reported that teachers with more positive views of inclusion have more confidence in their abilities and commitment to accommoda te students needs in inclusive settings by adapting appropriate classroom materials and related procedures (Campbell, Gilmore, & Cuskelly, 2003; Norwich, 1994). Moreover, teachers with more negative attitudes were found to have low expectations for indivi duals with disabilities (Wilczenski, 1993). Put simply, previously held negative attitudes about children, learning, and schooling are likely to interfere with the teachers support for and effective participation in inclusive settings (Brantlinger, 1996).

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13 Given the possibility that pre -service teachers attitudes towards teaching and learning may impact their conceptions about teaching and learning in general, researchers have examined the nature of teacher attitudes and whether they are changeable or hav e an enduring effect on educational practices (see Wideen, Mayer -Smith, & Moon, 1998). Wideen et al. concluded that until the impact of more rigorous teacher education programs has been fully investigated, the issue of whether attitudes are modifiable should remain an open question rather than an accepted assumption. Indeed, results of studies investigating teacher education and pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion have been inconsistent (see Brownlee & Carrington, 2000; Campbell et al., 2003; K irk, 1998; Martinez, 2003; Shade & Stewart, 2001; Tait & Purdie, 2000). Teachers views of the quality of their pre -service preparation could have an influence on their beliefs about their ability to instruct and manage students with learning and behavior al problems in their classrooms (Brownell & Pajares, 1999). Therefore it has been suggested that if pre -service teachers complete their teacher education program without having developed positive views toward inclusion, this will negatively affect the lev el of accommodations provided to students with disabilities into general education classrooms (Tait & Purdie, 2000). However, the available data about teachers perceptions of preparedness for inclusion indicate that teacher education programs may not have improved in preparing pre -service teachers to teach in inclusive settings (Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996). Although pre -service teachers come to teacher education programs with enthusiasm and beliefs in liberal education (Wideen et al., 1998), previous rese arch indicated that, as they progress in teacher education programs, they do not feel adequately prepared to teach students with special needs in general education classrooms (Jobling & Moni, 2004; Kirk, 1998; Welch, 1996). Moreover, special education and general education pre-service teachers have been found

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14 to hold a variety of anti inclusion beliefs (Brantlinger, 1996; Lambe & Bones, 2006). For instance, Brantlinger (1996) identified seven anti -inclusion beliefs among undergraduate special education majo rs which are summarized below: 1 Achievement at grade level is the appropriate achievement level for all students of a certain chronological age. 2 Students who achieve substantially above or below grade level are appropriately labeled as gifted or learning d isabled, respectively. 3 Learning is a linear process; it matches the sequential levels of subject matter and takes place one step at a time. 4 Students who achieve below grade level will catch up if they receive individualized instruction. 5 Academic support is most suitably provided in separate settings with homogeneous groups. 6 Students and their parents make little effort to learn and do not value education, so that they do not learn readily. 7 The structures and practices of schools have little impact on student achievement or behavior. Brantlinger (1996) further suggested that teacher education programs should thoroughly investigate and address these anti -inclusion beliefs Most of the previous research related to educating students with disabilities in inclusi ve settings was conducted in western countries. In Egypt, the Education for All (EFA) initiative created opportunities for many children to join either general education or special education state -owned schools (Ministry of Education, 2007). Historically, special education schools in Egypt provided services for students with visual impairment, hearing impairment, and mental retardation in isolated settings. The number of school aged children with disabilities was estimate d in 2006 to be approximately 2 mill ion (this is 2.6% of the Egyptian population, which is 76.5 million according to a 2006 census). However, the educational system in Egypt is lacking accurate data about the population of school aged students with disabilities. Moreover, since lack

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15 of ident ification affects the estimated number, it can be assumed that the percentage of school aged students with disabilities is even greater, either because they are not currently attending school in Egypt or are struggling in general education classrooms witho ut the appropriate services. In addition to the lack of identification tools, many parents do not send their children with special needs, especially those with severe disabilities, to schools, and educate them at home. It has been estimated that the limit ed capacity of schools for children with disabilities resulted in less than 1.8% of these children receiving educational services (Ministry of Education, 2007). Put simply, only a limited number of children with mild and moderate disabilities receive educa tional services in special education schools, while the majority of children with severe disabilities (e.g., multiple disabilities and autism) do not receive any educational services in schools. The inclusion of students with disabilities in general educat ion classrooms in Egypt is a fairly new trend. Non -governmental organizations, with cooperation from the Ministry of Education, worked to fully include some children with disabilities in general education classrooms as part of pilot projects in selected sc hools. In the 2004/2005 academic year, the number of students who were fully included did not exceed 190 students in three Egyptian governorates. In 2007, there were only 229 students with special needs enrolled in 17 self contained special education class rooms that were opened throughout seven governorates (i.e., Cairo, Alexandria, Menoufiya, Sharqiya, Damietta, South Sinai, and Matrouh). In addition, 495 students with hearing impairment were partially included in 27 general education classrooms in two gov ernorates (i.e., Cairo and Dagahliya). However, special education schools remain the

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16 predominant model for educating students with special needs in Egypt (Ministry of Education, 2007). With the large number of students with special needs who do not have access to quality education, the Ministry of Education revealed a five -year strategic plan (20072012) to achieve two main goals. First, an additional 10% of students with mild disabilities will be included in general education classrooms by 2012. These st udents will be distributed to the 259 districts that are located all over the country. Second, these students with special needs will be provided quality and equal educational services for a smooth transition into inclusive classrooms. Some of the proposed services include providing resource rooms, teacher training, curriculum modifications, and establishing a special evaluation system. For example, a professional development plan was developed to provide training for 29,280 teachers and 981 school psychologists in general education schools by 2010. It is also expected that 5,040 resource rooms will be opened to provide services for students with special needs included in general education classrooms. In addition, 25% ( n = 200) of the special education schools are expected to be remodeled and used as resource centers to serve students with special needs included in nearby general education schools (Ministry of Education, 2007). In an initial study related to inclusion, the Ministry of Education sought to inv estigate the attitudes of educational personnel (e.g., teachers, principals, school psychologists) toward inclusion at the elementary school level. The results indicated that only 11% of general education teachers and 10% of special education teachers supp orted the idea of including students with special needs in general education classrooms in Egyptian schools. These teachers main concern was the lack of educational personnel who were prepared to work in inclusive settings (Kafafi,

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17 2004). As a result, the Ministry of Educ ation provided a training program for 488 teachers to work with students with disabilities (Gheryani, 2006). Purpose of the Study An inclusive philosophy and related practices are not currently part of teacher education programs designed to prepare general education pre -service teachers in Egypt. Given the Ministry of Educations plans related to inclusion, these future teachers will likely face diverse classrooms that many have not experienced in their own schooling. Based on the assumpti on that teachers attitudes toward inclusion can have a significant impact on the success of educational policies, and the fact that inclusive studies and practices in the Egyptian context are almost absent, the purpose of this study is to examine pre -serv ice teachers attitudes toward including students with disabilities in general education classrooms in Egypt. Research Questions Research questions include: 1 What are the attitudes of general education pre -service teachers toward inclusion in Egypt? 2 What va riables are associated with Egyptian pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion (e.g., nature of the disability, contact with people with disabilities, and stage of teacher education program)? 3 What issues do pre -service teachers believe need to be ad dressed so that they can be effective teachers in inclusive settings? Scope of the Study This study was conducted within a limited scope. Therefore, there were delimitations and limitations in conducting the present study. They are described in this sectio n. Delimitations This study was geographically limited to one college of education, Kafrelsheikh University, in the Northern part of Egypt. However, the vast majority of teacher education programs are

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18 similar among colleges of education throughout the coun try. The participants were selected from all general education majors in the college. Thus, students attitudes toward inclusion could be compared with respect to their areas of study. As a cross -sectional study, pre -service teachers who were sophomores, j uniors and seniors were surveyed at a single point in time Limitations This study used convenience sampling. Therefore, generalizability of results may be limited due to the sampling method. Moreover, this study used a correlational cross -sectional approach, and not a longitudinal design. A longitudinal design implies studying the same group of participants over a particular period of ti me, while a cross -sectional design implies studying groups of participants in different age or class standing groups at the same point in time. Although in a cross -sectional design the researcher does not follow the development of each participant in the group, rich data on age change or group effects may be missed. To address this issue to some degree, results based on cla ss standing will be compared to investigate the influence of the teacher education program as students progress in their teacher education program. Brief Definition of Terms An understanding of terminology that was applied in this study is necessary to the interpretation of this examination. The following section defines relevant terms as they apply to this study. PRE-SERVICE TEACHER. Pre -service teacher refers to a student who is presently enrolled in a teacher education program at the undergraduate level and who has never taught in a public or private school as a certified teacher. INCLUSION. Inclusion refers to the practice of educating students with moderate to severe disabilities alongside their chronological age peers without disabilities in general c lassrooms within their home neighborhood schools (Alper, 2003, p. 15).

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19 INCLUSIVE SCHOOL. Inclusive school refers to a place where everyone belongs, is accepted, supports, and is supported by his or her peers and other members of the school community in t he course of having his or her educational needs met (Stainback & Stainback, 1990, p. 3). INCLUSIVE PRACTICES. Inclusive practices refer to those that lead to the creation of supportive educational communities in which services necessary to meet the indi vidual needs of all students are available, [including] services previously available only in specialized settings (McGregor & Vogelsberg, 1998, p. 11). INCLUSION PHILOSOPHY. Inclusion philosophy refers to the thoughts and beliefs that pervade an educatio nal system where general and special education students are meshing into one unified system of public education ( Ryndak, Jackson, & Billingsley, 2000). ATTITUDE. Attitude refers to affective, cognitive, and behavioral components that correspond, respectively, to ones evaluations of, knowledge of, and predisposition to act toward the object of the attitude (Wagner, 1969, p. 7). Study Overview This chapter provides an introduction, purpose of the study, research questions, and the significance of this study to inclusive education in Egypt. Chapter 2 presents a review of relevant literature, including research regarding in -service and pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion, and factors that are believed to have an impact on these attitudes. Chapter 3 contains the design and methodology of the study. The quantitative and qualitative results of the study are detailed in Chapter 4. Finally, Chapter 5 includes a summary of findings, discussion of results, implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research.

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20 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The purpose of this chapter is to review the literature regarding pre -service and in -service teachers attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities. This review highlights research that addr esses the following questions: (a) what are the attitudes of teachers and pre service teachers toward inclusion, (b) what variables are associated with these attitudes, and (c) what issues do pre -service teachers believe need to be addressed so that they can be effective teachers in inclusive settings ? Before reviewing the literature regarding attitudes toward inclusion, a brief review of the literature regarding teachers beliefs toward teaching and learning is provided. This review is intended to provide background information regarding teacher attitudes from the general education literature, and a context for the subsequent literature review of teacher attitudes toward inclusion. Teachers Beliefs toward Teaching and Learning Richardson (1996) reported t hat teacher attitudes received considerable attention in teaching and teacher education research between the early 1950s and the early 1970s, while teacher beliefs gained importance in research literature beginning in the 1980s. Beliefs are described as propositions that are held to be true and are accepted as guides for assessing the future, are cited in support of decisions, or are referred to in passing judgment on the behavior of others (Goodenough, 1963, as cited by Richardson, 1996, p. 103). Howe ver, many words that are close in meaning to beliefs are used in the general education literature to refer to the same concept (Pajares, 1992; Richardson, 1996). Richardson (1996) differentiated between a belief, which is a psychological concept, and kno wledge, which is a construct that implies epistemic warrant. Similarly, Pajares (1992) examined the meaning leading researchers gave to beliefs and suggested that concepts such as

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21 attitudes, values, preconceptions, theories, and images are beliefs in disg uise. The researcher asserted that the difficulty in studying teachers beliefs has been caused by definitional problems, poor conceptualization, and differing understandings of beliefs and belief structures (p. 307). Richardson (1996) took a similar pos ition, and indicated that the difference between the two terms (i.e., beliefs and attitudes) remains somewhat unclear in the empirical literature. Teachers beliefs about education include views about students, the learning process, the nature of knowledge teachers and teaching, and the curriculum. All teachers hold beliefs about their work, their roles and responsibilities, and the subject matter they teach. These beliefs provide a strong link to classroom action and, ultimately, to students classroom le arning (Brownell & Pajares, 1999; Peterson, Fennema, Carpenter, & Loef, 1989). Therefore, researchers have advocated for a closer examination of the relationship between teachers beliefs and teaching practices (Pajares, 1992; Pomeroy, 1993). Although man y researchers separate beliefs and actions for research purposes, they were aware that these constructs function together in praxis (Richardson, 1996). For example, Wallace and King (2004) asserted that teacher actions should not be considered as a separat e entity from the teachers belief system as a whole because these actions represent one aspect of a teachers beliefs. Teachers give meaning to educational beliefs through thei r actions in the classroom (Tobin, 1993) and these actions make sense in relat ion to the teachers system of beliefs (Pajares, 1992). However, although previous studies that linked beliefs to actions contribute a great deal to our understanding of teachers beliefs and practice, we have limited knowledge about the details of how those beliefs inform teachers actions in the classroom. Studies on pre -service teachers attitudes and beliefs have revealed that future teachers a re optimistic, highly confident, and humanistic as they enter teacher education programs

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22 (Richardson, 1996; W ideen et al., 1998) T hese results have been consistent across methodology, time, and nations (Richardson, 1996). Pre -service teachers also enter teacher education programs with strong views of teaching acquired during their previous life and schooling experiences (Brookhart & Freeman, 1992). Several studies have examined entering pre -service teachers beliefs and their effect on learning to teach within a teacher education program (Holt -Reyno lds, 1992; MacKinnon & Erickson, 1992; Ross, Johnson, & Smith, 1992). For example, Ross and colleagues (1992) investigated pre -service teachers perspectives and learning in the PROTEACH teacher education program at the University of Florida. They found that the process of learning to teach was influenced by multiple and complex variables, including "entering perspectives, personal learning history, theoretical knowledge base, faculty mentors, cooperating teachers, peers, university supervisors, children within the classrooms, student teaching experiences, image itself, and perception of efficacy" (p. 34). Among these variables, the strongest factor that influenced how and what student teachers learned in their teacher education program was their entering perspectives on teaching and learning. Clearly, it is important to understand pre -service and in -service teachers attitudes and beliefs about inclusive education as part of their general views about teaching and learning. This understanding is critical given the finding that teachers' perspectives toward including studen ts with special needs in their classrooms are essential to successful inclusion (Hasazi, Johnston, Liggett, & Schattman, 1994; Wilczenski, 1993). The next sections examine in-service and pre service teachers' attitudes toward inclusion and the factors associated with the formation of these attitudes. Teachers and Pre -service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion The literature review regarding teachers and pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion included five steps. First, terms related to teachers a nd pre -service teachers attitudes

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23 toward inclusion were identified using the thesaurus of ERIC descriptors. Second, these terms were entered in a computer search of several databases from 1995 to 2008 [Scruggs and Mastropieri (1996) reviewed previous stud ies from 1958 to 1995]. However, because Scruggs and Mastropieris meta analysis was limited to the attitudes of practicing teachers in the United States, earlier studies that addressed practicing teachers and pre -service teachers attitudes and were done within an international context w ere also identified Third a hand search of reference lists in articles obtained through electronic databases was conducted to find articles related to the topic that did not appear in the computer search. Fourth, the abst racts of all identified articles were scanned to determine relevant articles (i.e., articles that directly address the topic). Fifth all pertinent papers were thoroughly read and reviewed by the researcher. In the sections that follow, the literature rega rding teachers and pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion and students with disabilities is discussed. Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion Teachers attitudes toward inclusion and students with disabilities were found to be a critical factor in inclusive practices (Avramidis, Bayliss, & Burden, 2000a; Bender et al., 1995; Cook, 2002; Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996; Ward, Center, & Bochner, 1994). However, the findings from this research have been mixed. Some researchers have found that general educa tion teachers were not in favor of inclusion (Coates, 1989; Gersten, Walker, & Darch, 1988; Larrivee & Cook, 1979; Semmel, Abernathy, Butera, & Lesar, 1991). Similarly, in their 1996 review, Scruggs and Mastropieri found that in 10 studies, only 33% of general education teachers agreed that the general education classroom was the best social or academic placement for students with disabilities although about two thirds of the participants supported the concept of inclusion. On the other hand, other researc hers reported that teachers had more positive attitudes toward inclusion (Avramidis et al., 2000a; Villa, Thousand, Meyers, & Navin, 1996;

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24 Ward et al., 1994; York, Vandercock, MacDonald, Heise Neff, & Caughey, 1992). In addition, few researchers reported t hat teachers had uncertain or neutral attitudes (Bennett, Deluca, & Bruns, 1997; Leyser & Tappendorf, 2001). Variables Related to Teacher Attitudes toward Inclusion Several variables were found to be related to general education teachers attitudes toward inclusion. These variables include (a) teachers experience with students with disabilities, (b) nature and severity of the students disability, (c) professional in-service training, and (d) school support services (Avramidis & Norwich, 2002; Scruggs & Ma stropieri, 1996). Researchers have explored these variables in relation to teachers attitudes toward inclusion. A brief synthesis of this research is presented below. Many previous studies indicated that teachers with more experience working with students with disabilities had significantly more favorable attitudes toward inclusion than those with little or no experience (Avramidis et al., 2000a; Cook, Tankersley, Cook, & Landrum, 2000; Leyser, Kapperman, & Keller, 1994; Minke, Bear, Deemer, & Griffin, 1 996). For example, Cook and colleagues (2000) found that teachers with seven or more years of teaching experience with students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms felt that they could potentially meet the needs of more students with disabilities in their classrooms than did teachers with fewer years of inclusive experience. It has been documented that experienced teachers provide students with disabilities in inclusive settings with more teacher praise, encouragement to do their best, opportunities t o answer questions, and more carefully monitoring of their performance (Good & Brophy, 1972; Silberman, 1969, 1971, as cited in Cook et al., 2000). However, other researchers have noted that the mere experience of contact with students with special needs might not lead to the formation of more positive attitudes toward inclusion (Center & Ward, 1987; Stephens & Braun, 1980). For example, Stephens and Braun (1980)

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25 reported a non -significant correlation between contact with students with disabilities and tea chers attitudes toward inclusion. In contrast, some studies reported that teachers with more experience hold more negative attitudes toward inclusion (Forlin, 1995; Forlin, Douglas, & Hattie, 1996 ). For example, Forlin (1995) found that the most experienc ed educators (i.e., teachers with more than 11 years of teaching experience) reported the lowest level of acceptance for inclusion of children with physical and intellectual disabilities. Moreover, the highest level of acceptance was found among teachers w ith less than six years of teaching experience. Given these inconsistent findings, it seems that the nature of the inclusion experience (e.g., whether it was pleasant or not) is what determines the impact on attitudes. Moreover, the nature and severity of the disability appears to be related to the teachers willingness to accommodate students with disabilities in general education classrooms (Rainforth, 2000; Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996). In their meta analysis, Scruggs and Mastropieri (1996) noted that the highest level of support was given to the inclusion of students with mild disabilities who require the least amount of modification in curriculum and instruction. The researchers indicated that the severity level of student disability and the amount of a dditional teacher responsibility required were the two factors that seemed to influence teachers perspectives toward inclusion. For about one third of the sample, these two factors appeared to be related to the belief that including students with special needs would have a negative effect on the general education classroom. Students with mild disabilities (e.g., students with learning disabilities) have been portrayed as not being significantly different from students without distinguished disabilities (W ang, Reynolds, & Walberg, 1988) and, therefore, were more likely to be welcomed in the inclusive classrooms. Conversely, children with intellectual disabilities and students with

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26 emotional and behavioral problems have typically been rated less positively i n relation to attitudes about inclusion (Soodak, Podell, & Lehman, 1998; Stoiber, Gettinger, & Goetz, 1998). In general, teachers believe that students with the most challenging behavior require additional teacher responsibility and they are difficult to s upport. Because of the changes that inclusion demands in classrooms, some researchers have attributed teachers negative responses toward inclusion to the teachers lack of positive experience with well designed inclusive programs (McLeskey, Waldron, So, Swanson, & Loveland. 2001; Semmel et al., 1991; Vaughn, Schumm, Jallad, Slusher, & Saumell, 1996). For example, given that most of the prior research was conducted with teachers who were not teaching in inclusive programs, McLeskey and colleagues (2001) so ught to compare the perspectives of teachers who were at the time of the investigation not working in inclusive settings with those who were working in well designed inclusion programs. The results indicated that teachers in well designed inclusive program s had significantly more positive perspectives toward inclusion compared to teachers who lacked this experience. In -service training for teachers also was found to influence teachers attitudes toward inclusion. Research indicated that teachers who had tr aining to teach students with disabilities exhibited more positive attitudes toward inclusion compared to their counterparts who had not trained (Beh Pajooh, 1992; Center & Ward, 1987; Dickens Smith; 1995). For example, Dickens Smith (1995) studied the att itudes of 200 general and special educators toward inclusion of all students, regardless of the disability. Participants in her study were given a 12 item attitude survey before and after their participation in professional development. The results indicat ed that both groups of teachers exhibited more positive attitudes toward inclusion after the in-service

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27 training than they did before. In this study, general education teachers showed more positive attitude change compared to their counterparts in special education groups. Not only teacher related (e.g., experience of contact and training) and student related (e.g., severity of the disability) variables contribute to the positive or negative attitudes toward inclusion, but also school variables have been f ound to be related to teachers attitudes toward inclusion. In Australia, Center and Ward (1987) indicated that teachers who were anxious about including students with disabilities in their general education classrooms exhibited lack of confidence in their instructional skills and the quality of support services available at the classroom and school levels. Similarly, Scruggs and Mastropieri (1996) reported that teachers believed that sufficient resources were not available to support inclusion efforts, alt hough more teachers agreed they were provided physical support than agreed they had adequate human support. Insufficient classroom time available for teachers in inclusive classrooms was another concern for teachers. Scruggs and Mastropieri (1996) indica ted that only about one quarter of the teachers believed that they had sufficient classroom time for inclusion efforts. Similarly, although Downing, Eichinger, and Williams (1997) found generally positive perspectives toward inclusion, they also indicated that teachers were concerned about the classroom time required to support students with special needs that might limit their ability to provide an appropriate education for general education students in the inclusive classroom. Clearly, these concerns rai se questions about the competences and skills needed by teachers to teach effectively in inclusive classrooms. They also raise issues about pre -service preparation in teacher education programs and how these programs affect pre -service teachers

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28 perspectiv es toward inclusion. The next section highlights research about the general attitudes of pre -service teachers toward inclusion and variables related to the formation of these attitudes. Pre -service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion Understanding the att itudes of teachers and pre -service teachers is crucial in order to improve their teaching practices and professional preparation (Pajares, 1992). Therefore, many researchers have investigated the attitudes of pre -service teachers toward inclusion and the v ariables associated with the formation of these attitudes. These investigations suggest that the majority of pre -service teachers support the concept of inclusion and believe in the benefits of inclusion for all students (Avramidis et al., 2000b; Lambe & B ones, 2006; Martinez, 2003; Romi & Leyser, 2006; Yellin et al., 2003). However, this line of research has revealed that pre -service teachers have concerns regarding whether all students will benefit from inclusive settings (Andrews & Clementson, 1997). St udents with behavioral disorder s mental retardation, and multiple disabilities were seen as causing more concern and stress to pre -service teachers than students with other disabilities (Avramidis, Bayliss, & Burden, 2000b ; Cook, 2002; Hastings & Oakford, 2003; Reber, Marshak, Glor -Scheib, & Noll, 1995) while students with mild disabilities (e.g., students with learning disabilities) were the most welcomed group in the inclusive classrooms by pre -service teachers (Cook, 2002). Moreover, research has indica ted that teachers have concerns about teacher education programs and their effectiveness to prepare teachers to teach in inclusive classrooms (Lombard, Miller, & Hazelkorn, 1998; Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996; Wishart & Manning, 1996). These concerns and other variables related to pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion are discussed in the section that follows.

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29 Variables Related to Pre -service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion The available literature suggests that pre -service teachers attitud es toward students with disabilities might be influenced by a number of variables. These variables include contact experience with people with disabilities, nature and severity of the disability, and preparation in teacher education programs. These variabl es will be discussed in light of the previous literature about pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion. Contact experience with people with disabilities Researchers have examined the effect of providing pre-service teachers with different forms of contact with people with special needs in an educational context. For example, Brownlee and Carrington (2000) sought to answer the following question: Can pre -service teachers attitudes towards disability change by providing them with sustained contact w ith a person who has a disability? Eleven pre -service student teachers in the third year of a four year course leading to a Bachelor of Education at a large metropolitan university in Australia participated in the study. All of the participants were female and had very little exposure to special needs topics but would be required to develop inclusive classroom practices. The group had to study a core unit in educational psychology. Each week students were engaged in a one hour lecture followed by a two -hour tutorial session with an assistant teacher (Sara) who had a physical disability. For collecting data, an in -depth interviewing technique was used with a semi structured format. Eleven students were interviewed prior to meeting Sara (interview 1) and eight of them were interviewed again at the end of the semester (interview 2). The results of this investigation indicated that pre -service teachers perceptions of the teaching assistant were positively affected by their interaction with her. The students rep orted that the interaction with Sara (a) was generally a positive experience for them, (b) provided them with first -hand knowledge of disabilities, and (c) helped them to develop more knowledge about

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30 people with disabilities. Furthermore, when asked to ref lect on the current teacher education program and its effectiveness in preparing them, they reported that not enough information related to disabilities was included in the course. Moreover, they believed that more practical experiences with people with di sabilities would have helped them in their future career as teachers. Other researchers sought to create a simulated inclusive environment to provide training for pre -service teachers. The purpose of this apprenticeship model was to prepare pre-service t eachers to meet the diverse needs of all children. In United Kingdom, Bishop and Jones (2002) conducted a small -scale research project using structured workshop activities with children with complex and profound learning disabilities. The project sought to explore the attitudes and perceptions of a group of pre -service teachers before and after participating in a series of eight workshops. Before the workshops began, seminars and tutorial sessions were held to discuss philosophical, pedagogical, and personal issues relating to the inclusion curriculum. The workshops were held in a classroom at the university that was managed by school and university staff in collaboration with the school. The authors described the plan for the workshop as follows: Students [pre -service teachers] were asked to plan a short activity related to their specialism, and they were encouraged to do this in small groups. They were supported in this preparation by university staff. Children chose which activities they would like to do using symbols and pictures. The atmosphere in the workshop was very relaxed and supportive with plenty of pre -prepared backup activities so students could move the children on if they felt they needed to (p. 61). Pre -service teachers were interviewed bef ore and after these workshops. The analysis of the interviews revealed that the apprenticeship model of teaching and learning throughout these workshops was effective in this context. Pre -service teachers attitudes were positively changed

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31 toward these chi ldren; furthermore, the pre -service teachers expressed their willingness to participate in further discussions. The authors suggest that further development of the described approach will benefit pre -service teachers. Hastings, Hewes, Lock, and Witting (19 96) sought to study the impact of contact with students with disabilities on pre -service teachers perceptions of children with severe learning difficulties. One hundred female pre -service teachers participated in the study after registering for courses ai med at training teachers to work with young students. Of the 100 participants, 27 had a high level of previous contact with children with severe learning difficulties (SLD), and 73 had little or no experience (less than once every 3 month) with these child ren. Pre -service teachers were divided into two groups, one group (45 students) had completed a 9 -week special education course and the other group (55 students) was to complete the course later. The course provided general information about children with SLD, physical disabilities, and other disabilities. The study participants had experience with students with disabilities in mainstream school settings throughout their practicum experience. To measure their perceptions of children with SLD, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of four main sections: (a) attitudes towards disabled persons scale, (b) student attributions, (c) students intentions to interact with a fictional child with SLD, and (d) students feeli ngs toward the existence of a child with SLD in their class. The researchers reported that the special education course had a slight positive, but not significant, impact on the perceptions of students who had completed the course compared to those who had not completed it yet. Furthermore, previous experience was found to have a strong effect on the way that the pre -service teachers viewed

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32 students with SLD Pre -service teachers who had a greater level of experience with children with SLD were generally mo re positive than those with little or no experience. Additionally, some research has revealed that pre-service teachers who are familiar with inclusive settings and were themselves members of inclusive classrooms may have more positive attitudes toward inc lusion. Sharma, Forlin, Loreman, and Earle (2006) conducted a multi national comparative study to explore pre -service teachers attitudes towards inclusion. The authors surveyed 1,060 pre -service teachers from four countries; Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Singapore regarding their attitudes toward inclusion prior to their involvement in courses about inclusive education. A four -part questionnaire was used to collect data. These parts were: (a) demographic information, (b) Attitudes Towards Inclusive Edu cation s cale (Wilczenski, 1992), (c) Interaction with Disable d Persons scale (Gething, 1994), and (d) Concerns about Inclusive Education scale (Sharma & Desai, 2002) The questionnaire was administered during the first week of the course on teaching studen ts with special needs. The response rate was about 95%. The results of this study indicated that pre -service teachers had generally positive attitudes toward inclusion and people with disabilities. However, pre -service teachers who reported having previous contact with people with disabilities had more positive attitudes toward inclusion than their counterparts. In addition, pre -service teachers from Western and Western style institutions (Australia and Canada) had significantly more positive attitudes towa rd students with disabilities than their Eastern counterparts (Hong Kong and Singapore). A possible explanation is that inclusive education has been adopted in Australia and Canada for over two decades prior to conducting this study and pre -service teacher s from these countries may have received their education in inclusive classrooms, compared to pre -service teachers from Hong

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33 Kong and Singapore where inclusion is a relatively new phenomenon. This prior experience with people with disabilities in inclusive classrooms might have a positive impact on Australian and Canadian pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion. Yellin et al. (2003) sought to evaluate the impact of a field -based experience on undergraduate pre -service teachers in elementary educat ion. Fifty -five students joined an elementary methods course that was taught in two formats: a traditional format in the college campus and a field -based format in a school site. The students on -site observed elementary teachers 3 days a week, worked with students with disabilities, and attended content area lectures on -site. By the end of the semester, pre -service teachers had spent 300 hours in the school prior to student teaching. An attitude questionnaire regarding pre -service teachers perspective rega rding the integration of students with disabilities was administered with two sections (control group) in the college campus and the third section (experimental group) in the school site. Th is investigation indicated that there were statistically non -signi ficant differences between the study groups. Pre -service teachers held positive attitudes toward students with disabilities regardless of whether they were in the college campus or in a field based setting. A ttitudes toward practices of inclusion or studen ts with disabilities in general were not improved among on -site pre -service teachers compared to their counterpart s on the college campus. The researchers concluded that the attitude change may not happen as a result of the mere exposure to students with s pecial needs. One limitation of this study that might have contributed to these results was that pre -service teachers involvement was primarily observation with a limited amount of small group participation. Moreover, the time period of the intervention, one semester, might not have been sufficient to result in a significant change in attitude.

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34 In conclusion, most research has revealed that pre-service teachers who reported or were provided with contact with people with disabilities showed more favorable attitudes toward inclusion and people with special needs in general. This contact has proven effective whether it happens sometime before an intervention (Hastings et al., 1996; Sharma et al., 2006) or is part of the intervention (Bishop & Jones, 2002; Br ownlee & Carrington, 2000). However, it is important to note that mere contact with students with disabilities may not be associated with the formation of more favorable attitudes. Moreover, the way the contact is structured seems to have an impact on the change of attitudes. For example, pre -service teachers who participated in structured contacts with people with disabilities in teacher education programs reported more favorable attitudes (see Bishop & Jones, 2002; Brownlee & Carrington, 2000). Nature an d severity of the d isability Teachers willingness to teach students with special needs, consistent with their support for inclusion, appears to be related to the severity of the disability. Previous studies have indicated that in general, teachers are not supportive of the inclusion of students with behavioral disorders, mental retardation, and multiple disabilities (Cook, 2002). The highest level of support is for students with mild disabilities who require the least amount of modification in curriculum a nd instruction (Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996). The next studies investigated whether pre -service teachers attitudes are influenced by the level of disability they were asked to accommodate within their classroom. Avramidis and colleagues (2000b) investigat ed pre -service teachers attitudes towards inclusion in general, their emotional reaction when dealing with children with special needs, and the effect of institutional and personal variables on their attitudes. The study sample consisted of 135 pre -service teachers who were studying at a university school of education in the UK. A questionnaire consisting of four components (i.e., cognitive, affective, conative, and perceptions

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35 of possessed skills) was used to measure the participants attitudes toward the general concept of inclusion. This multi -component questionnaire was administered during supervised lecture times at the end of the semester. The researchers concluded that pre -service teachers appeared to hold positive attitudes toward the overall concep t of inclusion. However, students with emotional and behavioral difficulties (EBD) were seen as causing more concern and stress when compared to other students with special needs. The authors recommended that pre -service teachers should be exposed to compr ehensive training in classroom management to meet the needs of students with EBD. Moreover, early exposure to students with special needs through field experience in inclusive classrooms was strongly recommended for pre -service teachers. Similarly, Hasting s and Oakford (2003) explored pre -service teachers attitudes toward the inclusion of students with emotional and behavioral problems as well as students with intellectual disabilities. The participants were 93 university students who were being trained to work with either children of 4 11 years of age or with children and adolescents 11 19. Of the participants, 31 had previous experience working with students with special needs, and 27 had had social contact with people with special needs. A two -section qu estionnaire was used in the study; the first section was designed to collect demographic information about participants and their experience with people with special needs. The second section was a scale designed for this study called the Impact of Inclusi on Questionnaire (IIQ). It was developed to allow comparisons between different student teacher groups and consisted of 24 items. Two versions of the questionnaire were randomly distributed to the participants. One version urged respondents to focus on int ellectual disabilities while the second invited them to consider children with emotional and/or behavioral problems in inclusive settings.

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36 The results of the study indicated that pre -service teachers attitudes measured by the IIQ were influenced by the na ture of the disability of children who are included. Children with intellectual disabilities were more acceptable than children with behavioral and emotional problems. Pre -service teachers reported significantly more negative attitudes toward including stu dents with EBD. The researchers concluded that the success of an inclusion program does not depend solely on the teachers attitudes. For example, supports and appropriate resources were seen as important elements in a successful inclusion program. Cook (2 002) examined the effects of a teacher preparation program on pre -service general educators attitudes and self reported weaknesses and strengths related to inclusion. The author sought to analyze pre -service teachers attitudes by disability type because students with disabilities were frequently seen as a homogenous group. One hundred and eighty -one pre service teachers participated in the study. Participants were from a large Midwestern university that infused special education content into four seminar courses. However, the author reported that there was no systematic procedure to ensure that special education content was covered by instructors and there was no requirement for the pre -service teachers to work with students with special needs in an inclus ive environment. Most of these pre -service teachers were assigned to inclusive classes by chance. For collecting data, pre -service teachers in 16 seminar classes completed a slightly modified version of the Opinions Relative to Integration of Students with Disabilities (ORI) scale (Antonak & Larrivee, 1995). In addition, 136 participants provided written comments on their main strengths and weaknesses regarding teaching students with special needs. To ensure uniformity, instructions were scripted and partic ipants were asked to read short definitions of disability categories (e.g., mental retardation, learning disability, EBD).

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37 After analyzing the quantitative and qualitative data, the author reported that participants were in favor of inclusion and believed that it is beneficial for students with EBD, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and multiple disabilities. However, pre -service teachers pointed out that general education classrooms might not be the best settings for all students with disabilities especially those with severe disabilities. The main effect of disability category was statistically significant for three ORI factors of attitudes toward inclusion (i.e., perceived ability to teach students with disabilities, integrated classroom managem ent, and special versus integrated general education). Students with learning disabilities received significantly higher ratings than students with other disabilities. Moreover, there were statistically non -significant differences between pre -service teach ers as a function of class standing for three ORI factors (i.e., integrated classroom management, benefits of inclusion, and special versus integrated general education). Pre-service teachers indicated that general educators may not be able to accommodate students with disabilities in their classrooms as they might face classroom management problems. In summary, although pre -service teachers were found to have positive attitudes toward students with disabilities, they were concerned about the nature and sev erity of the students disabilities. Students with EBD were seen as the most problematic group in relation to inclusion. They were associated with more concern and stress compared to other students (Avramidis et al., 2000b), while students with intellectua l disabilities were more acceptable in relation to inclusion (Hastings & Oakford, 2003). In addition, pre -service teachers believed that general education classrooms might not be the best settings for students with EBD, mental retardation, or multiple disa bilities (Cook, 2002) These findings suggest that general education pre -service teachers may

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38 need extensive training to meet the needs of students with more severe disabilities in inclusive settings. Teacher education p rograms Because positive attitudes toward inclusion among pre -service teachers appear to be a necessary factor for successful inclusion, teacher education program faculty have become increasingly concerned with preparing general education pre -service teachers to teach students with disabilities in inclusive settings (Bullough, 1995; Hutchinson & Martin, 1999). These programs have adopted many reforms to impact positively the attitudes and the instructional skills of future teachers. The majority of these programs have examined the impact of special education courses on the attitudes of general education pre -service teachers towards inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms (Carrol l Forlin, & Jobling, 2003; Shade & Stewart, 2001 ). In some programs, these courses were accompanied by field based experiences in inclusive settings ( Campbell et al., 2003; Jung, 2007) In general, results of studies investigating the impact of coursework and/or field experiences have found that pre service teachers have positive attitud es toward the general philosophy of inclusive education, especially in their early years in teacher education programs. Several studies in general and special education have reported that pre-service teachers preparation has been characterized by a lack o f effectiveness to meet the challenge of inclusive education. Lombard, Miller, and Hazelkorn (1998) conducted a study in 45 states in the U.S. to explore the attitudes of teachers regarding the inclusion of students with disabilities. The researchers repor ted that in general, teachers did not feel prepared to meet the needs of students with disabilities, had received little or no in -service training regarding inclusive practices, and had not participated in developing Individual Education Programs for stude nts with disabilities

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39 Similarly, in Northern Ireland and Scotland, 231 teacher trainees were surveyed, and almost all believed that their preparation did not enable them to meet the demands of inclusive education (Wishart & Manning, 1996). In essence, al though many pre -service and in -service teachers believe that general education classrooms are the best setting for students with disabilities, they report they are inadequately prepared to teach students with special needs in inclusive settings (Sprague & Pennell, 2000; Vaughn, 1999). In light of these findings, Reber and colleagues (1995) suggested that pre -service teachers knowledge and perspectives towards inclusion should be examined as they prepare to teach students with disabilities in inclusive sett ings. Indeed, little research has been directed at redesigning teacher education programs to influence the attitudes of pre -service teachers toward students with special needs (Carroll et al., 2003). Campbell and colleagues (2003) questioned whether a uni versity course aimed at raising awareness of one disability (Down syndrome) could lead to changes in student teachers knowledge and attitudes towards this disability and disabilities in general. Two hundred seventyfour pre -service education students at a n Australian university participated in the study. A questionnaire was used to investigate the future teachers knowledge and attitudes toward students with Down syndrome as well as their knowledge of the syndrome. In addition, the Interaction with Disable d Person (IDP) scale (Gething & Wheeler, 1992) was used to measure their attitudes toward disability in general. Pre -service teachers were assessed before and after formal instruction for a core unit on Human Development and Education. The unit included co nsiderable focus on inclusive education and individual differences. Furthermore, students were required to do fieldwork by interviewing two members of the community and writing a fieldwork report. The instruction was provided for three hours a week during the 13-week semester.

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40 The researchers reported that by the end of the semester, further improvement in knowledge of the nature of Down syndrome was achieved and the student teachers stereotypical views regarding children with Down syndrome were considera bly reduced. With regard to the inclusion of children with Down syndrome, the results revealed a statistically significant difference between students total score at the beginning and end of the semester related to the educational, social, and emotional b enefits of inclusion for the child with Down syndrome. Moreover, students attitudes towards disability in general had changed to show significantly less discomfort, uncertainty, fear, and vulnerability. In an investigation of the impact of teacher traini ng in special education on the attitudes of Australian pre -service general educators towards people with disabilities, Carroll et al. (2003) surveyed 220 pre -service teachers at two universities before and after their participation in a 10 week special edu cation course. The course consisted of a one-hour lecture and a two-hour tutorial per week and was divided into four modules (a) contextual framework of special education, (b) individuals first, (c) inclusion as an educational practice, and (d) classroom p ractice for individuals with special needs. Data were collected using a modified version of the Interaction with People with Disabil ities (IPD) scale (Forlin Jobling, & Carroll, 2001). The scale consisted of 20 items that require respondents to rank their level of discomfort when communicating with a person with a disability using a 5 -point scale. The authors reported that some strategies were used to overcome pre -service teachers personal feelings of discomfort. These strategies included small group tuto rials, interacting with young adults and adults with disabilities, a selection of videos on people with different disabilities in inclusive settings, and an extended 3-week practicum working with students in inclusive settings.

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41 The results indicated that pre -service teachers, once they had completed the course, felt less ignorant and were more sure regarding how to behave toward persons with disabilities. They also demonstrated a greater focus on the person rather than the disability. Moreover, given the l imited experience that pre -service teachers had in this study, the authors concluded that participation in these courses can help pre -service teachers to develop knowledge and improve attitudes toward individuals with special needs. Ultimately, common cou rsework, practical experience, collaboration, development of skills in behavior management, and construction of effective learning experiences were seen as essential elements when designing courses to influence pre -service teachers attitudes toward childr en with disabilities. Andrews and Clementson (1997) sought to determine if active learning strategies and the use of literature regarding disabilities in a compulsory introduction to education and special education course had an effect upon prospective te achers attitudes toward inclusion. Throughout a university course, 67 pre -service teachers engaged in active learning through participation in different activities such as simulation, role -playing, problem solving, and open -ended discussions. In addition, field trips to area facilities providing services to children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities were taken throughout the semester. Students selected literature regarding disabilities and suggestions were offered for classroom use. The authors administered a modified version of a questionnaire prepared by Moisio (1994) to collect data prior to the pre service teachers involvement in the course activities and again at the end of the course. By the end of the semester, post questionnaire results we re significantly different from the pre questionnaire, and indicated that pre -service teachers were more favorable about inclusion but had some doubts if all students would benefit. The authors concluded that effective teaching methodology is essential in fostering positive attitudes toward students with disabilities.

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42 Moreover, training programs should allow pre -service teachers to become personally involved with course content. While the majority of attitude studies were conducted with general education pr e -service teachers, Shade and Stewart (2001) sought to assess the attitudes of special education and general education pre -service teachers toward students with disabilities. Seventy -two special education and 122 general education pre -service teachers enro lled in a special education course for a 30 hour period. The course consisted of lectures, small group discussions, audiovisual presentations, role -play, and attitudinal empathy building and tolerance activities/simulations. An inventory that was designed to assess pre -service teachers overall attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities and their confidence to work with these students in the general education setting was administered before and after the course. The results indicated that the total test gain scores were statistically significant for both general education and special education majors. The researchers concluded that a single course can positively change preservice teachers attitudes towards the inclusion of students with m ild disabilities. While a considerable shift in pre -service teachers attitudes was found throughout previous studies, other studies did not report significant changes in pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion after completion of a university cou rse. In the U.S., Martinez (2003) sought to assess the effectiveness of an introductory special education course on student teachers attitudes toward inclusion, their sense of teaching efficacy, and their knowledge about adapting instruction for children with disabilities. The study participants were 23 graduate students who were all post baccalaureate/Masters certification general education teachers and teacher candidates enrolled in an early childhood education program at a large, urban university in th e Southwest. A course titled Adapting Instruction for Children with Disabilities was developed that included

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43 four core activities: (a) reading and discussion, (b) field -based experiences, (c) assignments in adapting instruction and developing accommodati ons for individual students, and (d) classmate interviews. The author used a questionnaire that measured Opinions Relative to the I ntegration (ORI) of students with disabilities (Antonak & Larrivee, 1995 ), as well as a Teachers Sense of Efficacy S cale (TS ES) (Tschannen -Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). The second data -collection strategy was a semi -structured interview that was adapted from Brownlee and Carrington (2000) and lasted approximately 40 minutes with each pre -service teacher. The results of the ques tionnaires revealed that the special education course did not have a statistically significant positive effect on the pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion or their perceptions of teaching competence. However, review of post -course interview nar ratives revealed generally positive effects of the course on attitudes toward inclusion as well as the pre service teachers sense of competence to be effective in inclusive settings. Furthermore, the interview narratives indicated that the majority of pre -service teachers became aware of the role of instructional adaptation and making recommendations for students with disabilities. Correspondingly, most pre -service teachers reported high teaching efficacy through the recognition of the role of general educ ators in inclusive environments. An important finding in this study was that most participants indicated the importance of initiating significant changes in general education classroom procedures as a prerequisite for successful inclusion. Tait and Purdie (2000) investigated 1,626 general education pre -service teachers attitudes towards people with disabilities at a large Australian university. Participants were either in the final semester of their fourth year of study or enrolled in a one -year postgradua te diploma in education. There were no mandatory courses related to students with special needs offered to pre -service teachers. However, in the final semester of their fourth year of study, students

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44 attended several lectures and tutorials about students w ith disabilities. To collect data, the authors administered the 20 -item Interaction with Disabled Persons (IDP) scale (Gething, 1994). The questionnaire was developed to measure levels of discomfort with people with disabilities. Data were collected twice, at the beginning of the academic year from all pre -service teachers and at the conclusion of the postgraduate students coursework in November of the same year. The authors analyzed IDP questionnaire results and reported that desirable and undesirable em otions experienced by individuals interacting with people with disabilities could be assessed using this scale. The results indicated there were two statistically significant differences (sympathy and embarrassment) between the beginning and the end of cou rse scores for the postgraduate students. However, the authors reported the magnitude of these differences was minimal as indicated by an eta squared of less than .02. They concluded that the one year general teacher training course was ineffective in infl uencing students attitudes in a positive way. Moreover, the authors were not sure whether a longer teacher training program would lead to positive results and recommended that further research is needed to address this issue. It is noticeable that partici pants in the last two studies (Martinez, 2003; Tait & Purdie, 2000) were either at the graduate level or seniors in their last semester of their studies. Recently, Jung (2007) reported similar results after comparing 57 pre -service teachers who were about to graduate and 68 first -year students enrolled in a course entitled Introduction to Teaching in a Diverse Society. Pre -service teachers who had majored in early childhood and intervention specialists were required to take four special education related courses before their student teaching Each special education course required at least 10 hours of field -based experience in inclusive classrooms and resource rooms. The researcher used the Opinion Relative to Integration (ORI) questionnaire (Antonak & Lar rivee, 1995) with both groups of participants.

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45 The four factors (i.e., benefits of inclusion, inclusive classroom management, ability to teach students with disabilities, and special vs. inclusive classroom) of the questionnaire were used to compare the re sponses of both groups of pre -service teachers The results indicated that there were statistically non -significant differences between first year and last year pre -service teachers on 3 of the 4 factors. On the fourth factor (i.e., special vs. inclusive c lassroom), first year pre -service teachers rated themselves significantly higher than pre -service teachers. However, first year pre -service teachers also rated themselves higher than senior pre -service teachers on the other three factors, but the results w ere not statistically significant. In summary, three of the reviewed studies (Andrews & Clementson, 1997; Campbell et al., 2003; Shade & Stewart, 2001) reported statistically significant differences between pre -service teachers scores at the beginning and end of the university courses aimed at influencing their knowledge and attitudes toward inclusion. Pre -service teachers attitudes became more positive for both general and special education majors (Shade & Stewart, 2001). They also felt less discomfort a nd uncertainty (Campbell et al., 2003). However, some pre -service teachers had doubts about the general education teachers ability to provide accommodation for children with disabilities in their classrooms (Andrews & Clementson, 1997). These doubts may have emerged as a result of some provided activities. For example, the field trip to area facilities, where students with disabilities live in isolation, may have caused pre -service teachers to wonder about the skills that general educators possess and thei r ability to serve these children and adolescents in general education classrooms. In the other three studies (Jung, 2007; Martinez, 2003; Tait & Purdie, 2000), according to questionnaire results, training courses did not have significant positive effects on pre -service

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46 teachers attitudes. However, Martinez reported that post -course interviews indicated improvement in the students attitudes as well as their awareness of the role of general educators and instructional adaptations for students with disabili ties. Participants in these studies were graduate students in two different countries, U.S. and Australia, with a large difference related to the sample size used in each study. The results of these studies indicated that there was a trend toward reportin g more stable attitudes toward inclusion of students with disabilities as pre service teachers progress in their teacher education programs. Moreover, pre -service teachers reported more favorable attitudes in their early years of professional preparation prior to being involved in practical experiences with students with disabilities. Most of the reviewed research was done with general education pre -service teachers who may or may not be familiar with the classification of disabilities for students with spe cial needs. The studies did not report whether participants were familiar with the classifications of students with disabilities reported in the questionnaires. In one study (Cook, 2002), participants were asked to read short definitions of disability cate gories. In general, one course in special education may not be enough for general education majors to grasp all the classifications and characteristics of special education students. Thus, many of the participants may have responded to questionnaires without having enough information related to the students they are expected to serve in their classrooms. Finally, Thompson, Diamond, McWilliam, Snyder, and Snyder (2005) indicated that the vast majority of recently published research reports do not even mention reliability of the measures used in the empirical studies and the reliability of the data actually being analyzed. This is true of most of the studies that were reviewed above. These studies adopted survey design s without reporting score reliability coef ficients for the surveys. However, when some of

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47 these studies reported the score reliability coefficients, they did that without explicit and reasonable justifications regarding the sample compositions and the standard deviations of both the prior and curr ent studies. This suggests that caution should be exercised in interpreting the results of these investigations (Thompson et al., 2005). Conclusion Positive and negative messages could be drawn from this review. On the positive side, pre service teachers attitudes may not be stable and rigid by the time they reach college, as some researchers concluded (see Pajares, 1992). In most studies, pre-service teachers were open to change their previously held views about inclusion or people with disabilities. For instance, facilitating contact with people with disabilities had a positive influence on their attitudes (Brownlee & Carrington, 2000; Hastings et al., 1996). Furthermore, these attitudes were positively influenced by (a) using structured workshop activiti es (Bishop & Jones, 2002), (b) providing contact with people with severe disabilities (Brownlee & Carrington, 2000), (c) raising students awareness of one type of disabilities (Campbell et al., 2003), and (d) adapting instructional techniques like simulation, role playing, problem solving, and open -ended discussions (Andrews & Clementson, 1997). On the negative side, some studies reported that teacher education programs had little or no influence on pre -service teachers attitudes about inclusion. Indeed, different features of these programs have produced similar results regardless of whether the intervention was a university course (Hastings et al., 1996; Tait & Purdie, 2000), a course combined with field based experience (Martinez, 2003), or a solely fie ld -based experience (Yellin et al., 2003). In addition, pre -service teachers did not welcome students with more challenging disabilities (e.g., students with EBD and students with mental retardation) in inclusive settings (Avramidis et al., 2000b; Cook, 2002; Hastings & Oakford, 2003). The researchers attributed this finding to the pre -

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48 service teachers lack of classroom management skills and recommended that training is important for them to accept and accommodate these students in general education classr ooms. Studies conducted with in -service teachers indicate that teachers attitudes may be influenced by the level of disability they are asked to accommodate within their classrooms. It has been documented that teachers willingness to teach students with disabilities, consistent with their support for inclusion, appears to be related to the severity and type of the disability (Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996). For example, children with intellectual disabilities or emotional and behavioral problems are typical ly rated less positively by teachers (Soodak et al., 1998). As this review of the literature has shown, in the area of inclusion, the attitudes of pre service teachers are not well understood. The majority of general education pre -service teachers who par ticipated in the previously reviewed studies have had few prior experiences working with students with disabilities in inclusive settings. Therefore, it has been documented that many of these pre -service teachers in their early teacher education training h ad not yet developed clear perspectives about teaching in inclusive settings (Lambe & Bones, 2006). However, the findings indicated that pre -service teachers might be open to change their previously held attitudes. It seems that the prior experiences with people with disabilities and the structure of teacher education programs are the most important factors that determine pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion.

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49 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN Setting This study was conducted in an Egyptian public uni versity in the middle of the Nile delta in the Northern part of Egypt. Like most other universities of Egypt, the Kafrelsheikh University derives its name from the city of its location. This university was a branch of Tanta University until April, 2006 whe n it was separated and became an independent university. The university consists of eight colleges and serves about 30,000 students, most of whom live in the middle of the Nile delta. The College of Education is one of the first colleges that was establish ed in the university about 30 years ago. This college offers teacher education programs for students majoring in elementary education, secondary education, and early childhood education at undergraduate and graduate levels. Furthermore, it provides teacher education for pre -service and in -service teachers majoring in special education, but only at the g raduate level. Students enroll in different areas of specialization such as, languages (i.e., Arabic, English, French), history, geography, and science. Part icipants Surveys were distributed to 1, 658 undergraduate (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) students studying general pre -service education in the College of Education at the Kafrelsheikh University in Egypt. The vast majority of pre -service teachers (99%) who attended the classes in which data were collected chose to participate. Cases with missing data (about 1%) were not considered. This resulted in a total of 1, 625 (98%) complete surveys that were included in the analysis. All pre -service teachers were enrolled in the fall semester of the 2008/2009 academic year. Students were enrolled in a Bachelor of Education degree (four year course), and were studying

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50 either elementary or secondary education. These participants were predominantly female (88.12%). A ll participants were between the ages of 19 and 21 years. More than a quarter (28.86%) of these students reported contact with people with disabilities at the social level (outside the context of the formal educational system). Table 3 1 provides a descrip tion of the demographic characteristics of the participants. Pre -service teachers apply to the undergraduate teacher education programs in the College of Education after graduating from high school. They receive preparation to teach students in general edu cation from kindergarten to high school. In the elementary education program, graduates are expected to teach students from first grade to sixth grade. These six years of formal education are called the first stage of basic education. Secondary education ( also called general education) graduates are expected to teach at the second stage of basic education (i.e., seventh grade to ninth grade), and at the high school level (i.e., tenth grade to twelfth grade). Graduates of the early childhood program are expe cted to teach children between the ages of 4 and 5 in pre kindergarten and kindergarten. Sophomores in this study are second year pre -service teachers who have completed two semesters of coursework in the College of Education. Throughout the freshman year, pre -service teachers in the elementary education program enroll in six general education courses in addition to courses in their majors in Arts or Sciences. Among the courses sophomores took prior to participating in this study were teaching profession an d teachers roles, child psychology, teaching strategies for classroom teachers, and general health and the childs health. In the secondary education program, pre -service teachers studied only two introductory courses in principles of education and princi ples of psychology.

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51 Pre -service teachers at the beginning of their junior year have completed four semesters of coursework in the college. In addition to courses in the content area, elementary education pre service teachers, in the sophomore year, complet e five courses in elementary education curriculum, methods of teaching, individual differences, elementary education philosophy, and environmental studies. In addition to courses in the content area, pre -service teachers in the secondary education program complete only three courses in principles of teaching, history of education, and developmental psychology. Pre -service teachers in both elementary and secondary education programs begin their student teaching experience in the junior year. During this year pre -service teachers are present at their placement one day per week in the fall and spring, and two weeks daily in the spring. At the beginning of their senior year, pre -service teachers in elementary and secondary education programs have completed six semesters of coursework with one year of field -based experience in general education classrooms. In addition, during their junior year, pre -service teachers in the elementary education program complete courses in educational psychology, education and soci etal issues, elementary education problems and development, and microteaching. In the secondary education program, pre -service teachers complete courses in foundations of education, history of education, methods of teaching, educational psychology, educat ional problems, and instructional technology. Instrumentation Participants completed the Pre -service Teachers Attitudes towards Inclusion questionnaire. This questionnaire is a self -designed instrument consisting of items drawn from measures of beliefs an d attitudes toward inclusion used in previous studies (Antonak & Larrivee, 1995; McH atton & McCray, 2007; McLeskey et al. 2001; Stoiber et al. 1998). The instrument consists of three parts; demographic information, 33 statements which respondents rank on a 5 -

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52 point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree), and a set of questions that require written responses about pre -service teachers perspectives towards inclusion. For the second part of the instrume nt, although all items are mixed together, scoring of 13 items (i.e., 5, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, and 26) is reversed so that a higher total score for the questionnaire reflects positive pre -service teacher attitudes towards inclusion (se e Appendix A). The items in this part of the instrument focus on how pre -service teachers conceptualize: a) benefits of inclusion, b) inclusive classroom management, c) ability to teach students with disabilities, d) special versus inclusive general educat ion placements (Antonak & Larrivee, 1995; McLeskey et al., 2001; Stoiber et al., 1998), and e) perspectives towards teaching students with specific types of disabilities (McHatton & McCray, 2007). Additionally, many of the questions in the third part of the instrument were derived from Scruggs and Mastropieris (1996) meta analysis of teacher perceptions regarding inclusion. The three parts of the instrument take approximately 25 minutes to complete. Development of the Pre-service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion s cale Reviewing previous literature and measures of beliefs and attitudes toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms revealed a variety of instruments that were used to examine teachers and pre -service te achers attitudes across studies. Most of these instruments assessed attitudes using a Likert scale in which participants ranked the items on a 5 point or 6 point scale. In most studies, practicing teachers in inclusive or non inclusive settings were asked to complete these questionnaires. Results were reported as correlated with teachers and pre -service teachers experience with students with disabilities, gender, teacher education preparation, training, support services, and type and severity of the stude nts disability ( see Campbell et al., 2003; Cook, 2002; McLeskey et al., 2001) The at titude instruments were used

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53 with teachers ( McLeskey et al., 2001), pre -service teachers ( Antonak & Larrivee, 1995; McH atton & McCray, 2007), and parents and practitioner s ( Stoiber et al., 1998). Although measures were used in the previous literature, a new instrument was needed for two reasons. First, the previous instruments were developed and applied in educational and social contexts that were different from the conte xt of this study. Thus, it was difficult to adapt only one of these instruments and use it with different participants in a different setting. Second, although the design of this research is mostly quantitative, qualitative data were also needed to give pr e -service teachers the opportunity to elaborate on their perspectives toward inclusion. Consequently, questions that enable participants to provide responses were needed in addition to the previously developed Likert scales. Several steps were taken to dev elop the instrument. First, the literature addressing pre service and inservice teachers' attitudes toward inclusion was reviewed to determine the major issues of concern regarding inclusive programs (e.g., Avramidis & Norwich, 2002; Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996). Second, position papers regarding inclusion were reviewed (see Hannah, 1988; Kavale & Forness, 2000). Third, four questionnaires on teachers and pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion (i.e., Antonak & Larrivee, 1995; McHatton & McCray, 2007; McLeskey et al., 2001; St oiber et al., 1998) were reviewed (see Table 3 2), and used to develop the second part of the instrument. In this part, the first 28 items pertained to pre -service teachers general attitudes toward inclusion while the last fiv e items pertained to attitudes toward specific types of disabilities (i.e., learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, hearing impairment, visual impairment, and mental retardation). Fourth, most of the questions that require written respon ses were derived from Scruggs and Mastropieris (1996) conclusions in their meta analysis. Fifth, to avoid bias, both positive and negative wording was used for the

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54 questionnaire items (part 2), and the sequence of items was randomly determined. Sixth, the instrument packet was translated into Arabic language by the author, and the translation was then reviewed by professional translators who had previous experience in translation for research purposes. Seventh, after translation, the instrument items were initially reviewed by experts in special education to ensure clarity and coverage of relevant content (content validity). Eighth, some items were added, deleted, or rephrased according to the recommendations of the experts. Ninth, the instrument was pilote d with a group of Egyptian pre -service teachers (Table 3 2) Pilot Study The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the validity and reliability of the developed questionnaire, and to secure feedback from participants to make modifications to the instrument. Permission to conduct this study was requested from the Institutional Review Board at the University of Florida. Following approval, arrangements were made with an instructor at the participating university to administer the instrument. Ninety two undergraduate students were invited to participate in this study. Participants were all seniors in the Psychology program at the College of Education in Kafrelsheikh University, Egypt. This pilot study was conducted at the end of the fall semester of the academic year 2007/2008, and all students were expected to graduate at the end of the spring semester of this academic year. Twenty -two of the returned questionnaires were incomplete, and were excluded from the analysis. Table 33 represents the demogr aphic characteristics of the participants who responded fully to the instrument Most participants (93%) were between the ages of 19 and 22 years. Other participants, except one participant who did not report age, were between 23 and 24 years of age. The vast majority (90%) of the students were female. Only (21.4%) of participants reported a previous experience interacting with people with special needs outside the educational setting (e.g., family

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55 members, friends, neighbors). Only one student reported tea ching students with special needs during her field -based training. The instrument was distributed by the researcher and the class instructor 35 minutes before the end of the class time. The voluntary and anonymous nature of the students participation was explained. Moreover, confidentiality in collecting and analyzing data was reassured. The consent form was distributed with the instrument and collected with students signatures. The students took approximately 25 minutes to complete the instrument, which was then collected by the researcher The reliability of the instrument was determined by using two indices: splithalf reliability and Cronbach's alpha. The split half reliability was calculated by applying the Spearman Brown correction to the correlatio n between the total scores of two randomly split halves of the questionnaire. This resulted in a mean split -half reliability of .87. Similar internal consistency was found using Cronbach's alpha (.87). Based on this pilot study, some items were eliminated and/or modified in the second part of the questionnaire. For example, one item was eliminated because all participants provided the same answer on the 5 -point Likert scale. Other items that reflected some disability classifications were also eliminated because some students did not recognize these classifications and, consequently, did not respond to these items. The most common classifications were maintained in the instrument. In the third part of the questionnaire, two questions were modified based on pa rticipant feedback to ensure clarity and accuracy. Procedure An approval from the Institutional Review Board at the University of Florida (see Appendix B ) to conduct this study was secured. Moreover, the researcher received approval from the instructors at Kafrelsheikh University for a 45 -minute session with pre -service teachers to

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56 describe the purpose of the study, obtain consent, and administer the questionnaire. The Pre service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion questionnaire was administered during sc heduled lecture sessions of undergraduate courses at different times and locations. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors from the two educational programs (i.e., elementary and secondary) and different majors (e.g., Arabic language, English language, social st udies, and science) participated in the study. The study was based on a sample of convenience from one university because this could increase participation and result in a large sample. These participants were informed that their participation would be vol untary and their responses to the questionnaire would be anonymous. Because the fall semester starts in the middle of September, the administration of the instrument took place between October and November 2008. The data collection was conducted by the res earcher and cooperating instructors at the participating university. Completed questionnaires were collected after approximately 25 minutes. Data Analysis To answer the first and second research questions (i.e., what are the attitudes of general education pre -service teachers toward inclusion in Egypt? What variables are associated with Egyptian pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion?), the following statistical procedures were used to analyze responses on the first and second parts of the questi onnaire: 1 Descriptive statistics were used to compare demographic characteristics of pre -service teachers that participated in the study. 2 A two -way between -subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test for the interaction between the two grouping variables; class standing, with three levels (sophomore, junior, and senior), and educational program, with two levels (elementary and secondary). 3 A t test procedure was used to test the differences in pre -service teachers attitudes as a function of educat ional program (elementary and secondary) and gender (male and female). To answer the third question (i.e., what issues do pre -service teachers believe need to be addressed so that they can be effective teachers in inclusive settings?), qualitative analysis was

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57 conducted with the third part of the questionnaire. Of the 1 625 pre -service teachers that returned complete surveys, 100 (6.2%) surveys that provided the most detailed written comments were chosen for the qualitative analysis. The constant comparativ e method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) was used for data analysis without seeking to build substantive theory. In this method, a particular incident was compared with another incident in the same set of data or in another set. As a result of this comparison, ca tegories that describe pre-service teachers perspectives toward inclusion were determined. Data that fit into specific categories were physically grouped into that category to allow for analysis and interpretation of the data (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998).

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58 Tab le 3 1. Demographic c haracteristics of participants. All Participants ( n = 1625) Characteristics N Percentage of Sample M SD Class Standing Sophomore 561 34.52 92.53 17.20 Junior 521 32.06 85.63 20.21 Senior 543 33.42 83.65 18.54 Educational Program Elementary 758 46.65 85.38 19.24 Secondary 867 53.35 89.08 18.69 Gender Female 1432 88.12 86.71 18.81 Male 193 11.88 92.18 20.04 Social Contac t wit h People with Disabilities Contact 469 28.86 89.81 19.56 No Contact 1156 71.14 86.36 18.74

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59 Table 3 2. Instruments used to measure pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion Author(s)/ Year Instrument Title Number of Items & Scoring Sampl e Characteristics Score Reliability Coefficient Number Age in Years Ed Level Gender Race/ Ethnicity Area of Study Antonak & Larrivee (1995) Opinions Related to Integration of Students with Disabilities (ORI) Scale 25 items; 6 point Likert type sc ale (3 I disagree very much to +3 I agree very much) 376 Undergraduates and inservice professionals Md = 21 Md = 15 years 79% females 90% white 16% special education 84% general education Split half = 0.82; Cronbachs alpha = 0.88 McH atton & McCray (2007) Perceptions toward Inclusion Survey 22 items; 5 point Likert scale (strongly agree to strongly disagree) 161 undergraduates; elementary education ( n = 128) and secondary education ( n = 33) from 18 to 25 ( n = 123) and > 25 ( n = 38) Undergrad uates 87 % females N/A elementary and secondary education majors Cronbachs alpha = 0.91

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60 Table 3 2. Continued Author(s)/ Year Instrument Title Number of Items & Scoring Sample Characteristics Score Reliability Coefficient Number Age in Years Ed Level Gender Race/ Ethnicity Area of Study McLeskey Waldron, So, Sw anson, & Loveland (2001) Inclusive School Program (ISP) Survey 30 items; 5 point Likert scale (strongly agree to strongly disagree) 162 inservice teachers from 6 schools; 78 in inclusive s chools and 84 in noninclusive schools N/A Md = 18.31 (inclusive); Md = 16.3 (non inclusive) 15% inclusive; 12% non inclusive males 100% White 14% (inclusive); 8% (non inclusive) special education and the reminders were general education Split half = 0.94; Cronbachs alpha = 0.94 Stoiber, Gettinger, & Goetz (1998) My Thinking About Inclusion (MTAI) Scale 28 items; 5 point Likert scale (strongly accept to strongly reject) 415 parents (150 parents of children with disabilities & 260 parents of typically deve loping children); 128 early childhood practitioners N/A Parents : 68% some college; 32% high school diploma or less. Practitioners: 16% less than 5 yrs, 27% had 5 9 yrs; 16% h ad 1014 yrs, & 41% over 15 yrs N/A Parents : 52% white; 33% African American; 15% o thers Practitioners : N/A Parents: N/A Practitioners: 39 special educators, 35 general educators; 35 para professional; 19 support service personnel Cronbachs alpha = 0.91

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61 Table 3 3. Demographic characteristics of p articipants (pilot study) Characteris tic N Percentage of Sample (%) Gender Female Male 63 7 90 10 Age* 1920 years 2122 years 23 24 years 48 17 4 68.6 24.3 5.7 Social contact No contact Contact 55 15 78.6 21.4 One par ticipant did not report age.

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62 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This study explored Egyptian pre -service teachers attitudes toward the inclusion of students with special needs in general education classrooms and variables associated with these attitudes (e.g., nature of the disability, contact with people with disabilities, and class standing of their teacher education program). Furthermore, the study explored issues that pre -service teachers believed needed to be addressed for them to be successful teachers in inclusive classrooms. This chapter is divided by quantitative and qualitative results and each section is structured around the research questions that were addressed Quantitative Results Preliminary Analyses Descriptive statistics indicated that all means and stan dard deviations (Table 3 1) appeared reasonable. Skewness and kurtosis were divided by their standard errors and appear nonproblematic. The skewness statistic was 0.08 and the kurtosis statistic was -0.46. Since none of these ratios exceeded 2.0, a reaso nably normal distribution is assumed. Furthermore, to determine the reliability of the scale, internal consistency analysis was conducted. The analysis revealed that Cronbachs alpha for the Pre -service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion Scale was .89. T he individual items and their total correlation with the scale are reported in Table 4 1. However, when a factor analysis was conducted, the items appeared to be unidimensional Quantitative Research Questions and Findings To examine the attitudes of pre -service teachers toward inclusion and the factors associated with these attitudes, two questions were posed and subsequently investigated using quantitative methods. The following section reviews findings related to the research question: What are the attitudes of Egyptian pre -service teachers toward inclusion in Egypt?

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63 Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data collected from the first two parts of the instrument (Appendix A). Because higher scores on the 5 point Likert scale represented a more p ositive disposition, t he results indicated that, on average, pre -service teachers tended to have more negative than positive attitudes toward inclusion of students with special needs ( M = 2.65, SD = 0.58). The 95% confidence i nterval around the mean was 2. 62 2.68. The descriptive statistics also indicated that pre -service teachers expressed more negative attitudes toward the inclusion of children with mental retardation ( M = 1.89, SD = 1.14) than they did toward other disabilities, including students with e motional and behavioral disorders ( M = 2.67, SD = 1.35). In addition, pre -service teachers rated the inclusion of students with learning disabilities ( M = 3.33, SD = 1.36) more favorably than students with other disabilities. Mean scores for participants, subdivided by the special needs they were asked to consider are displayed in Table 4 2. To investigate the factors that might be related to the pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion, the following research question was posed: What variables are associated with the Egyptian pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion? The impact of the demographic variables believed to be associated with pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion was examined by using a two -way between -subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA). The between -subjects factors were class standing, with three levels (sophomore, junior, and senior), and educational program, with two levels (elementary and secondary). Means and standard deviations for these main effect groups are d etailed in Table 3 1. At the alpha level of .05, the ANOVA results demonstrate that a significant main effect was found for class standing, F (2, 1619) = 29.90, p < 0.01. Moreover, the main effect for the educational program was also significant, F (1, 1619) = 5.50, p < 0.01. A significant interaction

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64 between class standing and educational program, F (2, 1619) = 3.23, p <0.05, also was found. These results are detailed in Table 4 3. Follow up tests were conducted to evaluate pairwise differences among the mea ns using Scheffe post hoc test. The results indicate that there were significant differences between the means for the sophomore group and both junior and senior groups. Pre -service teachers ratings differed as a function of class standing. More specifica lly, sophomores exhibited significantly more positive attitude scores toward inclusion than juniors ( p < 0.01) and seniors ( p < 0.01). However, the difference between the means for the junior group and the senior group was not significant ( p < 0.22). These results are presented in Table 4 4. The interaction between class standing and the educational program is illustrated in Figure 4 1. The means for the elementary and secondary majors at the sophomore level were 91.80 and 92.88, respectively; the means for the elementary and secondary majors at the junior level were 85.61 and 85.66, respectively; the means for the elementary and secondary majors at the senior level were 80.99 and 86.52, respectively. Scheffe post hoc analyses suggested non-significant mean difference between elementary and secondary majors at the sophomore level ( p < 0.99). Similarly, non-significant mean difference was found between elementary and secondary groups at the junior level ( p < 1.00). In contrast, however, participants in the el ementary and secondary groups at the senior level were significantly dissimilar in their attitudes toward inclusion ( p < 0.04). More specifically, senior level participants in the secondary education group exhibited more favorable attitudes toward inclusio n than participants at the senior level in the elementary education group. The t -test procedure revealed that elementary ( M = 85.38, SD = 19.24) and secondary ( M = 89.08, SD = 18.69) majors were significantly different in their attitudes toward teaching s tudents

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65 with disabilities in their classrooms, t (1623) = 3.92, p = 0.001. To illustrate, while the total score for both elementary and secondary groups indicated more negative than positive attitudes, pre service teachers who majored in secondary education were significantly more positive than pre service teachers who majored in elementary education. Another t test revealed that participants were significantly different in their attitudes toward accommodating students with disabilities in general education classrooms, as a function of gender, t (1623) = 3.75, p = 0.001. Both groups (i.e., male and female) mean attitude scores indicated that male participants ( M = 92.18, SD = 20.04) exhibited a more favorable preference toward including students with disabil ities than female participants ( M = 86.71, SD = 18.82). Significant differences also were found regarding participants experiences which were unrelated to teaching or teacher training, t (1623) = 3.32, p = 0.001. More specifically, pre -service teachers who had social experiences with individuals with disabilities ( M = 89.81, SD = 19.56) exhibited more favorable attitudes toward including students with disabilities in general education classrooms than their counterparts ( M = 86.36, SD = 18.74) with no such e xperiences. Qualitative Results Of the 1 625 pre -service teachers that returned surveys, 100 (6.2%) surveys that provided the most detailed comments were chosen for the qualitative analysis. Data analysis was conducted for the third portion of the survey, which consisted of seven qualitative questions (e.g., Do you support the concept of including students with special needs in general education classrooms? Why? ). In this section, pre -service teachers reported on the issues they believed needed to be addres sed to be effective inclusive teachers. The following section reports the findings from the qualitative data analysis. Specifically, themes that emerged from pre -service teachers perspectives about inclusion will be described.

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66 To analyze the views pre -se rvice teachers articulated related to the inclusion of students with special needs in general education classrooms, one question was posed. The following section reviews findings related to the following research question: What issues do pre -service teach ers believe need to be addressed so that they can be effective teachers in inclusive settings? Seven themes emerged from responses to this question (see Table 4 5). The themes are described below and participant responses are highlighted. Support for Inclusion C oncept At first glance, reading these pre -service teachers comments about inclusion would promptly reinforce the view that inclusion is a top -down decision in the Egyptian context. The majority of pre -service teachers (56.6%) did not believe in the general concept of inclusion. They answered no when asked whether they supported the idea of including students with special needs in the general education classrooms. Moreover, most of the 705 (43.4%) pre -service teachers who answered yes to this ques tion approved of inclusion only under certain conditions. Pre -service teachers who were not in favor of inclusive education made a range of comments about the possibl e negative impact of inclusion. Their comments reflect a wide range of reasons which suppo rt these perspectives. For instance, many participants offered that they did not favor inclusive education because of: (a) challenges associated with teaching students with special needs in general education classrooms, (b) negative impacts on the academic level of general education students, and (c) psychological and emotional harm for students with special needs. Some of the pre -service teachers believed that inclusion could cause harm to either students with special needs or students in general educat io n. One pre -service teacher stated:

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67 Inclusion will have a negative effect on children with and without disabilities. It will make it difficult for both groups to be served properly in the inclusive classroom. Moreover, inclusion may result in not only an a cademic failure but also may have a harmful psychological and emotional impact, especially on students with special needs. Another pre -service teacher described the way she thought about inclusion: I am also concerned about general education students, espe cially those who are talented with high academic achievement records. They may not tolerate the existence of the students with special needs in their classrooms. Moreover, the interaction between both groups may affect the emotional development of the students with special needs. They will always compare themselves with their peers in general education. The results could be frustrating. Other pre -service teachers expressed concerns about teaching students with special needs. They reported the belief that st udents with special needs were special and they did not know how to teach them with other students in the classroom. One pre -service teacher wrote: Students with special needs demand special treatment that is different from the treatment of general educa tion students. Therefore, it will be difficult for teachers to bring all these students together and teach them in one classroom. Both types of students will not benefit from this type of education. Perhaps the previous perspective is a result of the way t hat pre -service teachers view the needs of students with special needs. They may believe that the needs of these students would be too difficult to be addressed in settings different from special education schools and classrooms. Another pre -service teacher commented: Many of the students with special needs have difficulties in attention, concentration, and understanding compared to their peers in general education. They need a type of education that is different from the education of students in general education. Therefore, it will be more appropriate to place them in special education classrooms for better educational care. In these [special education] classrooms, instructional strategies that are suitable for them should be used. In contrast, pre -service teachers who believed in the general concept of inclusion (43.4%) seemed to embrace more progressive perspectives toward inclusion. In most cases, they had gone beyond the classroom situation to express their interests in human rights, equity, stereotype removal, and student with special needs social satisfaction. One pre -service teacher commented:

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68 They [students with special needs] are human beings like everyone else except they look different in some aspects. They should be given every opportunity to be with their counterparts in the same educational setting. Inclusion will have a positive influence on their spirit and they will not feel neglected anymore. It will send a message about how our society cares about those people with special needs. Another p re -service teacher elaborated on this expected positive influence: I support inclusion because it will make students with special needs feel confident in their abilities. A sense of equity will be developed among those students. This sentiment will help them to work on their own problems and solve them. They will feel stronger in the face of lifes difficulties. Many other comments stressed the importance of the social interaction in the lives of students with special needs. This healthy interaction for p eople with disabilities may result in feelings of satisfaction. A student teacher stated: I do support this concept [Inclusion] because bringing all students together to be taught in one classroom will promote social interaction among them. Everyone will t ry to communicate with one another to create the spirit of the group. Students with special needs will be part of this process and they will work hard to establish a healthy relationship with their peers. This will deprive them from social isolation and el iminate the feelings of embarrassment and loneliness. While many of these pre -service teachers believed in the general concept of inclusion, they still voiced concerns about the level of the disability, school resources, and teacher preparation and trainin g: Although I am in favor of inclusion, this has to be implemented under two conditions. First, the students disability has to be at the acceptable level [mild or moderate] so that the teacher and other students will be able to deal with him/her in the ge neral education classroom. Second, pre -service preparation and in -service training is a must to get the benefits of inclusion. Otherwise, a harmful effect for the students with disabilities could be the result. In summary, most of pre -service teachers in t his study did not support a broad and general view of inclusion. They shared a strong belief that including students with special needs in general education classrooms may not benefit students with and without disabilities. These pre service teachers raise d concerns about the potential negative impact related to the academic

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69 needs of students without disabilities. They were also worried about the psychological and emotional impact of the inclusion of the students with special needs. Moreover, most participa nts doubted their abilities to teach these special students in their classrooms. Thus, they preferred special education settings to better accommodate students with special needs. A much smaller number of pre -service teachers supported the concept of inc lusion and believed general education settings were best for students with special needs. Many of these preservice teachers embraced concepts of human rights and equity. Thus, they advocated for equal opportunities for all children in one educational sett ing. Moreover, from an educational perspective, they believed that inclusion would promote social interaction and effective communication between students with and without special needs. However, many of these pre service teachers voiced concerns about the Egyptian educational systems ability to support inclusive opportunities. Teaching in Inclusive C lassrooms When pre -service teachers were asked if they would be willing to teach students with disabilities in their future classrooms, 49% of them answered no and 51% answered yes However, most of those who answered yes were willing to accommodate students with disabilities in their classrooms under certain conditions. For those who were not in favor of teaching in inclusive classrooms, a range of reas ons were cited. For example, many offered that they were not in favor of inclusive classrooms because of their lack of preparation in their teacher education program or stated that the type of students disabilities were reasons for not supporting inclusive opportunities for children with special needs. A pre -service teacher wrote: It will be difficult for me to deal with both types of students [with and without disabilities] in one classroom. This will create chaos in the educational process and I will be distracted between both groups. Those students need special treatment and teaching strategies that go beyond my abilities. I am not prepared to do that.

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70 Indeed, most of these pre -service teachers, who were not in favor of teaching in inclusive settings, r ecommended a special education setting for students with disabilities. They believed that special education teachers would do a better job when teaching the students with special needs. One pre -service teacher said: I am a junior and, to this day, I did not hear about inclusion or any type of setting related to it. Because I did not get the training necessary to do this job, I prefer not to be part of this and leave it to someone who is specialized in this field. In my opinion, students with special needs d eserve teachers with specific characteristics who can use specific strategies to teach them. Another pre -service teacher worried about neglecting students with disabilities in her classroom. She believed that a special curriculum should be prepared and i ntroduced to students with disabilities in their separate classrooms: I do not want to teach in an inclusive classroom. I will be worried about neglecting those students with special needs while taking care of those who are typically developed. We have sep arate classrooms for those who are gifted and talent ed, why dont we teach students with special needs in separate classrooms where there is a special curriculum for them? A few of those who expressed their willingness to teach in inclusive settings were i n favor of doing this unconditionally. They wanted to give students with disabilities a chance to function in a normal environment. One pre -service teacher commented: I do not mind teaching them in my classroom. I need to help them to develop creative abil ities and participate fully in normal life activities without feelings of fear or embarrassment. They need to be introduced to other students in the classroom so that they will have the choice to participate, accept, or reject without relying on the author ity of others. One pre -service teacher believed that students with disabilities were normal students. She reported that they only need teachers who care about them and help them to succeed. She stated: I believe that those students [with special needs] are normal people. General education teachers should work to fill these students lives with pleasure and the spirit of achievement. If we worked seriously to achieve this goal, inclusion may succeed.

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71 The vast majority of pre -service teachers who were willing to accommodate students with special needs articulated specific conditions for which they would provide such accommodations. Many stated that they needed training and proper preparation related to inclusive practices. A pre -service teacher wrote: I want t o teach students with special needs in my classroom. However, this has to be after being involved in an intensive training about inclusion. Our teacher education program does not provide us with strategies that are mandatory to work in such environments. W ithout this type of training, I will not be ready to do this job. Training was not the only issue raised by pre -service teachers. They were also concerned about different types of disabilities and were willing to accommodate specific children with disabilities in their classrooms. Students with more intensive disabilities were seen as difficult to teach. One pre -service teacher commented: The students disability is also important. For example, it will be difficult to teach students with hearing and visual impairments as well as students with mental retardation in the same classroom with general education students. Moreover, students with emotional an d behavioral disorders could be a challenge I am not ready to face. In summary, about half of the participants (49%), including many of those who were not in favor of inclusion, expressed their willingness to teach students with special needs in their classrooms. Indeed, as evidenced by written comments, pre -service teachers were concerned about the level of pre paration they were offered in their teacher education program and the training available to in -service teachers after graduation. They were also willing to accommodate certain types of students with special needs. Specifically, they reported being more com fortable teaching students considered to have mild or moderate disabilities (e.g., those with learning or physical disabilities). They were less accepting of students with more severe disabilities (e.g., those with vision, hearing, or cognitive impairments ). However, some of these pre -service teachers were unconditionally welcoming to the idea of having students with disabilities in their classrooms. They had much empathy toward people with disabilities and believed in their

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72 creative abilities. To develop s upports for these students, pre -service teachers suggested that students with disabilities are in need of teachers who believe in them and their abilities. The other half of pre -service teachers (51%) were not in favor of teaching in inclusive classrooms s imply because they did not know how to instruct students with and without disabilities in one environment. Their teacher education programs did not offer courses related to inclusive practices or offer general information regarding students with disabiliti es. Therefore, many of the pre -service teachers advocated for separate classrooms and special curriculum to be taught in such classrooms. In their views, pre -service teachers did not have the proper preparation or the classroom management skills to accommodate students with special needs in their classrooms. Who B enefit s from I nclusi ve Education ? When asked whether all students (with and without special needs) may benefit from inclusion, the majority of the participants (68.2%) answered no, and 31.8% answ ered yes. Numerous pre -service teachers who were not in favor of inclusion raised doubts about the educational benefits for students with and without disabilities Most comments reflected the possible harmful effect of inclusi ve practices on students wit h disabilities and students without disabilities. One pre -service teacher described the situation in the following way : Inclusion will not benefit students with special needs but will lead to feelings of anger and embarrassment among them. They will also m iss an opportunity to get a special education that is suitable for them. Likewise, general education students will look at inclusion as a waste of time. If more time and interest are given to students with special needs, which is expected, other students w ill not be satisfied with that. The result could be an uncomfortable classroom climate that leads to the failure of the learning process. Many pre -service teachers b elieved that general education students may lose a great deal of the teachers attention an d energy in the inclusive classroom, resulting in a negative influence on

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73 their academic achievement The fear of the uncomfortable classroom climate is reflected in many other pre -service teachers comments. One pre -service teacher offered: Inclusion ma y not be in the best interest of both groups [students with and without disabilities]. For those without disabilities, inclusion could create a state of extreme confusion and disorder in the classroom, especially with the existence of students with behavioral problems. On the other hand, students with disabilities might feel inferior when they compare themselves to other students in the classroom. Most p re -service teachers who believed that inclusion would benefit both groups of students did not elaborate on their opinions especially when it came to the benefits of students in general education. The few who did respond stressed that the experiences general education students would acquire in inclusive classrooms would be beneficial for their social lives. One pre -service teacher commented: The inclusive classroom will positively affect the morale and spirit of the students with special needs. They will feel that they are not neglected or abandoned by their own society. On the other hand, typically develope d students will acquire experiences in dealing with these students and will see their abilities rather than disabilities. They are then expected to learn how to interact successfully with them outside of the school gates. Throughout the comments, it was noted that a considerable number of participants believed that only students with special needs would benefit academically, emotionally, and socially from inclusive opportunities. Students in general education were seen as victims to the inclusion process. A pre -service teacher wrote: Students with disabilities benefit from inclusion because it will give them access to interaction with other students in general education which could help them to develop academically and emotionally. This is way better than is olation in their special education schools. However, a negative impact on the academic level of general education students is expected. They may feel bored as a result of the slow learning process in their inclusive classroom. In summary, the majority of p re -service teachers had doubts about the benefits of inclusion for all students. In their perspectives, students with and without disabilities would be negatively affected by inclusive policies and practice. They feared that the academic levels of students in

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74 general education would be compromised and deteriorate because the teachers attention would be drawn toward students with special needs. Similarly, pre -service teachers reported that students with special needs would be occupied by feelings of anger a nd embarrassment and would lose their special education in their schools. However, many other pre -service teachers believed that only students with special needs would benefit from inclusive education. These pre service teachers offered that students wit h special needs would benefit because their social and academic skills would be boosted as a result of their placement in a general education setting. Rather than gaining experiences with and dealing with students who have special needs, most pre -service t eachers viewed students in general education as the victims of inclusion. The E ffect of Students with D isabilities When pre -service teachers were asked whether students with disabilities may have a negative effect on the classroom environment, most of them (67.4%) answered yes, and the rest (32.6%) answered no. The pre -service teachers comments reflected worries about the disorder that could be created as a result of having students with certain types of disabilities in general education classrooms. For example, some pre -service teachers were concerned about the classroom climate with the inclusion of children who have emotional and behavioral disorders. One pre -service teacher commented: Students with behavioral disorders might create problems for othe r students in the classroom. Their uncontrolled behaviors and actions are expected to erupt from time to time during classroom activities. This will demand more attention and effort from teachers while causing too much distraction to other students. In sum the classroom time will be wasted due to these behavioral problems. Not only students with behavioral problems were unwelcomed by these pre -service teachers, but also students with other disabilities were represented in their comments. Some pre service t eachers had doubts about the benefits of inclusion for students with mental retardation and hearing and visual impairments. One pre -service teacher wrote:

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75 Some students with mental retardation are difficult to control. Other students with visual or hearing impairments may not be fully aware of what is going on in the classroom. This casts too much doubt about whether we will be able to achieve these students educational goals. Pre -service teachers were also concerned about the academic progress of the gene ral education students if inclusion were to be adopted. Indeed, some of these future teachers stated that the whole educational system could be affected as a result. A pre -service teacher wrote: This [inclusion] might affect the academic level of students without disabilities. The progress of general education students will be affected and the goals of the curriculum may not be fulfilled. Moreover, the learning process will be slow, especially with the existence of students with learning disabilities in the classroom, so that we may need a longer academic year. This may affect the whole educational system. However, many of those who believed students with special needs would negatively affect the general education classroom provided some strategies which mi ght improve the quality of inclusive classrooms. Teachers contributions were seen as the most important factors related to successful inclusion. One pre -service teacher believed that the teachers role was crucial in addressing and solving the issues that c ould emerge in inclusive setting s and stated: At the beginning, the existence of students with special needs might create some confusion to students in general education. However, this confusion may not last long, especially if teachers were able to take control of the classroom and help students through the adaptation process. The best way that teachers could model for the general education children is to treat all students equally and show their love and interest to everyone in the classroom. Teachers p lay a pivotal role in the inclusive classrooms. Pre -service teachers believed that teachers management skills would contribute to the success of inclusion and bring all students together. Moreover, general education students attitudes and behavior toward students with special needs were also considered crucial factors in the inclusive classroom. One pre -service teacher stated: We should also seek the opinions of general education students and prepare them for inclusion. The negative effect that might be c aused by the students with special needs could simply be a reaction to the general education students behavior and attitudes toward those students. However, many of the general education students are expected to welcome

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76 students with special needs and coo perate with them. The classroom environment will determine the nature of the relationship between all students. Slightly less than one third of the participants (32.6%) did not foresee a negative effect on the classroom environment as a result of the inclu sion of students with disabilities. They believed that an atmosphere of cooperation and support would emerge as a result. One pre -service teacher commented: I do not think that students with special needs will have a negative effect on the classroom. Those students will feel that they have become an integral part of this society and will work as hard as they can to maintain this. On the other hand, students in general education will sympathize and cooperate with them as peers. From an educational perspectiv e, this is very important to both groups of students. Other pre -service teachers were interested in the abilities of students with special needs. They believed that teachers tend to focus on what students with special needs can not do rather than what they can contribute to the classroom and the wider society. A pre -service teacher commented: Numerous students with special needs have creative abilities that most people do not know. These abilities may vividly emerge as a result of placing them in natural se ttings with their peers in general education. I do not expect a negative effect on the classroom. In contrast, those students may have a very positive effect on other students. In summary, most participants believed that students with special needs may create problems in the general education classrooms. More specifically, students with behavioral problems were seen as the most challenging to include and were expected to cause too much disturbance in the general education classroom. Moreover, pre -service teachers had doubts about the academic benefits of inclusion for students with other disabilities (i.e., mental retardation and hearing and visual impairments) and students without disabilities. However, teachers roles were seen as the most important when d ealing with these problems. In contrast, less than one third of participants (32.6%) reported mutual positive impact on students with and without disabilities as a result of inclusion. Pre -service teachers offered that

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77 feelings of sympathy and support were expected to spread between general education students which would result in more productive cooperation between children with and without disabilities. It was hypothesized that this healthy interaction could promote the creative abilities of students with special needs. Teachers T rain ing and Pre -service P reparation When asked whether pre -service teachers believe d that general education teachers ha d sufficient expertise/training to te ach in inclusive settings, 1487 (91.5%) pre -service teach ers answered no, and only 138 (8.5%) answered yes. Throughout the written comments, the majority of participants were not satisfied with the level of training general educators had related to teaching in inclusive classrooms. They believed that general education teac hers lack ed skills, experience, and training that would be necessary to teach in inclusive settings. Pre -service teachers reported that t hey were prepared to work only with students in general education. A pre service teacher who was a senior wrote: I do not think that general education teachers are ready to teach students with special needs in their classrooms. Those students need well prepared teachers who have the expertise and the preparation related to inclusion. In the inclusive settings, students ne eds are different and vary according to their abilities and disabilities. Special strategies are needed in these settings and teachers in general education do not have enough expertise to do that. Because of the lack of training and expertise, pre -service teachers believed that a special education teacher might perform better when teaching students with special needs. The previous experience with these students and proper training were considered crucial factors as evidenced by almost all pre -service teachers responses. One pre -service teacher wrote: Students with special needs will be in these classrooms. You can not use the same strategies that have proven effective with students in general education to teach them. They need special education teachers who have the expertise, training, and previous experience needed to do this job.

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78 The expertise and training for teachers were considered a major reason for many pre service teachers anti -inclusion beliefs. When asked: Do you believe that general education te achers have sufficient expertise/training to teach in inclusive settings ?, one pre-service teacher stated: This is an important question because inherent in the answer might be the reason for me objecting inclusion. It is a good idea but we can not do it i n light of the current educational system. We need lots of resources, training, and professional development for teachers to get the desired results. Moreover, when participants were asked about their feelings of preparedness to teach students with specia l needs in their classrooms, 1384 (85.2%) stated that they did not feel prepared to teach students with special needs in their classroom. O nly 241 (14.8%) were willing to teach students with disabilities after participating in extensive training. Throughou t the comments, the majority of pre -service teachers were not satisfied with the level of preparation they had related to curriculum and instruction in inclusive classrooms. Indeed, all pre -service teachers reported no participation in any courses related to inclusion. Moreover, their teaching placements were only in general education classrooms. A pre -service teacher commented: I am not ready to teach in inclusive classrooms because I do not have any previous experience with students with disabilities. My teacher education program did not provide me with knowledge about these students, their skills, abilities, and/or disabilities. Although I am emotionally prepared to teach those students, my preparation does not make me a qualified candidate to do this job All pre -service teachers comments reflected concerns about their preparation versus the preparation of special education teachers. They believed that only teachers who had the proper preparation and training should teach students with special needs. One pre -service teacher offered: Teaching students with special needs demands special skills which I do not have at all. Special education candidates who specifically prepared to teach those students might have these skills because of their preparation. If I have to do this [teach in inclusive settings], I need an intensive training before walking in these classrooms.

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79 Although the majority of participants were not in favor of teaching in inclusive classrooms, numerous pre -service teachers expressed their willi ngness to teach in these classrooms only after receiving the proper preparation and training. A pre -service teacher who was a junior wrote: I did not get the preparation necessary to teach in these classrooms. However, if our teacher education program is d eveloped to provide us with the teaching skills needed for inclusion, I might be ready to teach students with special needs in my classroom. Some pre -service teachers reported having some knowledge about students with special needs throughout their studies in the College of Education. However, they saw this knowledge as insufficient and still did not feel prepared to teach in inclusive classrooms. One pre -service teacher stated: I have taken some classes in educational psychology that just so happened to pr ovide me with some knowledge about the psychological and emotional development of students with special needs. However, these were only theoretical case reports without any practical applications in real teaching situations. I need more than thatI need re al experience. Even those participants who reported having a desire to work with students with disabilities pleaded for more training and experience. A pre -service teacher stated: I feel that I will be ready to teach students with special needs because I l ove them and I have much sympathy towards them. However, I need enough training and experience to be able to teach them along with their peers in general education. Another pre -service teacher proposed a reform for the teacher education program to address the needs of pre -service teachers who are willing to teach in inclusive classrooms. She suggested: I think that teacher educators should work to develop and teach courses about inclusion and, in general, teaching in diverse classrooms. This diversity is al most absent from our program. We dont even know how to teach students with learning disabilities. It is not an easy mission and I am afraid of failure that no one could cure. In summary, numerous pre -service teachers expressed concerns about lack of train ing and expertise that general education teachers have to teach in inclusive classrooms. They believed that current general education teachers, who graduated from similar teacher education programs,

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80 are not ready to work wit h students with special needs. They reported having neither the experience nor the training needed to do this job. In many cases, this lack of expertise/training was considered the major reason for espousing anti inclusion beliefs. Similarly, most participants reported feelings of unpr eparedness to teach in inclusive settings. Pre -service teachers reported that their teacher education programs did not provide them with courses about teaching students with disabilities either in inclusive classrooms or in isolated settings. Therefore, th e majority of pre -service teachers recommended that only teachers with special education preparation could teach students with disabilities. However, many pre -service teachers were willing to teach in inclusive classrooms if enough preparation was offered to them. They suggested a reform for their teacher education program to meet the current changes in inclusion policy. They advocated for more information about strategies for teaching in more diverse classrooms. School R esources When pre -service teachers w ere asked whether Egyptian schools had sufficient resources to accommodate students with special needs, 94.1% answered no, and only 96 students (5.9%) answered yes. Indeed, most pre -service teachers recognized that schools were lacking appropriate resources to accommodate students with special needs. They indicated that schools have a very tight budget and even the school personnel were lacking the appropriate preparation. One pre -service teacher stated: I do not believe that our schools are ready, fina ncially and scientifically for inclusion. I do not know how a student with a physical disability, for example, will have access to these schools. Moreover, t he school personnel are not prepared to provide services for students with special needs. Most of those personnel look at those students as retarded people and, consequently, have no right to learn like others. It is not just the equipment that we really need.

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81 Moreover, some of pre -service teachers indicated that teacher preparation is easier said than done, considering the teacher shortage and the increasing number of students in general education classrooms. A pre -service teacher commented: It is obvious that general education classrooms are overloaded in terms of student numbers. These increasing num bers of students puts too much pressure on general education teachers. Consequently, teachers do not have the time, or even the energy, to participate in professional development related to inclusion. And no one can blame them. Some other comments focused on school personnel and their abilities to study schools needs and hire educators who are ready to teach in inclusive environments. A pre -service teacher suggested: Egyptian schools need resources, experiences, and enough studies before adopting inclusion To make sure that inclusion works, we need educators who have the ability to make a real change inside the classrooms. Those educators should have the will and the ability to influence general education students perspectives toward students with special needs. Although the majority of participants believed that Egyptian schools were not ready to provide services for students with special needs, many of them proposed ideas to deal with the current situation. They indicated that reforming the general educa tion schooling system to make it ready for inclusive practices was a must. Some aspects of this reform are reflected in the following comment: I do not think that schools have enough resources necessary to set the stage for inclusion. However, students in general education should be prepared to deal with those newcomers and training should be provided to teachers and school administrators regarding accommodations that should be established for them. In addition, proper equipments like hearing and visual a ids should be available for those who need them. However, a few pre -service teachers who were in favor of inclusion stood firm ly to their opinions and recommended inclusion even with the lack of resources. One pre -service teacher wrote: Inclusion is not adopted on a large scale yet. Thus, schools are lacking resources for it. However, I believe that these schools will be ready if inclusion policy is adopted and

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82 pushed by policy makers. It is only a matter of time and training and resources will be available In summary, participants believed that Egyptian schools do not have the resources needed to put inclusive policy and practices in place. Pre -service teacher reported that these schools were lacking the financial and human resources to adopt inclusion. Un prepared school personnel, overloaded classes, and lack of proper equipment were considered major barriers that would prove problematic for inclusive education to happen in Egypt. However, a few pre -service teachers believed that the availability of resour ces would be a matter of time and it was simply because inclusion was not adopted on a wide scale yet.

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83 Table 4 1. Questionnaires items and their correlation with the scale (alpha = .89). Items Item Total Correlation 1 Students with special needs should be given every opportunity to function in the general classroom where possible. 0.58 2 The inclusion of students with special needs can be beneficial for students without disabilities. 0.57 3 Inclusion promotes social independence among students with specia l needs. 0.32 4 The nature of the study in general classroom classrooms will promote the academic growth of the students with special needs. 0.55 5 The study skills of students with special needs are inadequate for success in the general education classroom 0.36 6 Inclusion promotes understanding and acceptance of individual differences between students without disabilities and students with special needs. 0.53 7 Students without disabilities will likely avoid interacting with students with special needs in t he inclusive classrooms. 0.33 8 Inclusion promotes self esteem among children with special needs. 0.47 9 Students with special needs lose the stigma of being different or failures when placed in the general education classrooms. 0.46 10 Isolation in a spec ial classroom has beneficial effect on the social and emotional development of the students with special needs. 0.46 11 General classroom teachers have sufficient training to teach students with special needs. 0.27 12 Students with special needs are likely to create confusion in the general education classroom. 0.47 13 Teaching students with special needs is better done by special rather than general classroom teachers. 0.43 14 The behavior of students with special needs will set a bad example for other students in the classroom. 0.45

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84 Table 4 1. Continued Items Item Total Correlation 15 Students with disabilities will not waste the general classroom teachers time. 0.50 16 It is likely that the students with special needs will exhibit behavior problems in a general education classroom. 0.34 17 Increased freedom in the general classroom creates too much confusion for the student with a special need. 0.33 18 Students with special needs will make an adequate attempt to complete their assignments in general education classrooms. 0.42 19 The extra attention students with special needs require will be to the detriment of the other students in the classroom. 0.53 20 General classroom teachers have the primary responsibility to teach students with special needs in their cla ssrooms. 0.34 21 Inclusion will likely have a negative effect on the emotional development of the students with special needs. 0.46 22 General classroom teachers have the appropriate capability to work with students with special needs. 0.37 23 Inclusion of stud ents with special needs will necessitate extensive retraining of general classroom teachers. 0.15 24 Students with special needs can be best served in general education classrooms. 0.61 25 It is difficult to maintain order in classrooms that contain a mix of s tudents with and without special needs. 0.54 26 Inclusion of students with special needs will require significant changes in general education classroom procedures. 0.26 27 The behavior of the students with special needs does not require more attention from t he teacher than the behavior of students without special needs. 0.26

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85 Table 4 1. Continued Items Item Total Correlation 28 The student with a special need will probably develop academic skills more rapidly in a general education classroom than in a s pecial education classroom. 0.56 In my view, most students with the following special needs can be educated in general education classrooms: 29 Learning disabilities 0.29 30 Emotional and behavioral disorders 0.23 31 Hearing impairments 0.39 32 Visual impairments 0.39 33 Mental retardation 0.27

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86 Table 4 2. Pre -service teachers mean scores and standard deviations subdivided by special needs category. Category M SD Learning disabilities 3.33 1.36 Emotional and behavioral disorders 2.67 1.35 Hearing imp airments 2.75 1.34 Visual impairments 2.79 1.37 Mental retardation 1.89 1.14 Table 4 3. Between -s ubjects (2 x 3) analysis of variance source table. Source SS Df MS F Class Standing 20689.28 2 10344.64 29.90** Educational Program 1902 .90 1 1902.90 5.50** Class Standing Educational program 2238.10 2 1119.05 3.23** Error 560179.77 1619 346.00 Corrected Total 588473.25 1624 ** significant at alpha = .05 level Table 4 4. Scheffe comparison for c l ass standing. 95% CI Comp arisons Mean Difference Std. Error Lower Bound Upper Bound Sophomore vs. Junior 6.90* 1.13 4.13 9.67 Sophomore vs. Senior 8.87* 1.12 6.13 11.62 Junior vs. Senior 1.97 1.14 0.82 4.77 significant at alpha = .05 level

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87 Table 4 5. Themes and codes of pre -service teachers perspectives toward issue s related to inclusion Supportive of Inclusion Not Supportive of Inclusion Support for Inclusion Concept Equal rights Removal of stereotypes Social interaction/satisfaction of students with disabi lities Challenges of teaching in inclusive setting Academic, psychological, and emotional impact of students with special needs Better service provided in special education classroom Teaching in inclusive classrooms Beliefs in general in teachers role Empathy and support for students Lack of preparation Beliefs in separate settings Issues with specific disabilities (e.g., mental retardation) Benefits of inclusion Interaction with peers Social preparation for life Integration into society Uncomforta ble classroom climate Time consuming Negative impact on academic achievement Effect of students with special needs Sympathy and cooperation from general education students Others see their abilities rather than disabilities Behavioral problems Academic problems Use too much teacher time Negative attitudes of general education students Pre service preparation and teachers training Have some critical knowledge about students with special needs Even without training, they are supportive and willing to he lp Their preparation only for students in general education No courses about inclusion No teacher training in inclusive settings Special education majors are more prepared School resources Will be available if inclusion policy is adopted by policy make rs Lack of equipment Unprepared personnel Class sizes too large

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88 Figure 4 1. Mean scores of the secondary and elementary majors at the three class standing levels.

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89 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND IMPLI CATIONS The purpose of this chapter is to relate the findings detailed in the previous chapter to existing literature and describe how such findings extend the current literature base related to attitudes toward inclusive education Moreover, implications for teacher educators, policy makers, and school -based p ersonnel concerning general education teacher preparation related to inclusive educational practices will be offered. In addition, study limitations and suggestions for future research will be noted. Discussion This investigation examined Egyptian pre -serv ice general educators attitudes toward the inclusion of students with special needs in general education classrooms. Results indicated that pre -service teachers in Egypt expressed more negative than positive attitudes toward the inclusion of students with special needs in general education settings. Another important finding is that pre -service teachers reported more negative attitudes toward the inclusion of children with mental retardation than they did toward other disabilities (e.g., hearing and visual impairments). Although students with emotional and behavioral disorders were rated more favorably than students with mental retardation, the pre -service teachers written responses reflected many concerns regarding the inclusion of students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Furthermore, students with learning disabilities were rated more favorably than students with other disabilities. Another important finding was that second year pre -service teachers (sophomores) at the College of Education exhibi ted significantly more positive attitudes toward inclusion than both third year pre -service teachers (juniors) and fourth year pre -service teachers (seniors). Not surprisingly, there were statistically non -significant differences between juniors and senior s.

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90 Similarly, there were statistically non -significant differences between elementary and secondary majors who were sophomores and juniors respectively. However, the group of secondary education majors who were seniors expressed more positive attitudes tow ard inclusion than the group of elementary education majors. Other variables were examined, such as gender differences and previous contact with people with disabilities. The findings indicated that male participants had more positive attitudes toward inc lusion than female participants. Furthermore, pre -service teachers who reported social relationships with persons who have disabilities exhibited more positive attitudes toward inclusion than pre -service teachers who did not report such relationships. Throughout the written responses, pre -service teachers appeared unsupportive of the general concept of inclusion; that is, general education classrooms were not considered the most appropriate setting for students with special needs. Although about half of the participants expressed their willingness to accommodate students with special needs in their classrooms, concerns regarding teacher education preparation, in -service training, and students with specific special needs (e.g., mental retardation and emotiona l and behavior disorders) were raised. Moreover, when asked about who would benefit from inclusion, most pre -service teachers stated that students with and without disabilities would be harmed by inclusive practices. More specifically, a chaotic atmosphere was expected to spread in the inclusive classrooms where students with the most challenging behaviors were included. Furthermore, it was anticipated that the academic level of the students without disabilities would be negatively impacted by having studen ts with special needs included in the general education classroom. In addition, pre -service teachers raised issues related to their preparation, in -service teachers training, and adequate support services available in inclusive schools. They indicated

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91 tha t their teacher education program did not offer any type of preparation (e.g., coursework or field -based experiences) related to inclusion. They also noted that their teacher education program did not include preparation related to instructing students wit h disabilities in more restrictive settings. Likewise, pre -service teachers believed that in -service teachers who graduated from similar programs and taught only in general education classrooms, did not have the expertise or the proper training to teach in inclusive settings. Furthermore, the Egyptian schools were seen by the vast majority of participants as lacking appropriate materials, equipment, and readiness of school personnel to work with specialists to provide support services to students with special needs. The next section discusses these results in terms of previous research related to pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion. Pre -service Teachers General Attitudes toward Inclusion Findings from this study indicated that pre -service teach ers in Egypt have negative attitudes toward inclusion of students with special needs. Although previous research found a nonsystematic relationship between teachers attitudes and geographical area of the teachers surveyed (Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996), these findings are consistent with those of other studies conducted in the Arab countries. For example, Alghazo, Dodeen, and Algaryouti (2003) found that pre -service teachers, in general, had negative attitudes toward persons with disabilities in both Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In another study, general education teachers in the UAE were found to have negative attitudes toward inclusion (Alghazo & Gaad, 2004). Similarly, Palestinian Arab teachers reported negative attitudes toward inclusion of students with disabilities at both in -service ( Gumpel & Awartani, 2003; Lifshitz, Glaubman, & Issawi, 2004) and pre -service (Romi & Leyser, 2006) levels. It is notable that Arab people in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and UAE share many cultural aspects (e.g. language, habits, and religion).

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92 It is important to note that the cross -cultural literature supports the notion that practicing teachers and pre -service teachers differ in their dispositions toward inclusion, specifically in terms of the structure of th eir educational systems in general and special education In their cross -cultural study, Leyser and colleagues (1994) found differences in the attitudes toward inclusion between teachers of countries located on different continent s (e.g., United States, Ge rmany, Ghana, and Taiwan). In this study, teachers from Asia and Africa exhibited less positive attitudes. The authors reasoned that this was due to the limited number of training opportunities for teachers to work in inclusive settings and the limited opp ortunities for inclusion in these countries. In the United States and Germany, teachers expressed the most positive attitudes. This might be attributed to the fact that inclusion is more widely practiced in the United States as compared to countries in Asi a and Africa. However, in Germany most of the students with special needs were educated in segregated settings since inclusion was only being tried on an experimental level. Similarly, Sharma et al. (2006) concluded that pre -service teachers from Western a nd Western -style institutions ( i.e., Australia and Canada) had more positive attitudes toward students with disabilities than their Eastern counterparts (i.e., Hong Kong and Singapore) O n practically every measure utilized, Canadian pre -service teachers were the most positive about inclusion The authors surmised t hat the Canadian participants themselves might have received their education in inclusive classrooms This would be in contrast to Hong Kong and Singapore, where inclusion is a relatively new ph enomenon. One reason for the negative attitudes of Egyptian pre -service teachers in this study could be that they had not been informed that students with special needs would be included in general education classrooms and that, as general educators, they would be responsible for teaching these students in their classrooms. Because expanding inclusive services is a relatively new

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93 governmental policy and the public schools are the major providers of the educational services in Egypt, the vast majority of pr e -service teachers have not had the opportunity to be involved with discussions or debates about inclusive education for students with disabilities. Moreover, many teacher educators and researchers also may not have heard about the changes that have been m ade at the Ministry of Education level because of the notable disconnect between educational institutions in Egypt. This is reflected in the lack of research in the area of inclusion and the absence of inclusive strategies in pre -service teachers textbook s. Historically, students in general education and special education in Egypt have been taught in separate schools by teachers whose preparation was dissimilar. Recently, some students with special needs were moved to be educated in self -contained classrooms in general education schools. Although it might be possible that pre -service teachers in this study continued to show strong attachment to the traditional system with which they are most familiar, the previous literature indicated that positive changes might have happened in pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion if they were offered coursework (Andrews & Clementson, 1997; Wilczenski, 1993) and field experiences (Rademacher et al., 1998; Reber et al., 1995) in inclusive settings. Pre -service teachers in this study neither had the experience of contact with students with special needs through their education prior to their enrollment in the college nor were they offered proper preparation to implement inclusion in their future classrooms. Thus, t hese negative attitudes could be due to limited or nonexistent preparation for pre -service teachers to acquire inclusion competencies. Findings from this study also indicated that pre -service teachers were concerned about the inclusion of students with specific types of special needs. Participants rated the inclusion of students with mental retardation less favorably than students with other disabilities. Students

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94 with emotional and behavioral disorder and students with hearing and visual impairments were also rated less favorably than students with learning disabilities. This is hardly surprising because teachers have been consistently opposed to the inclusion of difficult to teach students in their classrooms (Alghazo & Gaad, 2004; Avramidis et al., 2000b ; Meijer, 1998). It is offered that the severity level of students with disabilities who are included appeared to determine teachers level of support for inclusion (Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996). These findings support research by Shotel and colleagues (19 72), reviewed by Scruggs and Mastropieri, which demonstrated that only 28.9% of the teachers were in favor of the inclusion of students with emotional disturbance, and only 22.8% supported the inclusion of students labeled as educable mentally retarded. Ho wever, 71.9% of the teachers supported the inclusion of students with learning disabilities. In this study, the mean scores for participants indicated that pre -service teachers were only positive toward the inclusion of students with learning disabilities. In the Egyptian context, this could be partially because most of these students are not identified in the classrooms. The educational system is lacking the proper standardized assessment tools that provide an accurate identification for students with lear ning disabilities. Pre -service teachers in this study might have gone through their pre -college education without identifying a single student that was labeled with a learning disability. Therefore, most of them might think that students with learning disa bilities are those students who struggle academically and could be making progress after regular teaching in general education classrooms. This explanation is also supported by Wang and colleagues (1988) who demonstrated that students with mild disabilitie s, such as learning disabilities, have been presented as not being significantly dissimilar to students without identified disabilities. However, some research has shown that once general education teachers

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95 have gained experience teaching students with lea rning disabilities in their classrooms; their support for inclusion has declined (Soodak et al., 1998; Wilczenski, 1993). Finally, these findings support provisions based on tolerance theory (Gerber, 1988) and affirm the previous research results that teachers are more inclined to accept the inclusion of students with mild disabilities than students with more severe intellectual and emotional and behavioral disabilities (Cook, 2002; Forlin, 1995; Ward et al., 1994). This specific tolerance might be based on a common belief that students with mild disabilities require less modification of curriculum and instruction (Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996). These findings have been previously supported in the literature with pre -service teachers. Specifically, Cook (2002) found that pre -service teachers exhibited m ore positive attitudes regarding the inclusion of students with learning disabilities as compared to students with behavior disorders, mental retardation, and multiple disabilities Similarly, Avramidis et al. ( 2000b) found that pre -service teachers reported more concern and stress related to students with emotional and behavioral disorders as compared to students with other types of disabilities Variables Related to Pre -service Teachers Attitudes Several varia bles related to pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion were identified in this study. There are two categories of these variables: (a) variables associated with pre service education (i.e., class standing and educational program), and (b) variabl es associated with pre -service teachers characteristics (i.e., contact experience and gender differences). These variables will be discussed in the following sections. Class standing In this study, pre -service teachers who were sophomores exhibited more p ositive attitudes toward inclusion than juniors and seniors. It is unlikely that these attitudes toward inclusive education were influenced by the participants teacher education program because sophomore

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96 pre -service teachers in Egypt have completed only i ntroductory courses in psychology and foundations of education and have had no field based experiences at the point of data collection. This finding is consistent with findings reported in other studies. For instance, Jung (2007) found that first -year pre -service teachers exhibited more positive attitudes toward inclusion than pre service teachers who were ahead in the teacher education program and had completed at least 10 hour s of field experience in inclusive settings. Similarly, Lambe and Bones (2006) o ffered that pre -service teachers, at the start of their pre-service training, had positive attitudes toward inclusion. These researchers concluded that this early stage of teacher education preparation was the most effective time to foster positive attitud es about inclusive education by providing appropriate training. It seems that the positive attitudes of pre -service teachers who were early in their teacher education programs reflect the optimism associated with the entering beliefs of pre -service teacher s (Pajares, 1992). Moreover, several research teams have found that pre -service teachers have a well -developed set of personal beliefs about school, teaching, and learning before entering their teacher education programs and these beliefs are constructed on the basis of culture and personal experience (Anderson et al., 1995; Joram & Gabriele, 1998; Lonka, Joram, & Bryson, 1996; Tatto, 1998 ). Joram and Gabriele (1998) indicated that these intuitive beliefs might be considered more or less difficult to change based on the feedback that pre -service teachers receive from the environment related to their beliefs. These findings concur with the findings from the present research given that pre -service teachers were not given feedback or provided first -hand knowledge related to inclusive education in their teacher education program. By the time the questionnaire was administered, pre -service teachers who were juniors already had started their practicum experiences in their appointed general education schools. It is

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97 probable that, as they progressed in their educational program from the sophomore to the junior level with more educational courses and field -based placements, pre -service teachers were exposed to the challenges that face the education system in Egypt in general. Thus, their attitudes toward inclusion might have been negatively influenced by their frustration related to the lack of readiness of the educational system to support students with special needs in general education settings. Educational program The differences between pre -service teachers who were elementary and secondary majors a nd were sophomore s and junior s were statistically non -significant in this study Sophomore pre service teachers from both majors were more positive about inclusive educa tion, while junior pre -service teachers held more negative attitudes. In addition, senior pre -service teachers who were secondary majors exhibited significantly more positive attitudes toward inclusion than their counterparts who were elementary majors. Th ese findings support existing research with inservice teachers regarding the grade level taught and teachers attitudes toward inclusion. For example, in their cross -cultural study in six nations, Leyser and colleagues (1994) reported that, across all nat ions, secondary school teachers including junior high teachers, displayed significantly more positive attitudes toward inclusion than did elementary school teachers However, other studies indicated that elementary school teachers reported more positive p erspectives toward inclusion as compared to their sec ondary counterparts (Savage & Wienke, 1989; Stephens & Braun, 1980). Some research has shown that, at the practical level elementary teachers may be more likely to make adaptations for students with lea rning disabilities through planning individual assignments, alternative materials, and individualized assessments than were secondary teachers (Schumm & Vaughn, 1991). In other studies (see Hannah, 1988 for a review), there was no difference between elemen tary, junior, and senior high school teachers

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98 attitudes about the inclusion of students with special needs. Therefore, because the results of research on the relationship between the educational program and attitudes toward inclusion are inconsistent, it is possible that other factors related to the structure of teacher education programs have contributed to these findings. More research is needed to thoroughly investigate these factors and their relationships to attitudes. Experience of c ontact This stu dy provides evidence regarding the effect of contact with people with disabilities on pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion. Pre -service teachers who reported having contact with people with disabilities at the social level exhibited more positi ve attitudes toward inclusion than their counterparts who did not reported such relationships. Previous studies demonstrated that pre -service teachers with professional and/or personal contact with people with special nee ds were more positive in their pers pectives toward inclusion (Bishop & Jones, 2002; Brownlee & Carrington, 2000; Eich inger, Rizzo, & Sirotnik, 1991; Hastings et al., 1996; Sharma et al., 2006). For example, a t the educational level pre -service teachers reported that the interaction with an assistant teacher who had a more apparent and severe disability ( cerebral palsy ) was generally a positive experience for pre -service teachers, provided them with first hand knowledge of disabilities, and helped them to develop more knowledge about people w ith disabilities (Brownlee & Carrington, 2000) However, other researchers reported that pre-service teachers experience with persons with special needs was not an important factor that determined attitudes toward inclusion (Hastings & Oakford, 2003) Re sults from research conducted with practicing teachers working in inclusive setting s indicated that general educators held favorable attitudes about inclusion after having direct, sustained contact with students with special needs (see Giangreco, Dennis, C loninger, Ede lman, & Schattman, 1993; Minke et al. 1996; McLeskey et al., 2001; Waldron, McLeskey, &

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99 Pacciano, 1999). According to Leyser et al. (1994), overall teachers contact and interactions with people with special needs appears to pr omote positive attitudes toward inclusion. However, in most of the pre -service teachers studies, insufficient control was provided regarding the quality of the contact between participants and people with disabilities. Therefore, it would be erroneous to conclude that t here is a consistent or predictable relationship between experience of contact with people who have disabilities and pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion. Hannah (1988) stated that, It may be that teachers who manifest positive attitudes are t hose who have had pleasant interactions with individuals who are disabled. Conversely, those teachers with more negative attitudes may have been involved in interactions that were perceived as unpleasant (p. 163). To understand the impact of the contact on the attitudes fully, more research is needed. Gender differences In this study, male pre -service teachers had more favorable attitudes toward inclusion than female pre -service teachers. Findings from other studies of both pre -service and in -service teach ers have shown that female pre -service teachers had more positive attitudes toward inclusion than males ( Alghazo & Gaad, 2004; Avramidis et al., 2000b; Eich inger et al., 1991; Tait & Purdie, 2000) However, other researchers (Beh -Pajooh, 1992; Berryman, 1989; Leyser et al., 1994; Stephens & Braun, 1980) did not report any gender differences that were related to attitudes. As the evidence appears inconsistent, it seems reasonable not to presume that either males or females hold more positive views about peop le with disabilities or inclusion. When evidence of gender differences exists, such findings might be ascribed to the influence of other variables, such as experience of contact or information (see Hannah, 1988).

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100 Pre -service Teachers Concerns about Inclusi on Pre -service teachers raised many issues related to inclusive education. Many of these issues previously have been discussed at the in -service teacher l evel (Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996). The following section discusses Egyptian pre -service teachers per spectives toward issues related to (a) support for the inclusion concept, (b) willingness to teach students with special needs, (c) benefits of inclusive education, (d) the possible effect of students with special needs on the general education classroom e nvironment, (e) pre -service teachers preparation and in service training, and (f) availability of school resources related to inclusion. Support for the i nclusion c oncept The majority of pre -service teachers in this study (56.6%) did not agree with the general concept of inclusion. They believed that students with and without disabilities would be negatively impacted by inclusive practices. Pre -service teachers believed students with special needs would be harmed emotionally and psychologically while stud ents without special needs would be harmed academically. This finding supports results from another study conducted with in -service teachers in the Egyptian context. Kafafi (2004) found that only 46% of general education teachers who participated in the st udy (136 in total) supported the concept of inclusion. Conversely, Scruggs and Mastropieri (1996) reported in their meta analysis, that two third s of the teachers surveyed (10, 560 in total) in the United States agreed with the general concept of inclusion but a smaller majority was willing to implement inclusi ve practices in their classrooms. However, their responses varied according to students disability status. Similarly, Lambe and Bones (2006) found that many pre -service teachers claimed to support i nclusion. However, these pre -service teachers expressed concerns about lack of appropriate preparation, available resources, and coping with the increasing number of students with disabilities. Moreover, the researchers indicated that a substantial number of pre -service

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101 teachers, despite claiming to support inclusion, believed in the importance of maintaining separate settings based on the students academic performance Indeed, similar concerns were raised by pre -service teachers in the present study This could partially be because the inclusion debate had just been initiated in Egypt and most of the pre -service teachers were confused and might be stressed about whether inclusion would work or not. As stated earlier, the first time the majority of pre -serv ice teachers heard about such a policy when the attitude questionnaire was administered. Teaching in inclusive classrooms Although most pre -service teachers were not in favor of in clusion in this study, slightly more than half of them expressed their willi ngness to teach students with disabilities in their classrooms. However, this support was not without concerns. Pre -service preparation, in -service training, and types of students with special needs were the leading concerns that pre -service teachers expressed. As evidenced by their comments, Egyptian pre -service teachers expressed the need for extensive preparation and in -service training. They also were unsure about the general educators abilities to teach students with specific types of disabilities, su ch as students with emotional and behavioral problems and s tudents with mental retardation. These findings were supported by many previous studies (Center & Ward, 1987; Scr uggs & Mastropieri, 1996) It has been reported that general educators attitudes t oward inclusion reflect the lack of confidence in their own instructional and classroom management skills (Center & Ward, 1987) In thei r study, Center and Ward found that teachers believed that they did not have the necessary preparation to teach students with disabilities and lacked opportunities to collaborate with special education teachers. Scruggs and Mastropieri (1996) concluded that the variability in support for inclusion seemed to emerge as a result of the disability severity levels of students wi th special needs in inclusive settings. These researchers found that teachers willingness to teach students

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102 with special needs covaried with the amount of extra teacher responsibility necessary to teach these students. Thus, the highest level of support w as given to students with special needs who required the least amount of modification in curriculum and instruction. In the Egyptian context, this perspective is understandable given that teaching in inclusive classrooms requires specific preparation that was not provided to pre -service teachers who participated in this study. Researchers who studied pre -service teachers attitudes toward the inclusion of students with different types of disabilities have reported similar results (see Avramidis et al., 2000 b ; Cook, 2002; Hastings & Oakford, 2003). Benefits of inclusive education Consistent with their views toward the concept of inclusion, the majority of pre -service teachers (68.2%) believed that students with and without special needs might not benefit from inclusive settings. Pre -service teachers feared that feelings of anger and embarrassment might spread among students with special needs and a state of extreme confusion and disorder could become the norm in the inclusive classroom. This finding is suppo rted by Andrews and Clementsons (1997) study with pre -service teachers. These researchers found that pre -service teachers were generally more favorable about inclusion, but had some doubts if all students would benefit. Moreover, these future teachers exp ressed doubts about the ability of many general education teachers to provide the necessary support for students with disabilities. Researchers recommended that effective teaching methodology is essential in fostering positive attitudes Other pre -service teachers in this study believed that students with special needs would benefit academically, socially, and emotionally from inclusion. Prior literature indicated that most teachers seem to agree with the notion that all students should benefit from inclusi on; however, these teachers also seem to disagree that the general education classroom is the only

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103 setting for children with special needs or that inclusive practices might provide academic or social benefits as compared to special education classrooms (Sc ruggs & Mastropieri, 1996; Zigmond & Baker, 1996). Additional research reported that s tudents with special needs were treated much like g eneral education students and that these students did not receive adaptations or differentiated instruction (McIntosh, Vaughn, Schumm, Haager, & Lee, 1993) because many students perceived these adaptations unfavorably (Vaughn, Schumm, & Kouzekanani, 1993 ) or the adaptations were viewed by teachers as not feasible (Schumm & Vaughn, 1991) Most pre service teachers in this s tudy were unsure about the adaptations needed for students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. There were no indications that pre -service teachers have the preparation needed for providing the necessary accommodations for students with disabilities in their future classrooms. Effect of students with special needs Pre -service teachers were a sked about possible negative classroom effects due to inclusion. About two thirds of the respondents agreed that students with special needs might create problems for teachers and general education students. These results support findings from previous research with pre -service teachers who expressed concerns about the inclusion of certain types of students with disabilities (see Avramidis et al., 2000b; Hastings & Oakford, 2003). For example, Romi and Leyser (2006) found that although pre -service teachers supported inclusion and believed in the benefits of inclusion for all students they expressed co ncerns about behavior problems and management issues in inclusive settings It is important to note that teachers in this study also supported segregated placements for students with certain types of special needs. Scruggs and Mastropieri (1996) reported that a substantial number of teachers believed that students with special needs could create problems for them. These teachers suggested significant changes in the classrooms to accommodate students with disabilities.

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104 However, many of the teachers were not necessarily willing to make such changes in curriculum and inst ruction. Therefore, considering the recent trend toward providing inclusi ve services in Egyptian schools, pre -service teachers should be provided with preparation in behavior management and curriculum adaptation to meet the needs of diverse students in the inclusive classrooms. About one third of Egyptian pre -service teachers indicated mutual psychological and academic benefits for students with and without disabilities. However, numerous pre -service teachers were concerned about general education students and their reactions to inclusion, and some of these future teachers considered general education students the true victims of inclusion. They recommended that the opinions of students in general education classrooms be sought before implementing inclusiv e practices. Previous research addressing perspectives of peers toward students with special needs has indicated that although students without disabilities showed more tolerance with increased contact with their peers with special needs ( Esposito & Reed, 1986), general education students paid no pa rti cular attention to their counterparts with special education needs in the classroom (Lovitt, Plavins, & Cushing, 1999) Moreover, students with special needs, especially those with atypical behavior, were less accepted by their peers and they, themselves, did not appear to engender peer acceptance (Cook & Semmel, 1999). Although inclusion in Egypt still at the experimental level, it would be insightful to study how students with and without disabilities accept each other in the inclusive classroom. This would be an important study because teaching strategies that utilize peer assistance are integral part of the inclusive settings. Pre -service preparation and in -service training Although there is evidence that p ositive attitudes about inclusion correlate with feelings of being well prepared (Bender et al., 1995; Gemmell -Crosby & Hanzlik, 1994) all pre -service

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105 teachers in this study stated that their preparation program had done nothing to prepare them for incl usion. Regardless of their class standing or educational program, the vast majority of participants (85.2%) reported a lack of confidence and unpreparedness to teach in inclusive classrooms. This is hardly surprising given that the structure of their gener al education program did not include a single course about exceptional learners in general or inclusive education in particular. Previous literature has documented the positive effect of special education coursework in relation to pre -service teachers per spectives toward inclusion and increased awareness of techniques for successful inclusive practices ( Carroll et al., 2003; Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996; Shade & Stewart, 2001; Shippen, Crites, Houchins, Ramsey & Simon 2005). Shippen and colleagues (2005) found that information provided in the Survey of Exceptionality course concerning the nature and needs of students with disabilities had a greater calming effect on the general education pre -service teachers as compared to their counterparts (i.e., spec ial education teachers, or teachers receiving a dual certification in general and special education). These researchers concluded that If general education teachers are less anxious about including students with disabilities, inclusion is more likely to b e successful (p. 97). Similarly, Shade and Stewart (2001) examined the effect of an introductory course in special education on general and special education pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion They found that the course positively changed t he attitudes of both future general and special educators. It has been reported that n ot only were most of the university based courses effective in enhancing the knowledge level and the attitudes of pre -service teachers toward inclusion but the field -ba sed experiences also influenced these attitudes P revious literature indicated that students who engaged in guided practicum experience s expressed more positive attitudes toward

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106 inclusion (Reber et al., 1995). Campbell and colleagues (2003) found that pre -service teachers exhibited more positive att itudes toward inclusion of children with Down syndrome and children with disabilities in general following a university course and field work experience which offered an in -depth investigation of one area of di sability ( e.g ., Down syndrome). The researchers indicated that pre -service teachers showed greater coping skills when interacting with people with disabilities through the field work experience. In sum, it appears that pre service teachers who have more information about and experience with students with specific disabilities are more willing to teach these students in their classrooms. However, other investigations did not report statistically significant positive changes in pre -service teachers attitu des following university courses regardless of whether or not these courses were accompanied by field -based experiences. For example, although Tait and Purdie (2000) found a higher level of sympathy among pre -service teachers who had daily contact with peo ple with special needs, a one -year general teacher training course was ineffective in influencing pre -service teachers attitudes in a positive way. Similarly, Kirk (1998) reported no increase in general education pre-service teachers positive attitudes t oward working with students with disabilities after completion of a special education course. It is important to note that this course included 15 hours of field work with students with disabilities However, the researcher reported that pre -service teachers became more aware and more realistic about the following: (a) the career path they had selected, (b) different student learning styles, and (c) instructional adaptations and extra time and support that w ould be required of them Given these conflicting results, it could be concluded that while pre -service preparation seems to have a favorable impact on pre -service teachers attitudes, additional research is needed to isolate the critical elements in teacher education programs that contribute to the posit ive attitudes.

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107 Similarly, n umerous pre -service tea chers in this study (91.5%) believed that in -service general education teachers d id not have sufficient expertise to teach in inclusive classrooms. This could be because pre -service teachers were aware tha t neither the school system nor pre -service preparation in Egypt implement s programs designed to enhance teachers abilities to teach students with special needs in general education classrooms However, there is evidence that such training makes a positiv e difference (Leyser et al., 1994; Waldron & McLeskey, 1998). In a well designed project Waldron and McLeskey (1998) worked collaboratively with a local school system to develop a system of service delivery for the education of students with mild disabil ities title d Inclusive School Program (ISP) The researchers found that school improvement plans shared several common elements across the three schools that participated in the project. These elements included positive cooperation between general and spec ial education teachers, closing separate classes for students with mental retardation and learning disabilities, and using instructional assistants to support students with special needs in general education classrooms. Moreover, when compared to students provided with services in a resource room, students in the ISP made more progress in reading and similar progress in math. In a follow up study, the researchers indicated that these changes were maintained over a number of years after the departure of the researchers (McLeskey & Wal dron, 2002), and resulted in improved teacher attitudes toward inclusion (McLeskey et al., 2001). In summary, e ven though many Egyptian pre -service teachers expressed a willingness to teach students with special needs in their cl assrooms, they did not necessarily feel prepared to teach in inclusive settings. Pre and in -service training was seen as an important factor in improving their attitudes and feelings of preparedness to teach in inclusive settings. Participants in this stu dy considered their current level of training as inadequate simply because they did not

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108 know how to help students with special needs in general education classroom. Perhaps the most discouraging finding was that not a single participant mentioned curricula r adaptations or instructional techniques as a reason for being willing to teach students with special needs. Pre service teachers who expressed their willingness to teach students with special needs in their classrooms attributed their disposition to pers onal characteristics and experiences unrelated to their preparation in the teacher education program. School resources for inclusion Pre -service teachers considered the absence of appropriate materials and equipment and well -trained school personnel in ge neral education schools as barriers to successful inclusion. Even those pre -service teachers who strongly supported inclusion indicated that knowing what to do was impor tant, but not sufficient. Pre -service teachers in this study were very critical of the services provided for typical children in general education settings and therefore, were concerned about services for students with special needs in general education settings. Although previous research has documented the relationship between teachers co mmitment to inclusion, beliefs about their success in inclusive settings, and the personnel support they receive ( Brownell & Pajares, 1999; Kruger, Struzziero, & Vacca, 1995; Smith & Smith, 2000), teachers believed that insufficient resources were availabl e to support inclusion (Scruggs & Mastropieri, 1996). Moreover, the evidence suggests that teachers might be willing to accept students with disabilities in their classrooms if class size was controlled. Scruggs and Mastropieri reported that general educat ors believed that reducing class size to fewer than 20 students would facilitate inclusion efforts. In the present study, participants believed that Egyptian public schools were overloaded in terms of class size and, consequently, it would be challenging to implement inclusion in such classrooms. The findings from this study suggest that support services are

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109 crucial to the way that prospective teachers view inclusion as successful or unsuccessful in practice. Implications Findings that Egyptian pre -serv ice general education teachers exhibited negative attitudes toward inclusion for students with special needs, especially students with mental retardation, behavioral problems, and hearing and visual impairments, suggest that these students may not receive appropriate educational services and may encounter unfavorable learning conditions in future inclusive settings. Pre -service teachers in this study indicated that a significant factor that contributes to this resistance is their lack of information and ski lls related to inclusive education. More specifically, these prospective teachers reported that they lack the knowledge and skills needed to make adaptations (e.g., modifications and accommodations) to curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of studen ts with disabilities. Furthermore, the structure of their teacher education program does not include courses or field experiences related to educating students with special needs in general education classrooms. This strongly suggests that teacher educator s across Egypt need to develop inclusive teacher education programs that prepare pre service teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills to address the needs of students with special needs. When developing teacher education programs, it is important t hat teacher educators be aware that the previous literature was inconsistent regarding the effectiveness of the coursework in influencing pre -service teachers attitudes. An overview course in special education may not be sufficient to prepare general educators to teach in inclusive settings. Likewise, infusing special education content through general education courses also may not be effective in addressing the instructional issues necessary for effective inclusive practices (Cook, 2002). Thus, when creat ing the inclusive teacher education programs it is important to thoroughly investigate

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110 the knowledge, experience and attitudes of training providers, t he quality of the training materials and the training method to effectively influence pre-service teach ers attitudes and skills related to inclusion. Field placement schools also need to be examined prior to pre -service teachers placements to make sure that they are prepared to scaffold the first -hand inclusive experiences for pre service teachers. This examination should focus on the attitudes of school personnel, cooperating teachers, and general education students toward people with disabilities in general and inclusion in particular. Moreover, investigating school resources related to inclusion is al so crucial for pre service training to be successful. Teacher educators may participate in this process by asking pre service teachers to investigate possible resources available in schools for students with disabilities and report findings to their instru ctors. This procedure may strengthen pre -service teachers knowledge of resources available in schools and engage them in practical experiences related to inclusion. Findings from this study indicate that the availability of these resources and making good use of them contributes to the way that pre -service teachers perceive inclusion as a successful or unsuccessful practice. A second concern voiced by pre -service teachers related to the lack of readiness of schools in Egypt to address inclusion. This conc ern is well founded, in that local schools in Egypt have just begun to develop inclusive programs. This finding suggests that it would be highly useful to develop model inclusive programs in local schools throughout Egypt. These schools could serve as a mo del for pre -service teachers to observe as they study inclusive education in their teacher education programs. Furthermore, these model programs would be useful as sites where teachers and administrators from other schools that are planning to develop an i nclusive program can observe and learn how inclusion works, at least in one school setting.

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111 One finding of this study was the apparent positive effect of the experience of contact with people with special needs on pre -service teachers attitudes toward in clusion. However, the majority of participants did not report having such contact at the social level. These types of experiences may improve attitudes toward persons with disabilities in general and inclusion in particular. However, it is important to not e that there is some inconsistency in the professional literature regarding the effectiveness of contact with persons with special needs and improved attitudes (see Bishop & Jones, 2002; Brownlee & Carrington, 2000; Hastings & Oakford, 2003; Kirk, 1998; Le yser et al., 1994). What the research reveals is that positive experiences with persons with disabilities are more likely to result in improved attitudes (see Hannah, 1988), and this seems to have been the case with the pre -service teachers who participated in this investigation. Some researchers have provided models for contact experiences at the pre -service preparation level that have resulted in improved attitudes (e.g., Bishop & Jones 2002; Brownlee & Carrington, 2000). Pre -service teacher education s tudents could be provided experiences where they have contact with students with disabilities through an apprenticeship model in which pre -service teachers and teacher educators work collaboratively in university based workshops to help students with spe cial needs who participate fully in these sessions (Bishop & Jones, 2002) Other opportunities to interact with persons with disabilities could be used for pre service teachers as they are available. For example, in one investigation, pre -service teachers who i nteract ed with a teaching assistant who had a severe disability generally had a positive experience and were provided w ith the first -hand knowledge of disabilities (Brownlee & Carrington, 2000).

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112 Limitations and Recommendations for Future Research Th ere are several limitations that should be addressed in the present study Given these limitations, results should be interpreted with caution. However, these limitations may provide insight for future research efforts. One of these limitations is that the present study investigated the attitudes of a selected group of pre -service teachers in a public university located in the northern part of Egypt. Although the study utilized a relatively large sample size of 1, 625 pre service teachers it is important to note that all participants were drawn from a single college in a single university. Therefore, generalizability of results may be limited due to the sampling method. Thus, one of the questions that should be raised in future research is to what extent do the attitudes of the pre -service teachers who participated in this study regarding inclusion compare to the attitudes of pre -service teachers in other teacher education programs in different regions. Similar studies should be conducted in other areas of Egypt. Another limitation is that self -report ed data by pre -service teachers may have limited validity, so that results should be interpreted with caution. Although self -reports are accurate sources of information because of the apparent relationship betwee n beliefs and actions, classroom observation was seen as the best first level approximation that researchers can rely on (Kennedy, 1999) to measure teacher quality. Observing pre -service teachers behaviors and reaction s to students with disabilities in in clusive settings may provide a better understanding of their attitudes toward inclusion and students with disabilities. For example, Brantlinger (1996) indicated that observing the discourse of pre -service teachers during their field experience revealed th at these prospective teachers held identified anti -inclusion beliefs which were not previously apparent Future investigations should extend beyond self reports in addressing the perspectives of pre -service teachers toward inclusion and people with special needs in general.

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113 Pre -service teachers who participated in this study were general educators with no preparation in special education at the theoretical or practical levels. These pre -service teachers did not receive interventions to adapt instruction for diverse students in inclusive classrooms. Therefore, a comparison between the attitudes of pre -service teachers in general education and their counterparts in special education would be informative. This comparison would inform us regarding whether the ex tent to which the structure of the teacher education programs of these pre -service teachers may be responsible for the formation of attitudes toward inclusion. Moreover, if the attitudes are similar between both groups of pre -service teachers, it might be possible that cultural considerations stand behind these attitudes. If the attitudes are different, it would be important to investigate the factors contributing to these differences among pre -service teachers. Inclusion is not widely adopted in the Egypt ian educational system and is still at the experimental level. However, pre -service teachers in this study pleaded for the knowledge and experience related to students with special needs and expressed their willingness to teach in inclusive settings if ext ensive opportunities for training were provided. Future research might investigate the effect of different types of training on pre -service teachers attitudes toward inclusion and teacher efficacy. What type of training is more beneficial? What would pre -service teachers contribute to this training? What would they take out of it? What changes were made in their teaching styles as a result? In sum, the attitudes of pre -service teachers in Egypt should be subject to further investigations.

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114 APPENDIX A PRE -SERVICE TEACHERS ATTITUDES TOWARD INCLUSION SCALE Part 1: Participant Information Sheet Name: __________________________________________________________________ Age: ___________________________________________________________________ Gender: _________________________________________________________________ College/University: _______________________________________________________ Major: __________________________________________________________________ Do you teach in your practicum? _____________ _______________________________ Do you work with students with special needs? ________________________________ Do you have previous or current contact with persons with disabilities (e.g., family members, friends, neighbors)? _______________________________________________________ General Directions : In the following pages you will find statements of ideas and attitudes about inclusion of students with special needs in general education classrooms. There ar e many different opinions about this subject and I would like to know your personal opinion. There is no right or wrong answers and people agree with some of these statements and disagree with others. Please, circle the number to the right of each statemen t that best describe your agreement or disagreement with the statement

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115 Part 2: Pre -service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion Scale Items Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 1 Students with special needs should be given every opportunity to function i n the general classroom where possible. 5 4 3 2 1 2 The inclusion of students with special needs can be beneficial for students without disabilities. 5 4 3 2 1 3 Inclusion promotes social independence among students with special needs. 5 4 3 2 1 4 The nature of the study in general classroom classrooms will promote the academic growth of the students with special needs. 5 4 3 2 1 5 The study skills of students with special needs are inadequate for success in the general education classroom. 5 4 3 2 1 6 Inclusion promotes understanding and acceptance of individual differences between students without disabilities and students with special needs. 5 4 3 2 1 7 Students without disabilities will likely avoid interacting with students with special needs in the inclusive classrooms. 5 4 3 2 1 8 Inclusion promotes self esteem among children with special needs. 5 4 3 2 1 9 Students with special needs lose the stigma of being different or failures when placed in the general education classrooms. 5 4 3 2 1

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116 Pre service Tea chers Attitudes toward Inclusion Scale. Continued Items Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 10 Isolation in a special classroom has beneficial effect on the social and emotional development of the students with special needs. 5 4 3 2 1 11 General classroom teachers have sufficient training to teach students with special needs. 5 4 3 2 1 12 Students with special needs are likely to create confusion in the general education classroom. 5 4 3 2 1 13 Teaching students with special needs is better done by special rather than general classroom teachers. 5 4 3 2 1 14 The behavior of students with special needs will set a bad example for other students in the classroom. 5 4 3 2 1 15 Students with disabilities will not waste the general -classroom teachers time. 5 4 3 2 1 16 It is likely that the students with special needs will exhibit behavior problems in a general education classroom. 5 4 3 2 1 17 Increased freedom in the general classroom creates too much confusion for the student with a special need. 5 4 3 2 1 18 Students with special needs will make an adequate attempt to complete their assignments in general education classrooms. 5 4 3 2 1

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117 Pre service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion Scale. Continued Items Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Str ongly Disagree The extra attention students with special needs require will be to the detriment of the other students in the classroom. 5 4 3 2 1 19 General classroom teachers have the primary responsibility to teach students with special needs in their c lassrooms. 5 4 3 2 1 20 Inclusion will likely have a negative effect on the emotional development of the students with special needs. 5 4 3 2 1 21 General classroom teachers have the appropriate capability to work with students with special needs. 5 4 3 2 1 22 I nclusion of students with special needs will necessitate extensive retraining of general classroom teachers. 5 4 3 2 1 23 Students with special needs can be best served in general education classrooms. 5 4 3 2 1 24 It is difficult to maintain order in classroo ms that contain a mix of students with and without special needs. 5 4 3 2 1 25 Inclusion of students with special needs will require significant changes in general education classroom procedures. 5 4 3 2 1 26 The behavior of the students with special needs do es not require more attention from the teacher than the behavior of students without special needs. 5 4 3 2 1

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118 Pre service Teachers Attitudes toward Inclusion Scale. Continued Items Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 27 The student with a special need will probably develop academic skills more rapidly in a general education classroom than in a special education classroom. 5 4 3 2 1 In my view, most students with the following special needs can be educated in general education classr ooms: 28 Learning disabilities 5 4 3 2 1 29 Emotional and behavioral disorders 5 4 3 2 1 30 Hearing impairments 5 4 3 2 1 31 Visual impairments 5 4 3 2 1 32 Mental retardation 5 4 3 2 1

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119 Part 3: Questions That Require Written Responses 1 Do you support the concept of including students with special needs in general education classrooms? Why? 2 As a general education future teacher, are you willing to teach students with special needs in your classroom? Why? 3 Do you think that students, wi th and without special needs, benefit from inclusion? Why? 4 Do you think that students with special needs may have a negative effect on the classroom environment? Why? 5 Do you think that general education teachers have sufficient expertise/training for inclusion? Explain. 6 Do you think that general education schools have sufficient resources for Inclusion? Explain. 7 Do you feel prepared to teach students with special needs in your classroom? Why?

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120 Pre -service Teachers Attitudes toward I nclusion Scale (Arabic) : : --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------/ : -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------) (... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------: .

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121 : 1 5 4 3 2 1 2 5 4 3 2 1 3 5 4 3 2 1 4 5 4 3 2 1 5 5 4 3 2 1 6 5 4 3 2 1 7 5 4 3 2 1 8 5 4 3 2 1 9 " 5 4 3 2 1 10. 5 4 3 2 1 11. 5 4 3 2 1

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122 12. 5 4 3 2 1 13. 5 4 3 2 1 14. 5 4 3 2 1 15. 5 4 3 2 1 16. 5 4 3 2 1 17. 5 4 3 2 1 18. 5 4 3 2 1 19. 5 4 3 2 1 20. 5 4 3 2 1

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123 21. 5 4 3 2 1 22. 5 4 3 2 1 23. 5 4 3 2 1 24. 5 4 3 2 1 25. 5 4 3 2 1 26. 5 4 3 2 1 27. 5 4 3 2 1 28. 5 4 3 2 1 : 29. 5 4 3 2 1

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124 30. 5 4 3 2 1 31. 5 4 3 2 1 32. 5 4 3 2 1 33. 5 4 3 2 1

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125 : 1 2 3 ) ( 4 5

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126 6 7

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127 APPENDIX B INFORMED CONSENT Informed Consent Please read this consent document carefu lly before you decide to participate in this study. Dear Pre -service Teachers, I am a doctoral student in the Department of Special Education at the University of Florida conducting a study to examine pre -service teachers attitudes toward including stud ents with special needs in general education classrooms in Egypt. I am particularly interested in understanding what pre -service teachers believe regarding inclusion and how this may affect their performance as future teachers who will teach in inclusive s ettings. The significance of this understanding are more crucial today because our schools are moving from providing services in isolated and self -contained settings to inclusive settings. There are no direct benefits to you for participating in the study. However, the implications of this study may inform teacher education program development to meet the renewed educational demands of our country. In this study, a survey will be conducted with you that takes approximately 2025 minutes. The survey will f ocus on how pre -service teachers conceptualize: a) benefits of inclusion, b) inclusive classroom management, c) ability to teach students with disabilities, and d) special versus inclusive general education. The survey uses a six-point Likert Scale, as wel l as a set of open -ended questions. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your information will be assigned a code number. The list connecting your name to this number will be kept in a locked file in my faculty supervisor 's office. When the study is completed and the data have been analyzed, the list will be destroyed. Your name will not be used in any report. There will be no risks for your participation in this study. However, results from this study may aid in the under standing of pre -service teachers perceptions of inclusive settings as well as identifying some factors related to the formation of these perceptions. Your participation is strictly voluntary, and you are free to withdraw from this study at any time witho ut consequence. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to answer. There will be no compensation for your participation in the study. If you have any questions about this study, please feel free to contact me: Fathi ElAshry, Department of Special Education, G315 Norman Hall, (352) 3920701 (ext: 262). You may also contact my supervisor: Dr. James McLeskey, Department of Special Education, G315 Norman Hall, (352) 3920701(ext: 278) Questions or concerns about research participants rights may be directed to the UFIRB Office, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 326112250; phone (352)3920433. I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description Participant: ____________________________________ Date: _________________ Principal Investigator: ____________________________ Date: _________________

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128 Informed Consent (Arabic) : . 20 25 : . . : Fathi ElAshry, Department of Special Education, G315 Norman Hall, Gainesville, Fl 32611. Phone Number: 1 3523920701 (ext: 262). : Dr. James McLeskey, Department of Special Education, G315 Norman Hall, Gainesville, Fl 32611. Phone Number: 1 3523920701 (ext: 278). : UFIRB Office, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 326112250; phone (352)3920433.

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129 : _________________________ : _________________ : _____________________ : _________________

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130 LIST OF REFERENCES Alghazo, E. M., Dodeen, H., & Algaryouti, I. A. (2003). Attitudes of pre -service teachers towards persons with disabilities. College Student Journal, 37(4), 515 522. Alghazo, M. E., & Gaad, E. (2004). General education teachers in the United Arab Emirates and their acceptance of the inclusion of students with disabilities. Bri tish Journal of Special Education, 31(2), 94 100. Alper, S. (2003). The relationship between inclusion and other trends in education. In D. L. Ryndak & S. Alper (Eds.), Curriculum and instruction for students with significant disabilities in inclusive settings (pp. 1330). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Anderson, L.M., Blumenfeld, P., Pintrich, P.R., Clark, C.M., Marx, R.W., & Peterson, P. (1995). Educational psychology for teachers: Reforming our courses, rethinking our roles. Educational Psychologist 30, 143 15 7 Andrews, S., & Clementson, J. J. (1997). Active learnings effect upon preservice teachers attitudes toward inclusion. Augustana College, SD. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 410 217). Antonak, R. F. & Larrivee, B. (1995) Psychometric analysi s and revision of the opinions relative to mainstreaming scale. Exceptional Children, 62(2), 139 149. Avramidis, E. Bayliss, P., & Burden, R. (2000a): A survey of mainstream teachers' attitudes towards the inclusion of children with special educational nee ds in the ordinary school in one local educational authority. Educational Psychology, 20, 191211. Avramidis, E., Bayliss, P., & Burden, R. (2000b). Student teachers attitudes towards the inclusion of children with special educational needs in the ordinar y school. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16, 277 293. Avramidis, E., & Norwich, B. (2002). Teachers attitudes towards integration/ inclusion: A review of literature European Journal of Special Needs Education, 17, 129 147. Beh Pajooh, A. (1992). The effe ct of social contact on college teachers attitudes towards students with severe mental handicaps and their educational integration European Journal of Special Needs Education, 7, 231 236. Bender, W. N., Vail, C. O., & Scott, K. (1995). Teachers attitude s toward increased mainstreaming: Implementing effective instruction for students with learning disabilities Journal of Learning Disabilities 28, 87 94. Bennett, T., Deluca, D. & Bruns, D. (1997) Putting inclusion into pra ctice: Perspectives of teacher s and parents, Exceptional Children, 64, 115 131.

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131 Berryman, J.D. (1989). Attitudes of the public toward educational mainstreaming. Remedial and Special Education, 10(1), 44 49. Bishop, A., & Jones, P. (2002). Promoting inclusive practice in primary initia l teacher training: Influencing hearts as well as minds. Support for Learning, 17, 58 63. Bogdan, R. & Biklen, S. K. (1998). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Brantlinger, E. (1996) Influence of preservice teachers beliefs about pupil achievement on attitudes toward inclusion. Teacher Education and Special Education, 19, 17 33. Brookhart, S., & Freeman, D. (1992). Characteristics of entering teacher candidates. Review of Educational Research, 62, 37 60. Brownell, M. T., & Pajares, F. (1999). Teacher efficacy and perceived student success in mainstreaming students with learning and behavior problems. Teacher Education and Special Education, 22, 154163. Brownlee, J., & Carrington, S. (2000). Op portunities for authentic experience and reflection: A teaching program designed to change attitudes towards disability for preservice teachers. Support for Learning, 15, 99 105. Bu llough, R. V. (1 995). Inclusion: A view from inside the classroom. Journal of Teacher Education, 46, 8593. Campbell, J., Gilmore, L., & Cuskelly, M. (2003). Changing student teachers attitudes towards disability and inclusion. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability 28, 369379. Carroll, A., Forlin, C., & Jobling ( 2003). The impact of teacher training in special education on the attitudes of Australian preservice general educators towards people with disabilities. Teacher Education Quarterly 30, 65 79. Center, Y., & Ward, J. (1987). Teachers attitudes towards the integration of disabled children into regular schools. The Exceptional Child 34, 41 56. Coates, R. D. (1989). The Regular Education Initiative and opinions of regular classroom teachers. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 22, 532536. Cook, B. G. (2002). I nclusive attitudes, strengths, and weaknesses of pre -service general educators enrolled in a curriculum infusion teacher preparation program. Teacher Education and Special Education, 25, 262277. Cook, B. G, & Semmel, M. I. (1999). Peer acceptance of inclu ded students with disabilities as a function of severity of disability and classroom composition. The Journal of Special Education, 33, 50 61.

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132 Cook, B. G., Tankersley, M., Cook, L., & Landrum, T. J. (2000). Teachers attitudes toward their included student s with disabilities. Exceptional Children 6 115135. Dickens -Smith M. (1995). The effect of inclusion training on teacher attitude towards i nclusion. Chicago Public Schools, IL. ( ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 332 802). Downing, J. E., Eichin ger, J., & Williams, L. J. (1997). Inclusive education for students with severe disabilities: Comparative views of principals and educators at different levels of implementation. Remedial and Special Education. 18, 133 142, 165. Eichinger, J., Rizzo, T., & Sirotnik, B., (1991). Changing attitudes toward people with disabilities. Teacher Education and Special Education, 14, 121 126. Esposito, B. G., & Reed. T. M. (1986). The effects of contact with handicapped persons on young children's attitudes. Exception al Children, 53, 224229. Forlin, C. (1995). Educators beliefs about inclusive practices in Western Australia. British Journal of Special Education, 22, 179 185. Forlin, C., Douglas, G., & Hattie, J. (1996) Inclusive practic es: How accepting are teachers? International Journal of Disability, 43, 119 133. Forlin, C. Jo bling, A., & Carroll, A. (2001). Preservice teachers' discomfort levels toward people with disabilities. The Journal of International Special Needs Education, 4, 32 3 8. Gemmell Crosby, S., & Hanzlik, J. R. (1994). Preschool teachers' perceptions of including children with disabilities. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities. 29(4) 279290. Gerber, M. M. (19 88). Tolerance and technology of instru ction: Implic ations for special education reform. Exceptional Children, 54, 309314. Gersten, R., Walker, H., & Darch, C. (1988). Relationships between teachers' effectiveness and their tolerance for handicapped students. Exceptional Children, 54, 433438. G ething L. (1994). The Interaction with Disabled Persons Scale. Journal of Social Behaviour and Personality 9 23 42. Gething, L., & Wheeler, B. (1992). The Interaction with Disabled Persons Scale: A new Australian instrument to measure attitudes towards people with disabilities. Australian Journal of Psychology, 44, 75 82. Gheryani, A. (2006). Inclusion in Egypt [in Arabic]. Unpublished report. Ministry of Education, Egypt. Giangreco, M. F., Dennis, R., Cloninger, C., Edelman, S., & Schattman, R. (1993). Ive coun ted Jon: Transformational experiences of teachers educating students with disabilities. Exceptional Children, 59, 359372.

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133 Glaser, B. G. & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory Chicago: Aldine. Good, T. L., & Brophy, J. E. (1972). Behavioral expression of teacher attitudes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 63, 617624. Gumpel, T. & Awartani, S. (2003). A comparison of special education in Israel and Palestine:Surface and deep structures, Journal of Special Education, 37, 33 48. Hannah, M. E. (1988). Teacher attitudes towa rd children with disabilities: A n ecological analysis In H. E. Yuker (E d.) Attitudes toward Persons with Disabilities ( pp. 154 170) New York: Springer. Hasazi, S. B., Johnston, A. P., Liggett, A. M., & Schattman, R. A. (1994). A qualitative policy study of the least restrictive environment provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Exceptional Children, 60, 491507. Hastings, P., Hewes, A., Lock, S., & Witting, A. (1996). Do special educational needs courses have any impact on student teachers perceptions of children with severe learning difficulties? British Journal of Special Education, 23, 139144. Hastings, R. P., & Oakford, S. (2003). Student teachers' attitudes towards the inclusion of children with special needs. Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology, 23, 87 94. Holt -Reynolds, D. (1992). Personal history-based beli efs as relevant prior knowledge in coursework: Can we practice what we teach? Ame rican Educational Research Journal, 29, 325 349. Hutchinson, N. L., & Martin, A. K. (1999). Fostering inclusive beliefs and practices during preservice teacher education through comm unities of practice. Teacher Education and Special Education, 22, 234250. Job ling, A., & Moni, K. B. (2004). I never imagined I'd have to teach thes e children: Providing authentic learning experiences fo r secondary preservice teachers in teaching students with special needs. Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 32, 5 22. Joram E. & Gabriele, A. (1998). Preservice teachers prior beliefs: Transforming obstacles into opportunities. Teaching and Teacher Education 32 175 191. Jung, W. S. (2007). Preservice teacher training for successful inclusion. Education, 128(1), 106 113. Kafafi, A. (2004). Attitudes towards the inclusion of children with special needs in general education classrooms in the elementary school [in Arabic]. The Higher Advisory Commission for the Development of Special Education Programs Report. Ministry of E ducation, Egypt.

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140 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETC H Fathi Rezk El -Ashry was born on April 3, 1970, in Kafr El -Sheikh, Egypt. After graduating from El Shaheed Reyad High School in 1989, Fathi attended college at the Tanta University, Kafr El -Sheikh campus, receiving a Bachelor of Arts and Education in Arab ic language in 1993 and was awarded the first rank in the College of Education. Realizing his interest in teaching and educational research, Fathi immediately entered a Special Diploma in Education at the Tanta University. At the same time, he began his te aching career in the rural community of Dosoq district at Kafr El -sheikh governorate, where he worked as an Arabic language teacher in the middle school. Two years later, Fathi assumed the position of research assistant in the College of Education in Kafr El Sheikh city. While pursuing a masters degree in education in 1997, Fathi assumed the position of teaching assistant at the College of Education. Later, he worked at the United Arab Emirates University as an Arabic language lecturer and received his mas ters in education degree in 2001. In 2003, Fathi began the pursuit of a doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the Tanta University, Kafr El -sheikh campus. During his doctoral program, Fathi was awarded a governmental mission to continue his research in the United States and, therefore, he was admitted to the Florida State University as a research fellow in 2005. While at the Florida State University, Fathi was awarded the Ford Foundation Fellowship to pursue his doctorate in special education at the U niversity of Florida. He was admitted to the University of Florida as a doctoral student in 2006. While at the Florida State University, Fathi participated in a research project in cooperation with faculty members from the Reading and Language Arts program As a result, Fathi coauthored an article about the assessment and instruction of an Arabic -speaking child in a U.S. school that was published in The Reading Teacher journal in 2007. During his doctoral program,

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141 Fathi presented his research in different i nternational conferences in the United States and Europe. His research interests include inclusive education, special education pre-service teacher preparation, and reading disabilities.