Can self-efficacy mediate between knowledge of policy, school support and teacher attitudes towards inclusive education?

Shirli Werner*, Tom P. Gumpel, Judah Koller, Vered Wiesenthal, Naomi Weintraub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background While research has focused on understanding teachers' attitudes towards the inclusion of children with special educational needs into general education classrooms, there are lacunae that have yet to be addressed. This study examined the association between perceived self-efficacy and attitudes towards inclusion among elementary school teachers. The study also examined the role of teachers' self-efficacy as a mediating variable between knowledge of inclusion policy, perception of school support and teachers' attitudes towards inclusion. Methods Teachers (N = 352) working in general or special education schools completed questionnaires assessing attitudes towards inclusion, sense of self-efficacy, knowledge of current policy, and perception of support for inclusive practices. Results Higher perceived knowledge of inclusion policy and higher perceived school support of inclusion were both related to higher self-efficacy regarding inclusion, which, in turn, was related to more positive attitudes about inclusion. Conclusion Our results suggest that point to being knowledgeable regarding local and national policy is important in order to increase feelings of self-efficacy regarding the implementation of effective educational practice. To enhance inclusion, local and national policy must be clearly communicated to teachers. Furthermore, leadership and a supportive school environment are conducive to successful inclusive education.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere0257657
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume16
Issue number9 September
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2021 Werner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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