Title

Attitudes of chinese preschool teachers towards inclusion of students with special needs in relation to teacher self-efficacy and school climate

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Rachelle Hackett

First Committee Member

Marilyn Draheim

Second Committee Member

Delores McNair

Abstract

The purposes of the study were to (1) describe the demographic characteristics of regular preschool teachers in Shanghai, China along with their levels of self-efficacy and attitudes towards inclusion, and (2) determine whether school climate moderates the association between teachers’ self-efficacy and attitudes towards inclusion. An online survey was completed by 816 preschool teachers in Shanghai who responded to items regarding their demographic characteristics, self-efficacy towards inclusion, perception of school climate and attitude towards inclusion. Bandura (1995)’s theory of self-efficacy provides the theoretical framework. Results of the study indicate that: 1) regular preschool teachers in Shanghai are young and well-educated, 2) regular preschool teachers in Shanghai exhibit high self-efficacy levels towards inclusion, 3) attitudes of regular preschool teachers towards inclusion in Shanghai are generally positive but mixed with concerns, 4) regular preschool teachers’ perceptions of school climate in Shanghai are positive which indicates favorable environmental conditions to implement inclusion, 5) higher self-efficacy levels among preschool teachers in Shanghai are related with more positive teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion and 6) more positive teachers’ perceptions of school climate are associated with more positive teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion. The association between teacher self-efficacy and attitude towards inclusion was not found to be moderated by school climate. However, school climate was found to not only have a direct effect, but also an indirect effect on attitude towards inclusion through teacher self-efficacy (the mediating variable). The Chinese government and education administration are encouraged to enact policies and practices that promote the creation of positive school climate and enhance teachers’ self-efficacy levels as this correlational study suggests that both school climate and teacher self-efficacy may impact teacher attitude. Improved attitudes may then lead preschool teachers to utilize inclusive practices potentially benefiting students in Chinese early childhood education settings. Suggestions for further study and limitations of the study are discussed.

Pages

169

ISBN

9781369674446

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