Pre-Service Teachers’ Attitudes toward School Inclusion in Romania
Keywords:school inclusion, attitudes, pre-service teachers, inclusive schools, special schools, Romania
The present study aims to determine the pre-service teachers` attitudes towards inclusion in Romania and understand them in relation with their specialization and prior relation with a person with special needs. Research on attitudes towards inclusion has a long tradition in the scientific field. However, most of studies focus on the teachers’ and parents’ attitudes. Fewer studies have focused on pre-service teachers’ attitudes thus far and this study seeks to fill this research gap. The participants were 175 Educational Sciences pre-service teachers from the West University of Timisoara, Romania. A mixed-method approach was used to analyze the participants’ written work (i.e., in which they explained their choice between special schools and inclusive schools). A content analysis of the made arguments was carried out; further, the frequencies of the main response themes were analyzed quantitatively. Overall, there is a predisposition to view the special schools as the better educational environment for children with SEN, but the choice of profession and the prior relation to a person with SN do not influence pre-service teachers` attitudes. The arguments made are diverse, ranging from prospecial school as optimum environment to anti-inclusion school beliefs. To better understand inclusion, this study recommends that more special education disciplines should be included in the curriculum and that students should be offered opportunities for teaching students with SEN.