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Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs · Volume •• · Number •• · 2012 ••–••

doi: 10.1111/j.1471-3802.2011.01226.x

Variables affecting teachers’ attitudes towards


inclusive education in Bangladesh jrs3_1226 1..9

Masud Ahmmed, Umesh Sharma and Joanne Deppeler


Monash University, Australia

Key words: Inclusive education, attitudes, demographic variables, school support, primary teachers,
Bangladesh.

Framework for Action on Special Needs Education 1994;


Inclusive education is a worldwide reform strategy The Dakar Framework for Action 2000 and The UN Con-
intended to include students with different abilities vention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006.
in mainstream regular schools. Evidence from pre-
vious research shows that success in implementing At the national level, the Government of Bangladesh has
effective inclusive teaching practices in the school also enacted a number of policies to ensure the education
is contingent on teachers’ positive attitudes towards of all students including those with disabilities. The key
inclusive education. This study was conducted in the policies include Education Policy 2000, Education Policy
context of primary education in Bangladesh aiming
2010 and Persons with Disability Welfare Act 2001. The
to examine variables influencing teachers’ attitudes
Education Policy 2010 articulated that in order to establish
towards inclusion of students with disabilities in
regular classrooms. Data for the study was col- equity in education for all learners, facilities need to be
lected from 738 teachers working in 293 govern- provided for all children including children with disabilities
ment primary schools in Bangladesh. The results (Ministry of Education, 2010). This policy emphasises
indicated that perceived school support for inclu- quality primary education with equal opportunity for all
sive teaching practices and a range of demographic children. The policy further accentuates on providing train-
variables including previous success in teaching ing for teachers to teach children with different types of
students with disabilities and contact with a student disabilities in the regular classrooms. However, Bangladesh
with a disability were associated with more positive has made little progress in providing education to students
attitudes of the teachers towards the inclusive with disabilities in regular schools (Asian Development
education. The results are discussed with possible
Bank, 2008; Inclusion International, 2009; UNESCO,
implications for educators, policy-makers and inter-
2010) despite having such policy initiatives.
national organisations working on the implementa-
tion of inclusive education.
Evidence from past research suggests that success in imple-
menting effective inclusive education is contingent on
teachers’ positive attitudes towards inclusive education
(Avramidis and Kalyva, 2007; Brownell and Pajares, 1999;
Introduction Cook, 2001; Jordan, Schwartz and McGhie-Richmond,
Inclusive education (IE) is a worldwide reform strategy 2009; Rakap and Kaczmarek, 2010; Romi and Leyser,
intended to include students with different abilities in 2006). The importance of teachers’ positive attitudes for the
mainstream regular schools. School curriculum, teaching success of inclusive education practices at the classroom
methods, organisation and resources need to be adapted to level has been widely reported by a number of researchers
ensure that all learners, irrespective of their ability, can (e.g., Avramidis and Norwich, 2002; Brownlee and
successfully participate in the regular classrooms (Mittler, Carrington, 2000; Cologon, 2011; Sharma, Moore and
1995). Even though inclusive education means the inclu- Sonawane, 2009; Wilczenski, 1992). Highlighting the sig-
sion of all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, nificance of teachers’ positive attitude, a group of research-
social, emotional, linguistic or other conditions to the main- ers (e.g., Leyser and Tappendorf, 2001; Ross-Hill, 2009)
stream regular classrooms (UNESCO, 1994), in this study, cautioned that inclusive education cannot be implemented
inclusive education will refer only to the inclusion of stu- unless the primary stakeholders support the idea. Hence,
dents with disabilities in regular classrooms. teachers’ attitudes towards inclusive education need to be
explored in order to gain valuable insight into the dynamics
The philosophy of educating students with disabilities in of the inclusive classroom for shifting the inclusion para-
regular schools is a relatively new concept within the edu- digm from the policy domain to classroom practices (Fives
cation system in Bangladesh. Like many other countries, and Buehl, 2008; Pajares, 1992).
Bangladesh is a signatory to several international decla-
rations dedicated to education for all children in regular To facilitate a better understanding of teachers’ attitudes
schools, including The Salamanca Statement and the towards inclusive education, it is essential to understand the

© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs © 2012 NASEN. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA 1
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, •• ••–••

concept of attitudes. Ajzen (2005) maintains that ‘an atti- than teachers who feel less successful. Furthermore, a
tude is a disposition to respond favourably or unfavourably number of studies (e.g., Brownell and Pajares, 1999; Podell
to an object, person, institution, or event’ (p. 3). Attitudes and Tournaki, 2007; Shaughnessy, 2004; Soodak, Podell and
are composed of three components, namely affective, cog- Lehman, 1998; Tournaki, 2003) have recommended school
nitive and behavioural (Shank, 2002), referring respectively support for inclusive teaching practices as an important
to the individual’s feelings or emotional reactions to the variable for successful implementation of inclusive educa-
initial stimulus, individual’s information and knowledge tion practices in schools. However, research on how these
about an object or idea and the individual’s predisposition variables could influence attitudes of teachers in developing
to act (Boer, Pijl and Minnaert, 2011). countries including Bangladesh is limited.

Teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion of children with dis- Context of the study
abilities in their classrooms may be influenced by a myriad Bangladesh, a republic of Southern Asia, is a densely popu-
of demographic variables (Avramidis, Bayliss and Burden, lated country. It has a literacy rate of 47.9% (The World
2000; Chhabra, Srivastava and Srivastava, 2010; Forlin, Factbook, 2011). It is among the 15 largest recipients in
Loreman and Sharma et al., 2009; Van Reusen, Shoho and the world in respect of aid to achieve education for all
Barker, 2001). There are mixed findings in relation to some (UNESCO, 2008). The Bangladesh government, supported
of the demographic variables (Brady and Woolfson, 2008). by donor agencies, has invested considerable amounts of
For example, while Sharma, Forlin and Loreman (2008) money and efforts in order to educate all children in
and Avissar, Reiter and Leyser (2003) found that younger schools. One example is the Second Primary Education
teachers had more positive attitudes than older teachers, Development Programme (PEDP-II), where US$1.8 billion
Avramidis et al. (2000) reported that age was not related to has been invested (World Bank, 2008). Because of the
the attitudes of the teachers. With regard to gender, the national efforts and international cooperation, Bangladesh
evidence appears inconsistent. Some studies reported has made substantial progress in gender equity with an
that female teachers have more positive attitudes than increased percentage of girl students attending primary
male teachers (Aksamit, Morris and Leunberger, 1987; schools (88.4%) (UNESCO, 2010; World Bank, 2008).
Eichinger, Rizzo and Sirotnik, 1991), although Jobe and However, there are still a number of challenges to meeting
Rust (1996) noted that male teachers have more positive the goals and aspirations of inclusive education, such as
attitudes. Other researchers (e.g., Leyser, Kapperman and addressing the issue of meeting the learning needs of
Keller, 1994; Parasuram, 2006) found no significant rela- children with disabilities in regular classrooms (Anis
tionship between gender and teacher attitudes. The length and Ahmmed, 2009; Asian Development Bank, 2008;
of teaching experience is identified as an important variable UNESCO, 2010). There are about 1.6 million school-aged
in shaping teacher attitudes towards inclusive educa- children with disabilities in Bangladesh, but only 4% are
tion (Avramidis and Kalyva, 2007). Cornoldi, Terreni and enrolled in education programmes (National Forum of
Scruggs et al. (1998) reported that teachers with fewer years Organizations Working with the Disabled [NFOWD],
of teaching experience were more positive towards inclu- 2009).
sion than the teachers with more years of experience. On the
Although most of the international research studies exa-
other hand, Avramidis et al. (2000) did not find any such
mined the relationship between teachers’ attitudes towards
relationship in their study.
inclusive education and background variables such as
gender, age, teaching experience, educational qualification,
Some other variables have been found to have a more con-
training and contact with a person with a disability, research
sistent relationship to the attitudes of teachers. For example,
on how variables like perceived school support for inclu-
training in special education (Avramidis and Kalyva, 2007;
sive teaching practices and previous success in teaching
Koutrouba, Vamvakari and Steliou, 2006), exposure to
children with a disability would influence teachers’ atti-
teach children with disabilities (Avramidis and Kalyva,
tudes is almost non-existent. Since all education and cer-
2007; Idol, 2006; Rakap and Kaczmarek, 2010) and higher
tainly inclusive education is context specific (Ainscow and
educational qualifications (Parasuram, 2006; Yuker, 1988)
Cesar, 2006), and researchers (e.g., Gaad and Khan, 2007;
correlate positively with teachers’ attitudes towards inclu-
Tournaki and Podell, 2005) have suggested that past
sive education.
success in teaching children with disabilities and adequate
school support to implement inclusive teaching practices
Research in relation to some other variables, for example,
may influence teachers’ attitudes, this research will speci-
previous success in teaching children with disabilities and
fically answer the following research questions within the
perceived school support for inclusive teaching practices has
Bangladesh context:
been very limited, even though a number of researchers (Cox
and Washington, 2008; Sharma and Chow, 2008) conceptua- Is there a significant relationship between
lised that these variables could enhance positive attitude
of the teachers to support inclusive teaching practices. With (1) demographic variables (gender, age, educational
regard to previous success in teaching children with disabili- qualification and length of teaching experience),
ties, Brownell and Pajares (1999) postulate that teachers who (2) contact variables (contact with a student with a
report success in teaching students with disabilities may be disability in the classroom, acquaintance with a
more willing to include these students in their classrooms person with a disability outside the classrooms),

2 © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs © 2012 NASEN
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, •• ••–••

(3) training variable (previous training on inclusive The researcher collected completed questionnaires from the
education), education office of each of four sub-districts.
(4) success variable (past success in teaching students
with disabilities) and Instruments
(5) perceived support variable (perceived school support A three-part survey questionnaire was used to collect data
for inclusive teaching practices) from the participants. The first part of the survey gathered
demographic information about the teachers (e.g., gender,
and teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion of children with age, educational qualification, teaching experience, contact
disabilities in their regular classrooms? with a student with a disability, previous training on in-
clusive education, past success in teaching student with a
disability).
Method
Participants The second part of the survey was used to determine the
The participants of the study were 738 teachers, and were teachers’ attitudes towards the inclusion of children with
selected from a total of 293 government primary schools disabilities in the regular classrooms. The attitude measure-
of four sub-districts under Dhaka division in Bangladesh. ment instrument used was the modified version of School
Bangladesh is divided into several regional divisions. Each Principals’ Attitudes toward Inclusion (SPATI) (Bailey,
division is subdivided into several districts. Each district is 2004). The final version of the scale had 24 items, out of
subdivided into several sub-districts. In each sub-district, which 15 items were worded negatively and nine were
primary schools are clustered under the sub-district’s worded positively. Bailey (2004) reported a reliability coef-
education administration. With regard to location all sub- ficient of 0.92 with 639 respondents. The reliability of
districts under a division are categorised into three groups: SPATI scale was recalculated for this study, and it was
urban sub-districts (located in a metropolitan city), semi- found to 0.79 (alpha coefficient). A reliability coefficient of
urban sub-districts (located in a district town) and rural 0.70 or above is generally considered acceptable (Gable and
sub-districts (located in the countryside). In order to select Wolf, 1993). Three items regarding principal and teacher
the participants for this study, a four stage cluster sampling aides were removed from this scale, because the items were
method was used. At the first stage, out of seven regional not appropriate for the context of the current study. The
divisions, Dhaka, the central division was purposefully modified version of the scale used in this study had 21 items
selected. At the second stage, four sub-districts out of 102 out of which 14 were negatively worded, and seven were
were randomly selected. The numbers of sub-districts positively worded. Respondents were asked to respond
selected were roughly representative of the distribution of using a 5-point Likert type scale with anchors Strongly
schools in the three groups (urban, semi-urban and rural). Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (5). A higher score on the
At the third stage, all 293 government primary schools scale was suggestive of more positive attitudes towards
within these four sub-districts were selected. At the fourth inclusion. An example of a statement is ‘Students with
stage, all 1387 teachers working within these schools were disabilities benefit academically from inclusion’.
invited to participate in this study. A total of 1387 survey
packages were sent to the participants, and 738 completed The third part of the survey was used to measure perceived
survey questionnaires were returned to the researchers. The school support available to teachers for inclusive teach-
survey questionnaire return rate was 53.20%. Out of 738, 30 ing practices. The perceived school support measurement
questionnaires were discarded because of large amount of instrument used in this study was Perceived School Support
missing data. A total of 708 responses were used for final for Inclusive Education scale (PSSIE). PSSIE scale was
analysis. specifically designed for this study. Since the support to
teach in inclusive classroom has been identified as an
Procedure important prerequisite that could significantly affect the
Prior permission for collecting data was obtained from willingness of teachers to include or not to include students
the Directorate of Primary Education, Bangladesh. Survey with disabilities in their classrooms, designing a scale that
packages containing survey questionnaire, explanatory could systematically tap into the multifaceted aspects of this
statement and pre-paid return envelope were sent to the variable was considered important for this study. Instead of
education office of selected sub-districts. The education asking a single question, a series of questions was asked to
office then sent survey packages to the principals of the get an in-depth picture of perceived school support for
respective primary schools. The principal of each school inclusive teaching practices.
distributed survey packages to all the teachers of his/her
respective school. In the explanatory statement, the partici- The items of the PSSIE scale were generated based on a
pants were informed that their participation in this study review of the literature (e.g., Coskun, Tosun and Macaro-
was fully voluntary and anonymous; they had the option of glu, 2009; Shaughnessy, 2004; Villa, Thousand and Nevin
declining participation by not completing the survey ques- et al., 1996; Yssel, Engelbrecht and Oswald et al., 2007).
tionnaire. They were also informed that the data would be While developing this scale, the researchers considered the
used for academic purpose. The teachers who participated existing discourse on inclusive education and the context of
sent the completed questionnaires directly to their respec- primary schools in Bangladesh. This instrument consisted
tive sub-district’s education office in the sealed envelope. of eight items relating to school support for inclusive

© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs © 2012 NASEN 3
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, •• ••–••

teaching practices. An example of an item is ‘I receive correlation coefficients and Independent-Samples T-test
necessary support from the principal to implement inclusive were used to analyse the data.
education at the classroom level’. Participants were asked to
respond on a 5-point Likert type scale ranging from ‘none at Results
all’ (1) to ‘a great deal’ (5). The higher mean on the scale Demographics of the participants
suggested that the participant felt he or she received more Out of 708 participants, the majority (66.6%, n = 429) were
support to teach in an inclusive classroom compared to female. The age range of the teachers who participated in
another participant whose score is lower. Alpha coefficient this study was 27 to 59 years. The mean age of the partici-
was calculated to determine the reliability of PSSIE scale. pants was 39.34 years. The highest educational qualification
It was found to be 0.86 which is well above what is recom- of 29.8% (n = 211) of the participants was ‘below Bachelor
mended for a scale of this nature (Gable and Wolf, 1993). degree’, of 43.2% (n = 306) was ‘Bachelor degree’ and of
27% (n = 191) was ‘Master degree or above’. Years of
Content validation of the three-part survey instrument teaching experience varied from 3 months to 40 years with
A panel of twelve Bangladeshi experts working in the field a mean of 14.96 years. A considerable number of the par-
of disability and education were asked to review this three- ticipants (49.2%, n = 348) reported having contact with a
part survey questionnaire. The purpose of this exercise was student with a disability in the classroom (Table 1).
to establish the content validity of the survey questionnaire
in the context of Bangladesh. The panel, as a group, was Relationships between attitudes and demographic
asked to review the survey questionnaire and offer com- variables (gender, age, educational qualification and
ments in regard to the following: length of teaching experience)
An independent-samples t-test was conducted to check
• any word or statement that is not valid for Bangladesh
whether there was a statistically significant difference in
• if the directions of the survey instrument were clear
mean scores of attitudes with regard to the gender of the
• if they have any suggestion to improve the survey
participants. The result indicated a statistically significant
instrument
difference in mean attitudes scores for males (M = 56.48,
Based on their recommendation, a few items in the survey SD = 9.06) and females (M = 54.46, SD = 9.68), t (706) =
were reworded. 2.78, P = 0.006 (two-tailed). The magnitude of the differ-
ences in the means was small (Eta squared = 0.01).
Data analysis
Linear Multiple Regression, One-way between-groups Pearson product–moment correlation coefficient was
analysis of variance (ANOVA), Pearson product–moment conducted to ensure if participants’ age was significantly

Table 1: Demographic variables and attitude mean score


Background variables Numbers Percentage Total mean of attitude score
Gender
Female 429 60.6 54.46
Male 279 39.4 56.48
Educational qualification
Below bachelor 211 29.8 55.77
Bachelor 306 43.2 55.91
Masters or above 191 27 53.64
Acquaintance with a person with disability
No 150 21.2 53.81
Yes 558 78.8 55.64
Contact with a student with disability in the classroom
No 360 50.8 53.66
Yes 348 49.2 56.91
Past success in teaching students with disabilities
Low 153 21.6 51.44
Average 514 72.6 55.92
Higher 41 5.8 61.20
Previous training on IE
None 335 47.3 55.09
One module 332 46.9 55.20
Two or more modules 41 5.8 57.07

4 © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs © 2012 NASEN
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, •• ••–••

associated with their attitudes towards inclusion of children success in teaching students with disabilities and their atti-
with disabilities in the regular classrooms. The results tudes towards inclusion of children with disabilities in their
revealed a non-significant association. classrooms. The results revealed a significant positive
correlation between these two variables (r = 0.247, n = 708,
One-way between-groups ANOVA was employed to deter- P < 0.005) suggesting a high level of past success was
mine if significant differences existed between participants’ related with their positive attitudes towards inclusion.
attitudes based on their degree of educational qualification.
The participants were divided into three groups according Relationships between attitudes and perceived school
to their higher degree of qualification: (Group 1: Below support variable
bachelor degree qualification; Group 2: Bachelor degree The relationship between perceived school support for
qualification; Group 3: Masters or above degree qualifica- inclusive teaching practices and teachers’ attitude towards
tion). The result showed a statistically significant difference inclusion of children with disabilities in their classrooms
in attitude scores for the three groups: F (2, 705) = 3.8, P = was determined by employing Pearson product–moment
0.02. Despite reaching statistical significance, the actual correlation coefficient. A significant positive correlation
difference in mean scores between the groups was quite was found between these two variables (r = 0.278, n = 708,
small. The effect size, calculated using Eta squared was P < 0.005), with high levels of perceived support associated
0.01. Post hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test indi- with teachers’ positive attitudes towards inclusion.
cated that the mean score for Group 2 (M = 55.91, SD =
9.13) was significantly different from Group 3 (M = 53.64, Predicting teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion
SD = 9.65). Group 1 did not differ significantly from either In order to determine the contribution of each of the inde-
Group 2 or 3. pendent variables (e.g., gender, age, educational qualifi-
cation, teaching experience, contact with a student with
In order to examine if the length of teaching experience of
disability in the classroom, acquaintance with a person with
the participants was significantly associated with their atti-
disability, previous training on inclusive education, past
tudes towards inclusion of children with disabilities in the
success in teaching students with disabilities and perceived
regular classrooms, Pearson product–moment correlation
school support) in predicting participants’ attitudes a linear
coefficient was employed. The results revealed a non-
multiple regression statistical technique was utilised (see
significant association.
Table 2). The result shows that perceived school support
Relationships between attitudes and contact variables (P = 0.000), past success in teaching student with disabilities
In order to examine the relationship between participants’ (P = 0.000), contact with a student with a disability in the
contact with a student with a disability in the classrooms, classroom (P = 0.008), gender (P = 0.001) and educational
acquaintance with a person with a disability outside qualification of the participants (P = 0.008) contributed
the classrooms and their attitudes towards inclusion, significantly to the prediction of teachers’ attitudes towards
Independent-Samples t-tests were employed. The results inclusion of children with disabilities in their classrooms.
showed a significant difference [t (706) = -4.62, P = 0.001)]
in attitude scores for the teachers who had contact with The summary of the Regression analysis (see Table 3) indi-
a student with a disability in the classroom (M = 56.91, cated that the model has reached statistical significance
SD = 8.79) and who did not have such exposure (M = 53.66, (P-value is <0.005) (Pallant, 2007). The values of R Square
SD = 9.87). The magnitude of the differences (M difference and Adjusted R Square were 0.16 and 0.15, respectively,
= -3.24) was significant (Eta squared = 0.03). The results which indicated that about 16% of the variance on attitudes
also revealed a significant difference [t (706) = 2.10, P =
0.03] in attitude scores for the teachers who had acquain-
tance with a person with a disability outside classrooms Table 2: Results of regression analysis
(M = 55.64, SD = 9.57) and who did not have such acquain- Predictor variable Beta Sig.(P-value)
tance (M = 53.81, SD = 9.03). However, the magnitude
Perceived school support 0.220 0.000
of the differences in the means was very small (Eta
squared = 0.006). Past success in teaching student 0.201 0.000
with disabilities
Relationship between attitudes and training variable Contact with a student with disability 0.097 0.008
The relationship between previous training on inclusive
in the classroom
education and teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion of
Gender of the participants -0.116 0.001
children with disabilities was investigated using Pearson
product–moment correlation coefficient. The result showed Educational qualification -0.106 0.007
that there was no significant correlation between previous
training on inclusive education and teachers’ attitudes
towards inclusion (r = 0.03, n = 708, P = 0.386).
Table 3: Regression model’s summary
Relationship between attitudes and success variable R Square Adjusted R Square Sig.
Pearson product–moment correlation coefficients was
0.157 0.146 0.000
employed to determine the relationship between past

© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs © 2012 NASEN 5
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, •• ••–••

Figure 1: Significant predictor variables in relation to teacher attitudes towards inclusion

Gender
t (706) = 2.78, P = 0.006
B = −0.116, P = 0.001

Educational qualification
F (2, 705) = 3.8, P = 0.02 Teachers’ attitudes
B = −0.106, P = 0.007 towards inclusion of
children with
Contact with a student with disabilities in their
a disability regular classrooms
t (706) = −4.62, P = 0.001 Adjusted R square
B = 0.097, P = 0.008 = 0.146

Past success in teaching students


with disabilities
r = 0.247
B = 0.201, P = 0.000

Perceived school support


r = 0.278
B = 0.220, P = 0.000

was due to the variables Perceived school support and a the importance and impact of school support for inclusive
number of demographic variables (e.g., past success in teaching practices on teachers’ positive attitudes towards the
teaching student with disabilities, contact with a student inclusion of children with disabilities in the regular govern-
with a disability in the classroom, gender and Educational ment primary school in Bangladesh, which may benefit the
qualification of the participants). inclusive education reform strategy in the country and also in
other developing countries with similar issues. Stakeholders
Discussion interested in the implementation of inclusive education
This paper examined the impact of several demographic, reform should ensure that teachers get adequate supports to
contact and training variables of teachers on their attitudes teach students with disabilities. This support, in Bangladesh
towards inclusion of students with disabilities in regular context, could mean teachers receiving support from col-
classrooms in government primary schools in Bangladesh. leagues and their school administrators as well as from
The results revealed that teachers’ gender, highest educa- parents of the students with and without disabilities. It could
tional qualification, past contact with a student with dis- also mean that teachers are provided with necessary teach-
ability in the classroom, past success in teaching a student ing materials to include students with disabilities in their
with a disability and perceived school support for inclusive classrooms.
teaching practices are significant predictors of teachers’
attitudes (see Figure 1). The results reveal that teachers’ previous success in teach-
ing students with disabilities is an important variable to
Among all the independent variables, perceived school be considered to promote inclusion of children with dis-
support for inclusive teaching practices and previous abilities in the regular government primary schools in
success in teaching students with disabilities were found to Bangladesh. This result coincides with the viewpoints of a
be the most significant variables. The results clearly imply number of researchers (e.g., Avramidis et al., 2000; Camp-
that the more school support for inclusive teaching practices bell, Gilmore and Cuskelly, 2003; Cox and Washington,
the teachers perceived that they received, the more positive 2008; Kalyva, Gojkovic and Tsakiris, 2007; Sharma and
they felt about including children with disabilities in their Chow, 2008) that past success in teaching children with
classrooms. This finding is in line with the past research (e.g., disabilities is associated with more positive attitudes
Avramidis and Norwich, 2002; Gaad and Khan, 2007; Horne towards inclusion. Teachers, both in-service and pre-
and Timmons, 2009; Koutrouba et al., 2006), which shows service, should not only be teaching students with disabili-
that school support is necessary for inclusive teaching prac- ties, they also need to feel a sense of success in teaching
tices. Regarding school support, Morley, Bailey and Tan such students for them to feel positive about inclusion. One
et al. (2005) argue that despite an extensive amount of strategy that universities as well as school administrators
research on teachers’ attitudes, there is still a lack of know- could find useful in this regard is to place pre-service and
ledge of school support variable on teachers’ attitudes in-service teachers in classrooms of those teachers who are
towards inclusion. Therefore, this finding has unveiled successful in teaching students with disabilities.

6 © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs © 2012 NASEN
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, •• ••–••

The results also show that in the government primary attitude towards inclusion of children with disabilities was
schools in Bangladesh, the attitude of the male teachers found slightly higher than their female colleagues, this vari-
towards inclusion of children with disabilities is slightly able requires further investigation for an in-depth under-
more positive (M = 56.48) than the attitudes of their female standing. Similarly, further in-depth research is warranted
colleagues (M = 54.46). Referring to a number of studies to explore the influence of educational qualifications
(e.g., Hadjikakou and Mnasonos, in press; Parasuram, on teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion of children with
2006), Park and Chitiyo (2011) concluded that there had disabilities as higher degree of educational qualifications
been inconsistent results regarding gender differences negatively correlate with teachers’ attitudes in Bangladesh.
in teachers’ attitudes towards students with disabilities,
though a large number of studies showed higher levels of It is recommended that the educational administrators may
positive attitudes in females compared with males. Consid- consider these findings in order to promote inclusive edu-
ering the results about gender variable in this study are in cation in the primary schools in Bangladesh. Teacher train-
opposite direction compared to the past research, an ing providers also may consider the findings while planning
in-depth investigation is needed for better understanding of teacher training programmes related to inclusive education.
these results within Bangladesh context.

The result showed a statistically significant relationship Address for correspondence


between the educational qualification of the teachers and Masud Ahmmed,
their attitudes towards inclusion. Interestingly, teachers Faculty of Education,
with a Master’s degree or above qualification have lower Room 116,
attitudes (M = 53.59) compared to the teachers with a below Building 5,
Bachelor’s (M = 55.77) and Bachelor’s (M = 55.91) degree Monash University,
qualifications. This finding is quite contradictory with the Vic 3800,
results of Parasuram (2006) where it was found that teach- Australia.
ers with a Master’s degree had more positive attitudes than Email: masud.ahmmed@monash.edu
the teachers with Bachelor and below Bachelor degrees.
This result may be explained by the fact that at Masters
level, there is hardly any information about inclusive edu-
cation is being covered in universities in Bangladesh, and References
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with a student with a disability in the classroom held more Journal of College Student Personnel, 28, pp. 53–9.
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