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Attitudes of General Education Teachers in Grades One Through Six Toward Inclusion in New Providence, Bahamas Open Access

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The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of primary public school teachers (1-6) toward inclusive education in New Providence, Bahamas. General education teachers are the principal facilitators of inclusion and research shows that they have a negative attitude toward inclusion. This quantitative descriptive study examined the attitudes of 234 general education teachers in public primary schools in New Providence, Bahamas. Respondents completed a brief demographic questionnaire and The Opinions Relative to the Integration of Students with Disabilities (ORI) developed by Antonak and Larrivee (1995) which examined general education teachers' attitudes toward the concept of inclusion, their perceived ability to teach in inclusive settings and the management of and outcomes for children with disabilities in general education. The results revealed that general education teachers have a positive attitude toward the benefits of inclusion, a negative attitude toward their ability to teach children with special needs in their general education classrooms and a negative attitude toward the concept of inclusion. General education teachers were not positive or negative toward the management of inclusive classrooms. Three demographic factors affecting positive attitudes toward inclusion were training for teaching in inclusive classrooms, higher level of education, and experience teaching children with special needs.

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