Date of Award

12-2001

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Ben Atchison

Second Advisor

Dr. Cindee Peterson

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Cooper

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

An anonymous survey designed to measure regular public elementary school teachers' attitudes towards children with physical disabilities in their classrooms was sent to regular public elementary school teachers in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana.

A review of the literature suggests training is one of the major factors contributing to teachers' attitudes, and that training can modify teachers' attitudes. Overall, this study found teachers had favorable attitudes towards children with physical disabilities in their classrooms. The biggest concerns affecting teachers' attitudes were managing the classroom, spending an equal amount of time with all children, and training.

Teachers need more specific training on all disabilities. This will help to make them more comfortable in their own classrooms. Teachers want to have children with physical disabilities in their classrooms, but they need more preparation and support. Further research needs to examine what kind of training teachers want and need to further their positive attitudes towards children with physical disabilities in their classrooms.

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