Volume 51 - Number 2 - 2010 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2010.02102
The inclusion of students with special needs in regular education classrooms has been required by federal law for more than three decades. However, much of the responsibility for successful accommodation of students with disabilities rests upon the shoulders of teachers. Previous research has indicated that successful inclusion of students with special needs is strongly influenced by the attitude of teachers involved. In this study, secondary agriculture teachers in one western state were surveyed to determine their attitudes and perceptions related to their willingness and ability to include students with special needs in their classrooms and laboratories. Selected personal and professional characteristics were correlated with these attitudes and perceptions. A large majority of teachers responded that they understand the concept of inclusion, are in favor of including students with disabilities, and have had a positive experience teaching students with special needs. However, fewer respondents indicated that they had the skill level to successfully include students with disabilities. Overall, while teachers indicated willingness to include students with specific disability types, they were less positive in their perceived abilities to successfully accommodate these same students.