One of the most important factors in the successful inclusion of students with specific learning difficulties in mainstream classrooms is the teacher. Despite strong support for inclusion, mainstream teachers still demonstrate mixed responses to the inclusion of certain students in the classrooms. Further, their attitudes towards inclusion seem to be formed during their initial training. The purpose of this research was to examine the attitudes of pre-service teachers towards students with specific learning difficulties by analyzing their attributional responses to hypothetical students. Participants included 205 pre-service teachers, and the results demonstrated that the pre-service teachers' attributional responses differed according to whether or not the hypothetical students had a specific learning difficulty. Their attributional responses were likely to have an unintended negative impact on students' attributions, self-efficacy and motivation. One implication of these findings is that pre-service teacher-training needs to include a focus on teachers' attitudes and behaviors in inclusive classrooms.
- Specific learning difficulties
- Attribution theory
- Pre-service teachers
- Inclusive classrooms