Primary/Junior Pre-Service Teachers’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions of Including Students with ADHD in General Education Classrooms: A Mixed-Method Study
Negative attitudes towards students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are a lingering challenge in the education system. It is important to examine pre-service teachers’ perceptions of ADHD in an educational setting due to the influential roles of teachers on students. Pre-service teachers’ knowledge and attitudes, as well as their perceptions of ADHD, have powerful influences on the ways in which teachers' pedagogical decisions affect their interactions and relationships with students. The purpose of the study was to explore pre-service teachers’ knowledge of ADHD and their attitudes and perceptions towards including ADHD in the general classroom. The purpose of this study was informed by two research questions: Do coursework and practicum experience influence pre-service teachers’ knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of including students with ADHD in the general education classroom? What underlies a change in pre-service teachers’ knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of including students with ADHD in the general education classroom? A mixed-method study was conducted using a sequential explanatory design, examining 28 primary/junior pre-service teachers from a university, in a city in Ontario. Pre-test and post-test data were collected through questionnaires, responses to vignettes, and in-depth individual interviews. Questionnaire analysis indicated four significant differences from time 1 to time 2. Three individual interviews were conducted; overall pre-service teachers had positive attitudes towards students with ADHD, but lacked content knowledge and felt there were weaknesses in their knowledge due to their teacher education program design. This study provides an in-depth understanding of pre-service teachers’ knowledge, attitudes (what they think or feel) and perceptions (their understanding or interpretation) of students with ADHD. Findings of this study could be of interest to Ontario curriculum developers, policy makers, teacher educators, and practicing teachers.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/15978
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