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An investigation of factors impacting on mainstream teachers' beliefs about teaching students with learning difficulties

Woolfson, Lisa and Brady, Katy (2009) An investigation of factors impacting on mainstream teachers' beliefs about teaching students with learning difficulties. Educational Psychology, 29 (2). pp. 221-238. ISSN 0144-3410

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Abstract

The relationship between teacher experience, further professional development training, and beliefs and attributions about teaching students with additional learning support needs was studied in a sample of 199 mainstream general class primary school teachers. Using multiple regression, it was found that none of the teacher experience or professional training variables were significant predictors of locus of causality, stability, or controllability attributions, or of teacher self-efficacy with students with difficulties in learning. Self-efficacy, however, was a positive predictor of attributions, and sympathy a negative predictor. Multivariate analysis of variance found no relationship between teacher experience, further professional development training, and dependent outcome variables: self-efficacy with learning difficulties, coping with learning difficulties, interactions with people with disabilities, or general optimism. Implications for continued professional development are discussed.