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Departmental differences in attitudes to special educational needs in the secondary school

Ellins, J. and Porter, J. (2005) Departmental differences in attitudes to special educational needs in the secondary school. British Journal of Special Education, 32 (4). pp. 188-195. ISSN 1467-8578

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8578.2005.00396.x


As trends in favour of inclusion continue, questions arise concerning the extent to which teachers in mainstream schools feel prepared for the task of meeting pupils' special educational needs. Little previous research has considered how the subject taught impacts upon the attitudes of mainstream teachers towards pupils with special educational needs. In this article, Jean Ellins, research fellow at the University of Birmingham, and Jill Porter, senior lecturer at the University of Bath, report on their research into the attitudes of teachers in one mainstream secondary school. Building a detailed case study using documents, records of pupil progress, an interview and a questionnaire using a Likert-type attitude scale and open-ended questions, these researchers set out to explore distinctions between the attitudes of teachers working in different departments. Their findings suggest that the teachers of the core subjects, English, mathematics and science, had less positive attitudes than their colleagues. Further, pupils with special educational needs made least progress in science where teacher attitudes were the least positive. Jean Ellins and Jill Porter review the implications of these findings and make recommendations for future practice and further enquiry.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
ID Code:47274

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