Factors influencing inclusion-related attitudes of teachers at vocational schools. Results of an empirical study in German federal states
The inclusion-related attitudes of teachers are considered to be essential predictors for their pedagogical and inclusion-related perception and action in inclusive lessons as well as for the success of (inclusive) teaching. Numerous studies have examined the attitudes of teachers and potential factors influencing them. So far, however, the full qualified teachers at vocational schools have largely not been taken into account. Therefore, the present study investigates the level of inclusion-related attitudes among teachers at vocational schools in Germany.
In addition, the study asks for the effect of potential influencing factors on the teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion. Using a standardized questionnaire, which was supplemented with open questions, 662 teachers at vocational schools in four federal states of Germany (Hamburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia), were interviewed. Attitudes towards inclusion are overall neutral. Using linear regression analysis, it can be shown that professional and private experiences with people with special needs, experiences in inclusive classes and inclusion-related qualifications have a significant influence on personal willingness as one dimension of attitudes. In addition, general and especially inclusion-related self-efficacy show a positive effect on attitudes.
It also shows that the understanding of teaching and learning has an influence on attitudes towards inclusion in general (an instruction-oriented understanding is related to more negative attitudes) and that the teachers’ understanding of inclusion is related to their personal willingness. Against the background of this study, inclusion-related training courses to increase inclusion-related attitudes and the improvement of resources and framework conditions seem particularly promising for the implementation of inclusion.