Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine pre-service special education (PSpE) teachers’ attitudes towards inclusive education (IE) for students with special educational needs (SEN) in Bangladesh.
Method: 100 PSpE teachers from a leading teacher education institute in Bangladesh were purposively sampled. A 20-item based survey questionnaire was used to measure participants’ attitudes. Items of the survey were developed from a literature review in which Attitudes Towards Inclusive Education Scale (ATIES) by Wilczenski (1992), Concern about Inclusive Education Scale (CIES) by Sharma and Desai (2002), and Interaction with Persons with a Disability (IPD) Scaled by Gething (1994) were considered as the key specialist resources. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were utilised in the analysis.
Results: The results revealed that while the PSpE teachers hold favourable attitudes towards students with SEN, they are concerned about some basic issues of inclusion. Practicum and close contact with children with SEN were found to be important variables which shaped the attitudes of the PSpE teachers. Implications of the findings are discussed and further suggestions are made as to how teacher education institutes may engage PSpE teachers more effectively with their programmes to promote better inclusive practices.
Conclusion: The study suggests that there is a need for providing PSpE teachers with experiential learning prior to school practicum.