ITE students’ attitudes to inclusion

Gill Richards, Peter Clough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper focuses upon a study of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) stu-dents’ attitudes towards inclusion. The cohort investigated was an entireyear’s intake for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at a uni-versity that attracts a large number of its students from the local region. (Inthe UK the PGCE is one of the routes to Qualified Teacher status, and is aone-year course taken by students who have already completed a first, bach-elor’s degree in a subject such as History, Mathematics or Modern languages,etc.) Key issues were identified within students’ responses, and links havebeen made with other relevant studies. It draws on the view (e.g. Oliver,1998) that inclusion is about social justice, a human and civil rights issuewhich is constrained by a society that perceives disabled people as lessentitled to having their requirements met in ordinary society than thoseoppressed owing to race, gender or class.An earlier study of attitudes in further education (Richards, 2000) identi-fied that, for many students, inclusive teaching was not considered to be anissue that would affect them personally, as it would be addressed by thosewith specialist qualifications and training. One of the aims of the presentstudy was to identify whether trainee teachers for the compulsory sector hadsimilar expectations. This linked with two further factors, the government’scontinued drive for increased inclusion (DfE, 1997, 1998; FEFC, 1997;CSIE, 2000, 2002) and local education authorities’ plans to close specialschools and make local schools more inclusive in the vicinity of the univer-sity. It was therefore an appropriate time to review intending teachers’ views,as many would have been educated in a system where, generally, disabledlearners had been segregated from them, but they would now be expected tobe ready to teach such learners on completion of their programme
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Education
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2004

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