ISTE Presentation: Preparing Preservice Teachers for Inclusive Classroom

Instilling a belief that all children can learn is a common goal of teacher education programs. Research suggests however that teachers feel ill-prepared to support students in the inclusive classroom (Brownell, Adams, Sindelar, Waldron, & Vanhover, 2006). 

Teacher education programs may grapple with meaningfully incorporating inclusion practices and positively shaping teachers’ attitudes about students with exceptionalities (also called diverse learners). 

When new teachers enter the classroom, they bring with them personal experiences, beliefs, and attitudes that shape instructional choices, interactions with students, and beliefs about the learner. 

Teacher expectations are strongly correlated to student achievement. As such, what a teacher believes about a student may become the expected outcome, and this is true for students with disabilities as well (Hampton & Mason, 2003).