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Each year, the TASH Conference strengthens the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders within the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for an inclusive world. This year’s conference theme, “Gateway to Equity,” explores inclusive communities, schools, and workplaces that support people with disabilities, including those with complex support needs, in living a fair, just, and balanced life. Return to TASH website.

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Wednesday, November 30 • 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Beliefs about teaching for social justice and attitudes toward disabilities LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

A central mission of our teacher preparation program (TEP) is to prepare candidates to be social justice advocates. We intend as well to prepare candidates who view themselves as teachers of ALL students, not some students -- that they will enter the profession knowing to notice and challenge school practices that may marginalize children on the basis of disability as well as race, gender, class, and language. While the TEP used several key assessments to capture summative data about meeting the College unit standards, there were no pre/mid/post-program indicators of change with respect to social justice beliefs or attitudes toward people with disabilities. We identified three existing scales that reported strong validity and reliability and determined to administer these scales when students entered the program, at the mid-point, at the end of student teaching, and following their first year of teaching. The scales included: the (Boston College) Learning to Teach for Social Justice Beliefs Scale (Enterline, Cochran-Smith, Ludlow, et al, 2008; Ludlow, Enterline, & Cochran-Smith, 2008); the Attitudes Toward Disabled People Scale (Yuker, Block & Young, 1970; Alghzo, Dodeen, & Algaryouti, 2003), and The Multidimensional Attitudes Toward Inclusive Education Scale (Mahat, 2008). We hoped that information from these self-report Likert-types rating tools would provide a measure of preservice teachersƒ?? beliefs about social justice teaching, attitudes about people with disabilities, and readiness to teach others about disability in meaningful ways. Further, we hoped the findings would be used by program faculty to (a) further refine and enhance the existing course of study that addressed social justice (including ableism) as well as (b) identify dependent variables and intervention ideas for future studies intended to cultivate least restrictive attitudes toward preK-12 students with disabilities and others often marginalized in schools. Revising coursework relative to these findings will be a gateway to equity by preparing teachers to hold equitable attitudes and how to engage in practices that promote equity for all. Surveys were administered to sixty-five initial certification teacher candidates at two junctures (to date), pre and mid-program: 14 graduate-level special education majors; 8 undergraduate special education majors; and, 43 undergraduate general/special education combined majors. The participants identified as 12% male and 88% female; 12% fluent in more than one language; and 30% first generation college students. Sixty percent at pre-assessment reported their level of contact with someone who had a disability as ƒ??at least once per monthƒ? or more. Preliminary results indicated that participants (irrespective of group) reported positive beliefs about teaching for social justice and attitudes toward people with disabilities at the pre-assessment. The pre/mid-program change while not statistically significant indicated movement from ratings that reflected agreement to strong agreement for the LTSJ-B and the MATIES and, in the case of the ADTP, from agree pretty much to agree very much. Based on our preliminary analyses, findings suggested that teacher candidate experiences over the course of two semesters solidified an already positive stance toward social justice teaching and people with disabilities. We will share detailed item analyses within and across groups for our candidates and discuss our findings relative to previous reports in the literature for each scale and implications for our own TEP as well as others.

Wednesday November 30, 2016 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Grand F 1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103

Attendees (13)