Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
This study examined the perceptions preservice teachers have of students with disabilities from both a quantitative and theoretical level. Specific research goals were to determine whether: (1) preservice teachers in different education majors had different perceptions of students with disabilities; preservice teachers' placement within the teacher education program impacted his/her perceptions of students with disabilities; (2) the number of field experiences taken impacted preservice teachers' perceptions of students with disabilities; (3) which demographic factors were associated with preservice teachers' perceptions of students with disabilities; and what factors impacted participant's current perceptions of students/individuals with disabilities.;Based on prior research, it is imperative that more research be conducted at a theoretical level if any form of systemic change is to be achieved in teachers' perceptions of disability. This study was designed to rectify the lack of theoretical base for how preservice teachers develop their perceptions of individuals who deviate from the norm; hence, this study draws extensively from three sociological perspectives: structural functionalism, symbolic interactionism, and conflict theory.;Results indicated that preservice teachers' perceptions of students with disabilities were fairly positive. An analysis of participants' perceptions based on placement in the teacher education program indicated that participants in the middle of the teacher education program had the highest mean scores. Linear regression analyses indicated that approximately one-third of the variance in early childhood education majors' perceptions is explained by the participants' completion or enrollment in two courses. Little variance was explained by courses taken by elementary education or secondary preservice teachers. There were differences between groups based on the number of field experiences the preservice teachers had completed. Several demographic variables had an impact on preservice teachers' perceptions of students with disabilities. Several themes emerged as factors that had shaped participants' current perceptions of students with disabilities. The most prevalent factors were family, friends, work, school, practicum experiences, and religious beliefs.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu
Linda Sue Impecoven-Lind
Impecoven-Lind, Linda Sue, "Preservice teachers' perceptions of students with disabilities" (2004). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 799.