Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Curriculum and Instruction


Riccomini, Paul J

Committee Member

Correa , Vivian

Committee Member

Switzer , Deborah

Committee Member

Taylor , Mary Ann


The purpose of this research project was to identify preservice teacher beliefs, attitudes, and intentions toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in a predominately general education environment. A survey instrument was created based on Ajzen and Fishbein's theory of planned behavior and disseminated to three universities in South Carolina. This study improves upon existing studies of preservice teacher attitudes because it takes place at more than one institution and is grounded in a theory that explores the many- layered aspects of attitude.
Preservice teacher attitudes were moderately positive on all measures: behavioral beliefs, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control. Specific responses describe an altruistic and civic- minded group of future educators. Respondents indicated a near near neutral attitude towards the use of research- based practices. Interaction of scores for ease of use and likelihood of use for research- based practices was also near neutral.
Three conclusions were drawn from the findings of this study: (1) Programs of higher education are succeeding in their mission to graduate citizens with a sensitivity for the problems of others, committed to the betterment of society. (2) Programs of higher education need to evaluate the ways in which research based practices are taught. (3) Preservice teachers may believe they have complete volitional control over factors within the inclusive environment.