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Research conducted by Dr. Stephanie Johnson into factors affecting teachers' ability to implement inclusive education in their classrooms was published by the Journal of School Leadership, a Sage publication.
The May 3, 2023 article, "The Role of Teacher Self-Efficacy in the Implementation of Inclusive Practices," Johnson identified three key elements that can impede the adoption of inclusive practices: teachers’ experiences, both personal and vicarious; their perceived administrative support; and their levels of stress.
The research focused on five second grade classrooms and special education teachers as they implemented the inclusive education model. She relied on extended engagement in the school setting, capturing a rich and detailed first-person account of the teachers’ experiences. She collected data through a questionnaire, teacher interviews, and observations of the teachers’ collaborative interactions at professional learning community meetings. The results provide an understanding of the impact of teacher self-efficacy on their ability to effectively implement inclusive teaching practices.
“Teachers are one of the most important variables impacting the implementation of inclusive practices,” Johnson explained. “Successful inclusive education models rely on teachers embracing student diversity and offering a variety of opportunities for students to achieve success in the general education setting.”
Johnson’s results are particularly important for school administrators as they consider the professional development opportunities that will support the implementation of inclusive education initiatives.
“Despite recent initiatives to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion across the country, research indicates that school administrators continue to struggle with how to best support teachers as they implement inclusive practices,” Johnson said. “I am hoping that our administrators will consider the findings of this research when creating professional development opportunities to support teachers in the implementation of inclusive educational practices.”
Johnson thanked the teachers who opened up their classrooms and shared their experiences.
“It is through their support that I was able to capture the real-life struggles of teachers and highlight specific ways in which administrators can support teachers as they take up this challenging work,” she explained.