After exploring several topics, I decided to focus on pre-service elementary teachers and their perceived ability to teach mathematics in an inclusive classroom.
In the era of the No Child Left Behind Act, the emphasis is on ensuring that all students become proficient in both reading and mathematics, regardless of economic status, limited English proficiency or disabilities. As a result of recent trends and legislation, children with disabilities are increasingly placed upon a continuum of inclusive models. Due to this policy, and because inclusive practices have become more prevalent in elementary schools, it is important that teacher education programs provide quality instruction not only in mathematics content and methods, but also in inclusive methods in mathematics education to their pre-service general education students.
Therefore, the purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if there were any relationships between pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion in a mathematics classroom, their perceived ability to adapt instruction for specific learning disabilities, their perceived ability teach mathematics, and their perceived ability to teach the topics in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Attitudes were examined by surveying 21 pre-service teachers through a web-based survey. Responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Pearson product-moment correlations. Results indicate a strong positive correlation between the ability to teach math and general inclusion beliefs as well as between general inclusion beliefs and the ability to adapt. The strongest correlation was found between the perceived ability to teach math and the ability to adapt instruction. No correlation was found between pre-service teachers’ perceived ability to teach the topics in the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice and the other constructs. Findings are discussed with respect to practice and future research.