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Principals' Attitudes Towards Inclusion and the Effects

For students with special needs and parents of children with disabilities, having a principal who supports inclusion is beneficial when it comes to receiving quality services for special needs children. According to a survey of 408 elementary schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania "about 1 in 5 principals' attitudes towards inclusion are positive while most are uncertain" (Praisner, 2003, p.135). The survey studied principals' attitudes towards inclusion, as well as, their amount of training in special education and experience with children with disabilities. The study indicated that principals who have positive experiences with students with disabilities and are familiar with the concepts of special education are more likely to have a positive attitude towards inclusion. Variation in placement of special needs students resulted from different attitudes. Therefore, principals with positive attitudes proved likely in placing students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. Seemingly, the principal's view on inclusion affects not only the child with the disability and the parents of that child but teachers, as well as, the community.

Today, principals have many responsibilities other than just administration duties. Principals are seen as mentors not only to students but also to teachers. They are many times the link between the school and the community. Therefore, principals' views are held in high regard among students, teachers, families and the community. It is because of this that principals' attitudes towards inclusion both directly and indirectly affect the quality of services, placement of special needs students, and the training of teachers in special needs services. As a Future Teacher

With IDEA implemented in every public school across the nation, it is inevitable as a future teacher that I will have children with disabilities in my mainstream classes. With...
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