Social cognitive factors impacting on teachers' reported inclusive behaviours for children with intellectual disabilities

  • Claire Wilson

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis applied psychological theory to examine teachers' explicit and implicit beliefs towards working with children with intellectual disabilities (ID) in the mainstream classroom. The impact of these beliefs on reported inclusive teaching practices was also examined. One pilot and three larger studies were carried out. The pilot study tested a Theory of Planned Behaviour measure which aimed to assess the impact of social cognitive variables on teachers' reported behaviour. Using the think aloud protocol, the face validity of the measure was confirmed and areas in which the questionnaire was difficult to complete were addressed. The first study then utilised this questionnaire to assess teachers' attitudes, social norms and perceptions of control towards inclusive teaching. Actual teaching practices were reported two weeks later. Results identified self-efficacy as the most important predictor of reported inclusive behaviour. Further, attitudes, perceptions of other staff and control were important in predicting self-efficacy, suggesting a role of the school environment. Study 2 aimed to extend these findings by examining predictors of teacher self-efficacy. Results confirmed the relationship between self-efficacy beliefs and reports of inclusive teaching. School ethos (collective efficacy and perceptions of the school climate) and mastery experiences were found to predict teachers' efficacy beliefs. Study 3 then tested the impact of teachers' automatic beliefs on reported inclusive behaviour using the Motivation and Opportunity as Determinants model. Teachers' implicit attitudes were measured using a version of the Implicit Association Test and a questionnaire was used to assess explicit inclusive attitudes, self-efficacy beliefs and reported inclusive behaviours. Teachers' automatic beliefs towards children with ID did not relate to reported inclusive behaviour. Again, only self-efficacy beliefs were found to be important to the prediction of reported inclusive behaviour. Implications for both theory and practice are discussed with suggestions for professional development and teacher training.
Date of Award16 Nov 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde

Cite this