04 SES 10 A, Relationship of Teacher Personality and Attitudes to Inclusive Education (Part 1)
Paper Session: to be continued in 04 SES 11 A
The ideology of inclusive education signifies that every child should be able to attend a regular school, unless there are insoluble barriers which make this impossible. This principle is voiced in treaties such as the Salamanca Statement and the No Child Left Behind Act. Accordingly, many countries nowadays aim at integrating students with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream education.
A specific challenge for teachers who apply for inclusive education is teaching students who show challenging behaviour in the classroom1. A growing number of teachers report feelings of professional inadequacy in teaching students with behavioural difficulties2.
Feelings of professional inadequacy are said to occur when a teacher lacks pedagogic and/or didactic skills to act adequately in demanding classroom situations3.
Teachers of students with behavioural difficulties are found to be particularly at risk for experiencing occupational stress4. Moreover, these teachers are more likely to end their career in education earlier than teachers who are teaching students with other SEN or without5. Many teachers of students with behavioural difficulties tend to pay too much attention to controlling student behaviour rather than to teaching6.
At the same time, in this respect, students with behavioural difficulties are a population at risk as well. Regardless of the underlying cause of their behavioural problems, students with behavioural difficulties gain less academic progress than students who go through a normal development7. Strikingly, this academic delay appears to increase rapidly over the years8.
For all the feelings of professional inadequacy, there are also teachers who are somehow able to bring out the best in all their students. These teachers are able to engage students, meet their differing needs and increase their potential. These teachers are commonly said to be equipped with a teacher’s X-factor9; an enigmatic, yet unexplained talent causing a teacher’s excellence in the classroom.
A widely accepted key determinant of successful schooling is teacher quality. Accordingly, the competencies of expert teachers have already been studied in detail10. However, recent evidence points at personality as an underlying core factor from which these competencies may arise11. In the literature, personality is defined as relatively enduring patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours12.
Much literature has already been published on the relationship between personality and job performance. Virtually all studies on the subject report strong correlations between the Five-Factor Model of Personality and job performance13. However, until recently, these relations were not explored in the field of education. A first study of this kind was conducted by the authors14. The results of this study were presented at last year’s ECER in Istanbul.
The personality dimensions of Conscientiousness (facets of competence, self-discipline, ambition) and Neuroticism (facets of depression, vulnerability, shame) were found to discriminate expert teachers from non-experts. Furthermore, significant relationships were found between teacher personality and teacher quality in teaching students with behavioural difficulties for Conscientiousness, Neuroticism and Extraversion (assertiveness).
With the aim of contributing to finding ways to accurately recruit expert teachers of students with behavioural difficulties, a cohort of in-service teacher-trainees was studied on their personality and performance in teaching students with behavioural difficulties. The authors wondered whether the relationships found in the previous study could be established or replicated in teacher education?
1 Goei, S.L., and Kleijnen, R. (2009). Final report study of literature by the Education Council ‘Coping with students with EBD’. Zwolle: University of Zwolle. 2 Drost, M., and Bijstra, J. (2008). Students in the picture. A study on characteristics of students assigned to EBD schools. Groningen: RENN4. 3 Edelenbos, P., Meijer, W., and Harms, T. (2002). The pedagogic-didactic consequences of diagnosis. Groningen: GION. 4 Nelson, J.R., Maculan, A., Roberts, M.L., and Ohlund, B.J. (2001). Sources of occupational stress for teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 9, no 2: 123–130. 5 Adera, B.A., and Bullock, L.M. (2010). Job stressors and teacher job satisfaction in programs serving students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 15, no 1: 5–14. 6 Almog, O., and Shechtman, Z. (2007). Teachers’ democratic and efficacy beliefs and styles of coping with behavioural problems of pupils with special needs. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 22, no 2: 115–129. 7 Siperstein, G.N., Wiley, A. L., and Forness, S. R. (2011). Academic and behavioral progress of students with ED served in low income versus high income schools. Paper presented at the TECBD conference, Tempe, United States. 8 Ledoux, G., Roeleveld, J., Van Langen, A., and Paas, T. (2012). COOL Special: technical report. Amsterdam: Kohnstamm Instituut. 9 Smits, H. J. (2006). Discover your X-factor!. Vianen: House of Books. 10 Hattie, J. (2003). Teachers make a difference. What is the research evidence? Paper presented at the Australian Council for Educational Research Annual Conference on Building Teacher Quality, October 19-21, in Melbourne, Australia. 11 Timmering, L., Snoek, M., and Dietze, A. (2009). Identifying teacher quality: Structuring elements of teacher quality. Paper presented at the ATEE conference, August 22–September2, in Mallorca, Spain. 12 McCrae, R.R., and John, O.P. (1992). An introduction to the Five-Factor Model and its applications. Journal of Personality, 60, no 2: 175–215. 13 Hurtz, G. M., & Donovan, J. J. (2000). Personality and job performance: The Big Five revisited. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, no 6: 869–879. 14 Buttner, S.A., Pijl, S.J., Bijstra, J., and Van den Bosch, E.J. (submitted). Personality traits of expert teachers of students with EBD. 15 Buttner, S.A., Pijl, S.J., Bijstra, J., and Van den Bosch, E.J. (submitted) Triangulating measures for selecting expert teachers of students with behavioural problems. 16 Skaalvik, E.M., & Skaalvik, S. (2007). Dimensions of teacher self-efficacy and relations with strain factors, perceived collective teacher efficacy, and teacher burnout. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99, no: 3, 611–625.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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