Date of Award

11-7-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Ed.

Department

Education

First Advisor

Cobb, Cam

Keywords

attitudes, CAAT, educational assistant, Educational Support program, inclusion, special education

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

In recent years, educational assistants have taken on an integral role in special education. They often work with the most challenging and vulnerable student population. To prepare EAs, some of Ontario’s publicly funded colleges have developed pre-service programs. In Ontario, the number of students receiving special education services in K-12 is increasing, and policy trends are advocating for educational inclusion. Literature has suggested that educators’ attitudes toward educational inclusion may impact the extent to which inclusive strategies are implemented. Despite the importance of EAs in the special education team, very few studies have investigated their attitudes toward inclusion. This study investigates pre-service EAs’ attitudes toward educational inclusion through the use of semi-structured interviews. Through these interviews, participants pointed out factors they believed could facilitate inclusion, as well as perceived barriers to inclusion. Recommendations are made for future policy, practice, and research based on three themes that emerged from the data.

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