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Publication Date

12-20-2018

First Page

51

Last Page

66

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to present the scale items, the statistical characteristics, and evidence of validity of the previously unpublished Beliefs about Learning and Teaching Questionnaire that examines elementary teachers’ epistemological beliefs and their beliefs about learning and teaching in inclusive classrooms. In this study, 186 teachers completed the questionnaire. Reliability analysis yielded a Cronbach’s alpha of .81. A factor analysis yielded four factors, including teachers’ beliefs about ability and their preferences for teacher-controlled and student-centred instruction. To examine the relationship between teachers’ beliefs about ability and their beliefs about disability and their responsibilities in working with students with disabilities, 36 teachers completed both the revised questionnaire and a semi-structured interview focused on beliefs and practices, the Pathognomonic-Interventionist Interview. The results suggest that teachers have varying beliefs about their roles and responsibilities in working with students with disabilities, and they provide evidence that these beliefs are related to their more widely held epistemological beliefs about ability. These range from a belief that ability is fixed and is unlikely to be influenced by learning and instruction, to a belief that ability is fluid and malleable, that it is increased by learning and therefore is responsive to instruction.

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