The acceptance of disabled children in regular schools: An important factor in successful integration

Year: 1994

Author: Hurley, Anne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Three hundred and thirty-nine teachers in the south-eastern metropolitan region of Melbourne were surveyed to obtain information on factors contributing to the success of an integrated child in their class. A factor analysis of the results shows eight factors, the first of which accounts for almost 20% of the common variance and is defined as Acceptance. The variables loading on this factor, listed in accordance with the strength of their relationship to the factor, are: (a) peers choose to play with the child in the playground; (b) peers choose to work with the child in the classroom; (c) the child considers him/herself popular; (d) the child is not rejected by peers; (e) the child exhibits positive social behaviour; (f) the child is satisfied with his/her school performance, and (g) the teacher is happy to accept the child into his/her class. A correlation of .65, significant at the .01 level, was found between this factor and successful integration. Peer acceptance, self- acceptance and teacher acceptance, therefore, play an important part in the successful integration of disabled children into regular schools.

The implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations for instructional strategies and classroom management factors which will contribute to the acceptance and therefore more successful integration of these children are made.