Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Systems Technology and Education

Committee Chair(s)

Brian K Warnick


Brian K Warnick


Julie P. Wheeler


Rudy S. Tarpley


The inclusion of students with special needs in regular education classrooms has been required by federal law for more than three decades. However, much of the responsibility for successful accommodation of students with disabilities rests upon the shoulders of teachers. Previous research has indicated that successful inclusion of students with special needs is strongly influenced by the attitude of teachers involved. In this study, all secondary agriculture teachers in Utah were surveyed to determine their attitudes and perceptions related to their willingness and ability to include students with special needs in their classrooms and laboratories. Selected personal and professional characteristics were correlated with these attitudes and perceptions. A large majority of teachers responded that they understand the concept of inclusion, are in favor of including students with disabilities, and have had a positive experience teaching students with special needs. However, fewer respondents indicated that they had the skill level to successfully include students with disabilities. Overall, while teachers indicated willingness to include the students with most of the specific types of disabilities, they were less positive in their perceived abilities to successfully accommodate students with some specific categories of special needs.