A presentation hosted by the American Institutes for Research discussed the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms. Using 2013 data from the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), the presentation addressed some parents' concern that, due to the additional needs of students with disabilities, teachers may spend less time teaching in inclusive classrooms. While studies have examined when and how much inclusion is appropriate for students with disabilities, there is less research on how inclusion may negatively impact students without disabilities in the same classroom. This study seeks to shine light on that issue.
· The findings indicate that teachers in classrooms with a greater percentage of students with special needs do spend less time teaching.
· In classrooms in which 11-30% of students have special needs, teachers spend about 76% of their class time on teaching, compared to 81% in classrooms without any students with special needs, on average.
· The disparity is wider in many countries, including Singapore (77% vs. 60%), Japan (82% vs. 72%), and Sweden (87% vs. 77%).
· Teacher and school characteristics do not explain the variation in class time spent on teaching. Instead, the disparity in teaching time in inclusive and less inclusive classrooms is fully attenuated when accounting for classroom student characteristics, particularly the proportion of students with behavioral problems.
Cooc, N. (2017) Do teachers teach less in classrooms with students with special needs? Trends and predictors from international data. Presented by American Institutes for Research, Oct. 26.