What adaptations and modifications do regular classroom teachers report making to their programs and practices in order to meet the needs of students with mild disabilities and learning difficulties?

  • Catherine Alida Hendricka Van Limbeek

Student thesis: Professional Doctorate


Integration has been the policy of the New South Wales Department of Education and Training since 1981. Regular classroom teachers are responsible for implementing this policy at the classroom level. In order to achieve this, teachers need to make informed decisions about aspects of the class program and practice that may need to be adapted or modified to provide opportunities for integrated students to participate meaningfully in regular classroom environments. The purpose of this study is twofold: to extend research into adaptations made by New South Wales teachers under a policy of integration by surveying teachers' perceptions on various adaptations/modifications and to explore factors related to teachers' implementation of these adaptations/modifications to programs and practices for students with mild disabilities and/or learning difficulties. Researchers have studied integration (variously named and interpreted) since the eighties and the current research is based on a body of research conducted over the last twenty-five years. The current research identified the frequency of different types of adaptations/modifications used by regular classroom teachers. An attempt is made to identify various barriers and isolate particular factors that may influence the use of these adaptations/modifications in regular classrooms. Results indicated that teachers reported using different adaptations and modifications to varying degrees. Teachers indicated that they held a preference for adaptations and modifications that could easily be implemented for all students in the class. Teachers reported that barriers such as: 'Lack of preparation and planning time'; 'Demands on instruction time'; and 'Inadequate staff ratios' have the greatest affect on their implementation of adaptations and modifications. The level of qualifications held by the teachers was the only factor that had a significant correspondence to the frequency of adaptations and modifications implemented for students with mild disabilities and learning difficulties. Further research is recommended to investigate across a larger area of population, the type and level of disabilities experienced by the students and the influence of teachers? choice on frequency of adaptations and modifications.
Date of Award2008
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorTony Shaddock (Supervisor) & Tony Spinks (Supervisor)

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