Occupational therapy students' attitudes towards inclusion education in Australia, United Kingdom, United States and Taiwan

Keli Mu, Ted Brown, Claudia G. Peyton, Sylvia Rodger, Yan-Hua Huang, Chin-Yu Wu, Callie Watson, Karen Stagnitti, Eve Hutton, Jackie Casey, Chia Swee Hong
2010 Occupational Therapy International  
This international, cross-cultural study investigated the attitudes of occupational therapy students from Australia, United Kingdom, United States and Taiwan towards inclusive education for students with disabilities. The possible impact of professional education on students' attitudes was also explored. A total of 485 students from 11 entrylevel occupational therapy education programmes from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United Sates and Taiwan participated in the study. Among them, 264
more » ... re freshmen (fi rst-year students) and 221 were seniors (fi nal-year students). Data collected from a custom-designed questionnaire were analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. In general, the occupational therapy students reported having positive attitudes towards inclusion. Considerable differences, however, existed among the student groups from the four countries. Professional education appeared to have a signifi cant impact on students' attitudes towards inclusion from fi rst year to senior year. Although students were in favour of inclusion, they also cautioned that their support for inclusive practices depended on various factors such as adequate preparation, support and assistance to students with disabilities. Limitations of the study included the small, convenience sample and different degree structures of the participating programmes. Future research studies need to compare occupational therapy students' attitudes with students from other health care professions. A longitudinal study on the impact of the professional education programme on students' attitudes towards inclusive education is warranted.
doi:10.1002/oti.285 pmid:19701921 fatcat:vcasqqk5nzdyjfd4u4x5cl5ory