Determinants of Mexican Lower Secondary School Students’ Attitudes Toward Inclusive Education




inclusive education, attitudes, students, secondary school education, Mexico


PURPOSE. Given the ever-increasing diversity of the global student body and the individual learning needs of students, the establishment of inclusive educational settings has become still more relevant worldwide. Empirical evidence suggests that the success of inclusive schooling strongly relies on the attitudes of all stakeholders involved. As a result, research has focused intensively on examining the determinants of teacher and parent attitudes toward inclusive education. However, when considering students’ attitudes toward inclusive education, empirical research to date has focused primarily on examining the attitudes (and their determinants) of students without special education needs toward their peers without special education needs, while research on students’ general attitudes toward learning in inclusive educational settings is scarce. Against this background, this study aimed to explore the determinants of Mexican lower secondary school students’ attitudes toward inclusive education.

METHODS. A total of 307 Mexican lower secondary students from 20 classes participated voluntarily in this study. The students completed a voluntary online self-report questionnaire on their attitudes toward inclusive education. Based on the literature review on individual and context-level determinants of students’ attitudes, the questionnaire, including data on students’ sociodemographic variables and general self-efficacy, as well as ratings of their teachers differentiated instructional practice, was developed.

CONCLUSION. The findings of this study emphasize that solely attending a class together with a peer with special educational needs does not inherently translate into more positive attitudes towards inclusion, but rather the quality of contact and meaningful experiences between students do. Additionally, considering the significant role that students’ general self-efficacy has on their attitudes, the present study calls for appropriate instructional actions and interventions in which students can foster their personal beliefs on how they can engage with other students as well as with educational tasks within inclusive learning settings.


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