Attitudes of Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers Towards Students Who Stutter in Selected Zambian Schools
Keywords: Stuttering; Teachers’ Attitudes; Students Who Stutter; Pre- service and In-service teachers.
AbstractTo establish whether there are differences in attitude of regular education teachers, special education teachers, regular student teachers, and special education student teachers toward stuttering and students who stutter (SWS) in some selected institutions of learning in the Copperbelt, Luapula, Lusaka, and Muchinga provinces of Zambia. It also sought to determine whether attitudes of teachers differed based on gender, geographic location or educational level. The survey had a random sample of 324 participants who completed the Public Opinion Survey of Human Attributes - Stuttering (POSHA-S) questionnaire. Nonparametric analyses were employed to determine any significant differences among the four groups of teachers surveyed. Significant differences in attitude toward stuttering and SWS were noted between practicing teachers and student teachers (N = 133 < 191, Mdn = 95.0 < 96.0), U = 9663.500, p = .000., and between special education teachers and regular education teachers (N = 62 < 71, Mdn = 95.0 > 97.0), U = 1526.000, p =.002. However, no significant differences were observed in attitude of teachers based on gender and geographic location except for educational level. Neither exposure to college curricular on special education alone nor classroom interactions with learners who stutter without a special education background is enough to instill a positive attitude in teachers towards stuttering. In-service special education teachers have a comparatively positive attitude toward stuttering because of the nature of their training and experience of working with learners with special education needs. Finally, the study asserts that the concept of attitude toward stuttering should be considered as a continuum and not as a negative-positive dichotomy.