Learning about special educational needs in the workplace: exploring the relationship between knowledge of and attitudes towards children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) held by in-service teachers, trainee teachers and the general public
Rogers, J. and Maunder, R. (2010) Learning about special educational needs in the workplace: exploring the relationship between knowledge of and attitudes towards children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) held by in-service teachers, trainee teachers and the general public. Poster presented to: British Psychological Society Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference 2010, Milton Keynes, England, 12-14 November 2010.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity that interferes with the individuals’ family and peer relationships and with their social, academic or occupational functioning. Due to the number of children affected and current educational policies around inclusion, mainstream teachers are increasingly likely to work with ADHD pupils. Their perceptions of ADHD may impact on their teaching approaches and pupil management, but little is known about teachers’ knowledge and attitudes towards ADHD or whether in-service teachers' knowledge and attitudes are different to those of trainee teachers or members of the general public. This poster will report findings from a study which explored the extent to which teachers and trainee teachers are provided with training about ADHD, and investigated the link between knowledge of and attitudes towards children with ADHD, comparing Pre-Service, In-Service teachers, and the General Public. A total of 176 participants, (71 Pre-Service teachers, 33 In-Service teachers and 72 General Public) completed ADHD knowledge and attitude questionnaires. Results showed a significant relationship between the knowledge and attitude scores for In-Service and General Public groups, but not for the Pre-Service group. In-Service teachers had a higher level of knowledge about ADHD while the Pre-Service and General Public groups had similar, lower, scores. The In-Service group had the most positive attitudes towards children with ADHD and the General Public the least, with Pre-Service trainees showing similar attitude scores to the In-Service group. The length of time teachers had been in service was not related to their knowledge of or attitudes towards ADHD. Theoretical issues and practical implications linked to teacher training, work-based learning and professional practice will be considered, facilitating improved understanding of staff perceptions of ADHD within the education system