Attitudes toward Handicapped Students: Professional, Peer, and Parent Reactions

Attitudes toward Handicapped Students: Professional, Peer, and Parent Reactions

Attitudes toward Handicapped Students: Professional, Peer, and Parent Reactions

Attitudes toward Handicapped Students: Professional, Peer, and Parent Reactions

Synopsis

Many handicapped children are now being treated and educated in the mainstream of society. Therefore it is important for professionals to be knowledgeable about the attitudes of societal members toward these students. This text is a thorough and invaluable sourcebook on how attitudes are formed, measured, and changed. An extensive discussion about professional, peer, parental and sibling attitudes toward a class or family member, and reviewing methodologies for change are provided.

Excerpt

The purpose of this chapter is to review the concept of attitude. After presenting some introductory information about the concept of attitude, the chapter overviews representative theories.

There are many theories of attitude; the ones included in this chapter were chosen because they were considered to have significantly impacted upon contemporary attitude theory and at the same time are representative of different theoretical perspectives.

INTRODUCTION TO ATTITUDES

This section opens with a presentation of different definitions of the concept of attitude which have been presented in the literature. This is followed by a discussion of components of an attitude, the relationships between attitudes and behavior, and the possible functions attitudes may serve.

Definition of Attitude

Many researchers have offered definitions of attitude. A sample of these illustrates similarities and differences in conceptualizations.

An attitude is a mental and neural state of readiness, organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual's response to all objects and situations with which it is related (Allport, 1935).

A social attitude . . . may be defined as a set of evaluative categorizations formed toward an object or class of objects as the individual learns, in interaction . . .

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