Teachers' Educational Beliefs about Students with Learning Disabilities

Andrew James Landers, Fordham University


Past research indicates that teachers’ beliefs are influential in their decisions and behaviors in the classroom. Teachers are also influenced by the socioeconomic status of their students. The present study on beliefs and evaluation of knowledge about working with students with learning disabilities included kindergarten through 12th grade teachers of students with learning disabilities in the New York City metropolitan area. Participating teachers (N = 195) were presented with statements drawn from current literature on learning disabilities and asked to provide an agreement rating, predicted agreement of others, and fact or belief categorization. Responses were examined for differences among teachers’ educational beliefs about students with learning disabilities with regard to the socioeconomic demographic of the schools in which they teach. Additionally, responses were examined with regard to statement category. A survey was created that used statements on the nature and causes of learning disabilities (nature), effective instructional interventions with students with learning disabilities (instruction), and teacher efficacy when working with students with learning disabilities (efficacy). Teachers in low and high SES schools provided similar agreement ratings for learning disability statements. However, teachers in low SES schools demonstrated significantly more fact categorization. Learning disability statements that were about efficacy for working with students with learning disabilities were agreed with and rated as facts less than statements about nature or instruction. An interaction between school type and statement type was not found. Overall, teachers in the study were inaccurate in predicting other teachers’ agreement.

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology|Special education|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Landers, Andrew James, "Teachers' Educational Beliefs about Students with Learning Disabilities" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10270879.