Physical Educators, Attitudes and the Mainstream: Suggestions for Teacher Trainers

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James Santomier New York University

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Establishing a psychosocial atmosphere that encourages the acceptance of individual differences is of primary importance to the success of mainstreaming. However, a positive psychosocial atmosphere does not occur incidentally. It demands (a) a desire to establish a positive environment; (b) knowledge concerning the importance of establishing such an environment; (c) skills and techniques required to establish such an environment; (d) deliberate planning on the part of the physical education teacher. Since teacher attitudes and opinions regarding mainstreamed handicapped children affect the psychosocial environment, this paper examines the potential effects of teachers’ negative attitudes and opinions and suggests strategies that teacher trainers may use to improve attitudes and opinions toward mainstreaming and toward handicapped children.

Request reprints from Dr. J. Santomier, Program of Sport and Physical Education, New York University, 635 East Building, Washington Square, New York, NY 10003.

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