Inclusive Classrooms: Are Teachers Ready to Support Students with Learning Differences?

By Julianna Wright, posted on
screenshots of readiness survey; elementary students enter a classroom

Benetech 2019 School Preparedness Survey

Inclusive education is on the rise, but are teachers ready to support all learners? A report by the National Center for Learning Disabilities and Understood found that while students with learning differences spend over 80% of their time in general education classrooms, only 17% of general education teachers felt very well prepared to teach students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. While this low percentage may seem alarming, general education teachers have support from a team of inclusive education experts.

For this second annual survey, we polled over 1,000 special education teachers, assistive technology specialists, education therapists, and other teachers that work with students with reading barriers about how they are feeling for the 2019-2020 school year. The results show a league of inclusive education superheroes, who are prepared to support their students’ diverse needs.

Perceptions of Student Preparedness are on the Rise, but Still Lag Behind Teacher Preparedness

While nearly three quarters of all teachers surveyed feel prepared for the 2019-2020 school year, less than half believe that their students with reading barriers are prepared. But, teacher perceptions of student preparedness are on the rise, with 48% of teachers reporting that they believe their students are prepared this year, compared to 40% of teachers in 2018.

The Survey Identified Five Factors That Contribute to Preparedness

Five factors contributed to teacher and student preparedness:

  1. Access to technology
  2. Access to books in formats students need
  3. Percentage of students who receive free or reduced price school meals
  4. Support from school administration
  5. Teacher role

To learn more about these five factors, and the impact that they have on student and teacher preparedness, download the full report (also available as an accessible word document).

View the Full PDF Report

Download Accessible Word Version

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