Peer Attitudes Towards Students With Exceptionalities in the Classroom
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This concurrent triangulation mixed methods research project sought to investigate inconsistencies in the current literature regarding student attitudes towards their peers who have exceptionalities. The study encompassed 27 student participants across primary, junior, and intermediate divisions in a Southwestern Ontario school who were involved in classroom discussions, questionnaires, and individual interviews with the goal of identifying elementary school-aged students’ attitudes towards their peers who have exceptionalities in the classroom. Using an appreciative inquiry lens, data collection prompted students to recall positive memories they may have shared with peers who have exceptionalities. An emergent thematic analysis and triangulation of multiple data sources revealed that students acknowledge differences between students with exceptionalities and other same-aged peers; however, students consistently communicated their intent to support all students within their classrooms. While study findings also indicated that students demonstrated an understanding of the importance of inclusion, further research is needed regarding their actual behaviour.