Date of Award

5-25-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Clinical Psychology

Colleges & School

College Of Arts And Sciences

First Advisor

Brad Grunert, PhD

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Asperger's syndrome; Autistic children--Education; Special education teachers; Teacher effectiveness

Abstract

As the frequency of autism (ASD) continues to rise, so does its impact on public schools (Horrocks, White & Roberts, 2008). With inclusion models becoming the norm inside of public schools it is important to make sure teachers support, understand, and feel supported when it comes to educating this population. Successful inclusion placement requires teachers to feel well prepared. A teacher’s perceived level of preparedness is an important concept to consider when determining a child’s placement because feelings usually influence one’s behavior. The classroom teacher’s behavior will affect all of the children placed in the class. The present research aims to compare perceived levels of preparedness for mainstreaming between general education teachers and special education teachers. To compare levels of perceived preparedness, the current research collected responses from 107 Milwaukee area teachers, of which 49.5% were general education teachers and 42.1% were special education teachers. The participants were all current teachers who were teaching kindergarten through twelfth grade in the greater Milwaukee area. The survey was distributed through an informal social network of teachers employed across multiple school districts. The results showed that there was no significant difference between regular education and special education teachers in their ratings of preparedness to mainstream a child with Asperger’s Disorder. Results also showed that regular education teachers who had experience mainstreaming feel more prepared to mainstream than teachers who had no mainstreaming experience. There are some noted limitations to this data. These include, but are not limited to, small number of research participants, small selection of research participants, and the inclusion of student teachers, and a limited geographic representation.

Rights

On-Campus Access

OCLC Number

794285695

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