Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Preparing Special Education Teachers to Teach Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
by Hardwick, Leann T., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 127; 10285173
Abstract (Summary)

Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present different needs to special education teachers in school today. Without the proper supports and preparation, 75% of special education teachers will leave the field of special education within the first ten years of teaching, with most of the teachers leaving the field within the first three years (Council for Exceptional Children, 2014). Without appropriate interventions, children with ASD are at risk of falling behind their same-aged peers throughout school or making progress towards IEP goals (Lovaas, 1987; Leaf & McEachin, 1999). This study explores the types of preparation: 1) formal education, 2) experiences with people with ASD, and 3) support from administration or an expert in the field of ASD and how it may impact special education teacher self-efficacy. Through the lens of Bandura’s (1977) self-efficacy framework and applying it to special education teachers, a survey design study was employed. The on-line survey, adapted from the ASSET (Ruble, Usher, & McGrew, 2011), teachers were asked to rate their level of confidence to thirty questions specifically related to needs of students with ASD and how they feel they were best prepared for that skill between formal education, experience and support. Fifty-six responses were received but only 36 surveys were used due to completeness. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to find the mean differences on the global self-efficacy scores of special education teachers and the mode of three types of preparation. No statistical significance was found to be a greater predictor of special education teacher self-efficacy. However, some descriptive data provided information on differences between special education teacher high and low self-efficacy, skills that are better prepared by various types of preparation and recommendations on how to apply Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory to help support special education self-efficacy during beginning teacher induction.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hansuvadha, Nat
Commitee: Campbell, Stephanie, Pavri, Shireen
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Special education, Teacher education
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, Preparation, Self-efficacy
Publication Number: 10285173
ISBN: 9780355097351
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