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Student teacher’s attitudes towards educating pupils diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the inclusive mainstream classroom
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9637-5338
Canterbury Christ Church University; University of East London, England .
University of Eastern Finland.
University of Eastern Finland.
Show others and affiliations
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Social justice, equality and solidarity in education are the founding principles of inclusive education. Yet barriers to inclusion remain within many classrooms across Northern Europe. In Sweden, Finland and England, the ideology is to provide special needs education primarily in mainstream education. Thus, the support for children with ASD is generally provided in conjunction with mainstream education whenever possible. However, although teachers play a crucial role in the inclusion of children with special needs in regular education, there persists a paucity of empirical research surrounding teacher attitudes toward children with ASD and their experiences of educating these pupils in the classroom. This is particularly the case in regard to student teachers, with whom there has been no studies on this topic. Such data are important because, given that the prevalence of ASD has increased sharply worldwide, it is vital that student teachers are adequately prepared to meet the needs and secure the equal treatment of pupils diagnosed with ASD in the classroom.

The current project seeks to address this gap by accessing student teacher attitudes and experiences of children with ASD in Sweden, Finland and England. Student teachers will be recruited from higher education courses at one university in each country. The project will utilize a mixed method approach comprising three stages. Firstly, participants will be asked to complete a cross-sectional survey investigating attitudes to children with ASD and their hypothesized predictors (e.g., knowledge, contact), derived from extant research on disability attitudes. This will shed light on the structure of student teacher attitudes in addition to what may influence them. Secondly, semi-structured interviews will be used to explore student teachers’ classroom interactions with children who have ASD. This will give rich insight into how student teachers think and feel about educating pupils with ASD and identify any barriers to their inclusion in a mainstream setting. In the final stage, cross-national comparisons will be made between the three countries. This will highlight which aspects of teacher education programmes facilitate positive attitudes to children with ASD. These data will be helpful in influencing the teacher education policies in Sweden, Finland and England in directions that will promote equality and inclusion in mainstream education. 

This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between psychology and special education faculty members at three European universities.  The purpose of this presentation is to outline the scope of the project, discuss its methodology and obtain feedback from the scientific community. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Educational Sciences Psychology
Research subject
Special Education; Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41101OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-41101DiVA, id: diva2:913278
Conference
NERA2016 - The 44th Congress "Social justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education", 9-11 March, Helsinki
Available from: 2016-03-21 Created: 2016-03-21 Last updated: 2016-07-04Bibliographically approved

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Lindblom, AnneRoos, Carin

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