Attitudes of preservice teachers towards the inclusion of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Barned, Nicole Eloise
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Thirty-nine preservice teachers‟ registered in an introductory course into Educational Psychology completed a Modified Autism Inclusion Questionnaire to (1) examine their attitudes towards ASD and inclusion; (2) investigate their knowledge about ASD; and (3) investigate the extent to which preservice teacher variables (e.g. experience) influence their attitudes towards ASD and inclusion. Fourteen participants were also interviewed to examine the consistency of their quantitative responses and ascertain their attitudes and rationales. The results indicated that preservice teachers in this sample generally had a positive attitude towards the inclusion of students with ASD in a regular classroom setting; they had limited general knowledge of ASD and the strategies for children with ASD. Furthermore, variables such as years in college, experience, intended level to teach, and teaching area were found to have no statistically significant influence on their knowledge. The implications and future research directions are discussed below.