The Influence of Autism-Related Information on General Education Teacher Knowledge of Autism and Self-Efficacy for Inclusion of Students with Autism
AuthorBressette, Keri Anne
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study examined the impact of providing general education teachers with increasing levels of information about autism. Specifically, the amount of information given to teachers was examined as it impacted: 1. teacher self-efficacy, 2. teacher knowledge about autism, and 3. whether knowledge mediates self-efficacy. An online survey format was utilized to randomly assign 129 teachers to one of four information conditions. Namely, these conditions were 1) a control condition in which neutral information regarding sleep, retention, and zero tolerance policies was provided to the teachers (Control), 2) a diagnosis only condition in which only educational and medical diagnostic information was provided to the teachers along with information regarding sleep and retention (Diagnosis only), 3) a diagnosis plus functioning condition in which teachers were provided with diagnostic information plus information regarding how children with autism function in daily lives along with neutral information regarding sleep (Diagnosis + Functioning), and 4) a diagnosis plus functioning plus strategies condition in which teachers were provided with the diagnostic and functioning information in addition to information concerning efficacious educational strategies for students with autism (Diagnosis + Functioning + Strategies). A pre-test/post-test design was implemented to determine the effects of the information provided to the teachers. Increased levels of information resulted in a significant increase in autism knowledge overall. Regarding teacher self-efficacy for teaching students with autism, self-efficacy was observed to increase from pre-test to post-test; however, these increases were not significant. Additionally, a mediation model could not be established due to a lack of correlation between the independent variable of information condition and the dependent variable of self-efficacy. Results indicated that when given specific, demonstrative information about autism, teachers' knowledge subsequently increases; however, this given information does not result in an increase in self-efficacy for teaching students with autism, indicating that information alone is not enough to increase teachers' self-efficacy, and additional practice may be needed to truly enhance teachers' confidence for teaching this population.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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