"Development of positive attitudes of mainstream teaching staff towards autistic students" by Susie Bass, University of Kent


Sussie Bass presents her study focused on investigating the impact of autism awareness training on the attitudes of mainstream teaching staff. The inclusion of autistic students in mainstream education has become more pertinent following changes to inclusion policy, however review of practice indicates that outcomes are dependent on positive attitudes of teaching staff. Resources are stretched within education and an increasing number of students are finding challenges of the curriculum and setting, overwhelming. A repeated measures design was used to evaluate the impact of an autism awareness training video based on the SPELL framework with additional material relating to lived experiences of autistic students. The results found that participants already had high levels of openness and positive attitudes towards inclusion. Despite having experience of autistic individuals, perceived knowledge and self-efficacy both increased following the training and value was placed upon having the opportunity for training which gave an insight into autistic perspectives in relation to education. The results provide evidence of the importance of autism awareness training both in increasing positive attitudes and the value of having the SPELL framework to inform good practice. Further research is required to demonstrate generalisation of the findings and to establish consistent measures for attitudes.

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