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ERIC Number: ED545817
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 153
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-9218-0
Teachers of Students with Autism: Shared Experiences of Professional Development
Wolfe, Jennifer C.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Cincinnati
This qualitative study examined the experiences of special education teachers as they strove to improve their practice of teaching students with autism. Each participant had a minimum of one student with autism on their class roster. They were enrolled in a summer intensive workshop designed to educate special education teachers about evidence-based practices found effective with students on the autism spectrum. Following a phenomenological research method, nine special education teachers were recruited and participated in interviews, occurring prior to, during, and after the summer workshop. The findings revealed that special education teachers share the following experiences: (a) lack of pre-service preparation for teaching students with autism; (b) lack of mentoring support during their initial phase as novice teachers; and (c) lack of reciprocating community throughout their careers. The teachers interviewed expressed a desire to provide best practice for their students on the autism spectrum to ensure that they would have the best quality of life possible. Also, the teachers wanted to acquire certain capabilities for improving students' behaviors and their ability to work independently. Regardless of their pre-service preparation the participants shared similar beliefs, that: (a) on-going quality professional development was necessary to stay current in the field of education for students with autism; and (b) the summer intensive workshop was the means to update their knowledge and skill repertoire which would lead to improved student outcomes. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A