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ERIC Number: ED563703
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 266
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-6332-4
Exploring Preservice Early Childhood Educators' Self-Efficacy Beliefs and Preparedness to Teach Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Inclusive Classrooms
Shelton, Tricia H.
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
The purpose of this research was to explore the teacher self-efficacy beliefs of early childhood preservice educators and their preparedness to teach students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Phase One of this mixed-methods approach asked preservice early childhood educators (N = 34) to complete the short form of the "Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale" (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) as well as an open-ended vignette survey which described common academic, behavioral, and social challenges of students with ASD. Respondents were assigned the task of identifying goals, resources, and strategies to address each scenario. In Phase Two of this research, participants from the larger population (N = 6) discussed their perceived preparedness to teach students with ASD in semi-structured interviews. Results indicated preservice educators have moderately high levels of self-efficacy in instructional practices, student engagement, and classroom management. However, reported goals, resources, and strategies for students were broadly defined and lacked ASD specificity. Further, interviewees recognized the positive influence of experience with students with ASD on their preparedness to teach this population of students, but were cognizant of deficits in their knowledge and skills. Consequently, respondents expressed plans to pursue ASD-specific professional development. This study demonstrated that early childhood educators complete teacher training with high self-efficacy, but are underprepared to address some of the challenges of teaching students with ASD. Implications of this research suggested several modifications in teacher preparation. First, preservice educators should have greater experience with ASD embedded into course assignments, discussions, and fieldwork. Second, novice educators need to learn to seek teacher-centered resources, such as collaboration with colleagues and families, to help address gaps in ASD understanding. Third, beginning teachers must commit to ongoing ASD professional development. The combination of these experiences encourages the reflective practices that foster mature teaching repertories. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A