Teachers' Perceptions of Factors Used in Placement Decisions [article]

(:Unkn) Unknown, Erin Rotheram-Fuller, University, My
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are spending greater amounts of time in inclusive classroom settings. The perceptions of teachers regarding the educational placement of children with ASD are a critical topic of study, since teachers are primarily responsible for the implementation of inclusion (Soodak, Podell, & Lehman, 1998). While there is a substantial research base that has examined the attitudes of teachers about inclusion, less research has focused on ASD that compared the
more » ... that compared the attitudes of general and special education teachers. As reported in the literature, there are multiple barriers that prevent successful inclusion, particularly in high-poverty, urban districts. Since teachers are key stakeholders in decision-making processes for students' educational placement, their attitudes are important to assess as they may act as either barriers or facilitators of inclusion. These high-stakes decisions inevitably alter students' trajectories in terms of developmental outcomes, and therefore warrant further examination. Identifying teachers' specific resource needs is also crucial in determining how to make inclusion more successful for this population of students. Two similar surveys were developed and administered to 27 Autism Support (AS) and 28 general education (GE) teachers who presently had students with ASD in their classrooms. The surveys included quantitative items presented through a Likert-type scale, as well as open-ended items. They were designed to gather information on teacher demographics, students' current and recommended placement, teachers' perceptions of child and context-related variables found in the literature to impact inclusion, and resource needs. Overall, both AS and GE teachers felt their current students' placement was appropriate, though AS teachers' ratings of appropriateness were significantly lower. AS teachers reported they were likely to recommend more time in the general education setting for a majority (70%) of their students with ASD. While GE teachers believed [...]
doi:10.34944/dspace/3477 fatcat:ul5vv4due5earpxki7zqpb7sje