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Inclusive settings in Sweden: Examining preschool teachers' perceived efficacy and their attitudes to children with autism.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Purpose: the aims of this pilot study were to examine perceived efficacy of preschool teachers working with children with autism and their attitudes concerning the inclusion of children with autism in two towns in central Sweden.

Methods: Partcipants were 19 preschool and 2 kindergarten teachers who worked with autism in general classrooms. To collect data, a demographic survey, the Autism Attitude Scale for Teachers (AAST), and an abbreviated version of the Bandura's Teacher Efficacy Scale were used. The descriptive statistics was performed to obtain demographic information on the sample. A series of bivariate correlatins was performed between teacher characteristics variables and teachers' responses to the AAST and the Teacher Efficacy Scale.

Results: The main findings are: a) the teachers had a tendency to hold favourable overall attitudes toward children with autism and neutral attitudes toward their inclusion in general preschool classrooms; b) positive relationships were found between teachers' overall attitudes to children with autism, teachers' attitudes toward inclusion and a number of points in special education earned by teachers during pre-service education; c) no relations were found between teachers' perceived efficacy and teacher characteristics such as work experience and education background; d) no relations were found between preschool teachers' perceived efficacy and their attitudes toward children with autism included into general preschools.

Conclusions: Teacher preparation programs in general early chidhood education should be revised to give preschool teachers knowledge and opportunities to instruct children with autism in inclusive settings. Efficacy beliefs of in-service teachers can be strengthened through participation in professional development workshops, provision of high quality intensive supervision and assistance in conducting more intensive, one-to-one instruction. Development of positive attitudes to children with autism should be become an important component of both pre-service education and in-service training programs. Implications for further research are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 34 p.
Keyword [en]
Inclusion, preschool children with autism, teachers' attitudes, perceived efficacy
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54921OAI: diva2:399440
2011-02-14, J306, Stockholms universitet, Specialpedagogiska institutionen, 10691, Stockholm, 14:05 (Swedish)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-03-10 Created: 2011-02-22 Last updated: 2011-03-10Bibliographically approved

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