Date of Award
School of Education
Dr. Clare Papay
Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often exhibit difficulty in the area of reading comprehension, yet a conducted research synthesis revealed a lack of related evidence-based practices (EBPs) specific to teaching comprehension to learners with ASD. Research connecting the learning needs of students with ASD, existing effective practices, teacher training, and teacher perceptions of their own ability to teach reading comprehension is scarce. The purpose of this study was to address this scarcity, through a focus on teacher perceived self-efficacy, teacher outcome expectancy, and teacher preparedness to use effective practices emerging from the extant research. Quantitative survey methodology and hierarchical regression analysis were utilized to investigate teacher preparedness to use effective practices, along with the job-related factors of experience, administrator support, learner verbal language, and instructional setting, as predictors of (1) teacher perceived self-efficacy, and (2) teacher perceived outcome expectancy teaching reading comprehension to learners with ASD. Study findings, based on 112 teacher participants, revealed a discrepancy between teacher reported effective practices to teach comprehension to learners with ASD, and the practices identified as effective from the research, indicating a potential research to practice gap. Results of the regression analyses identified the variables of teacher preparedness to use effective practices, teacher years of experience, and administrator support as predictors of self-efficacy; and the variables of teacher preparedness to use effective practices, administrator support, and verbal language ability of students as predictors of outcome expectancy. Findings provide a potential roadmap for helping teachers become more self-efficacious in teaching comprehension to learners with ASD through professional development in effective practices, and through provision of ongoing support from principals and administrators.
Accardo, Amy, "Effective Practices and Teacher Self-efficacy in Teaching Reading Comprehension to Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2015). Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 2.