Assessment of awareness and knowledge about autism among mainstream school teachers in the UK and China: what factors affect autism awareness?

Carrie Ballantyne, Ruth Taylor

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Background
Inclusion of pupils with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) into mainstream schools is becoming common practice, and teachers in the general education settings should have adequate knowledge on teaching and managing classroom behaviour. However it is found that autism awareness levels among school teachers vary across individuals. Several factors may affect their knowledge of ASD. With this in mind, the aim of the current study was to discover whether autism awareness is associated to culture, background, personal experience and knowledge of ASD.

Methods
A total of 54 mainstream school teachers were recruited from schools in the United Kingdom and 73 mainstream school teachers were recruited from schools in China. Teachers completed a questionnaire which assessed their knowledge and experience of ASD.

Findings
Non parametric tests revealed a significant relationship was found between autism awareness and culture, with teachers in the UK showing a greater awareness. There was also a significant associated between culture and experience of ASD. Finally, it was revealed that individuals' knowledge about ASD had no significant effect on teachers' awareness.

Discussion
The results highlight the cultural disparities in the knowledge and awareness of ASD between teachers in the UK and China. However, it also shows the variance in awareness and knowledge of ASD amongst teachers within the UK and China. These results imply that greater ASD training for teachers is needed regardless of culture to ensure that standards are met in line with higher inclusion rates.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2016
EventBPS Developmental Section Annual Conference - Hilton Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Sep 201616 Sep 2016
http://www.bps.org.uk/events/conferences/developmental-psychology-section-annual-conference

Conference

ConferenceBPS Developmental Section Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityBelfast
Period14/09/1616/09/16
Internet address

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