Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Eureka Effect

TEACHERS’ EFFICACY FOR INCLUSION AND ATTITUDES TOWARD 
DISABILITY: THEIR RELATIONSHIPS TO INTERVENTION
PRACTICES IN HANDLING CHILDREN WITH AUTISM


Author: Michael B. Cahapay
Document: Unpublished Thesis
Institution: Mindanao State University
Address: General Santos City
Completion: October 15, 2012
Rating: Highly Passed

Passages: 155 pages
Illustrations: 6 tables and 9 figures
Keywords: Efficacy, Attitude, Intervention, Autism



ABSTRACT

This study attempted to look into the respective relationships of teachers’ efficacy for inclusion and attitudes toward disability to the intervention practices in handling children with autism. On basis of sound treatment and discussion, it specifically sought answers to the following questions:
   1.   What is the level of teachers’ efficacy for inclusion in terms of disability awareness, teaching confidence, and instructional strategies?
   2.   What are the teachers’ attitudes toward disability in terms of social attitudes, epistemological beliefs, and personal distance?
   3.   What are the teachers’ intervention practices for children with autism in terms of behavior modifications, communication styles, and social skills management?
   4.   Is there a significant relationship between teachers’ efficacy for inclusion and intervention practices in handling children with autism?
   5.   Is there a significant relationship between teachers’ attitudes toward disability and intervention practices in handling children with autism?

The following null hypotheses were tested at .05 level of significance:
   1. There is no significant relationship between the teachers’ efficacy for inclusion and intervention practices in handling children with autism.
   2. There is no significant relationship between the teachers’ attitudes toward disability and intervention practices in handling children with autism.        

The respondents of this study were determined through purposive sampling because, of the total population of teachers in the identified schools with special education programs, only the subset of teachers who handle children with autism were specifically chosen. There were a total of 34 SpEd teachers who served as respondents of this study across the six divisions of the region.

The identified schools where this study was conducted are: Isulan Central SpEd School, Tacurong Pilot Elementary School, Tampakan Central SpEd School, Norala Central Elementary School, Polomolok Central Elementary School, Marbel 1 Central Elementary School, Alabel Central Elementary School, Glan Central Elementary School, Tupi National High School, Lagao National High School, Ireneo I. Santiago National High School, Koronadal National Comprehensive High School, and General Santos City SpEd Integrated School.

Three questionnaires were the primary sources of data. The first and second questionnaires entitled Efficacy for Inclusion and Attitudes toward Disability were respectively adapted from previous researches. The third questionnaire entitled Intervention Practices for Autism is a researcher constructed assessment, appropriately validated by selected specialists in special education, child psychology and occupational therapy.

Five point scales were used to facilitate analysis of the responses. Statistical processes employed to treat the data generated were frequency distribution, weighted mean, standard deviation and linear analysis.

The following are the salient findings of the data gathered for this study:
   1. The teachers are confident in their efficacy relative to disability awareness (4.28), teaching confidence (3.72), and instructional strategies (3.84) for inclusion of children with autism.
   2. The teachers agree on favorable statements about social attitudes (3.91), epistemological beliefs (3.96), and personal distance (4.23) towards the disability of children with autism.
   3. The teachers often use intervention practices such as behavior modifications (4.04), communication styles (4.22), and social skills trainings (3.97) in handling children with autism.
   4. Correlation results show that teachers’ efficacy for inclusion has significant relationship to their intervention practices in handling children with autism (p < .05).
   5.  Correlation results show that teachers’ attitudes toward disability has significant relationship to their intervention practices in handling children with autism (p < .05).

Based on the findings of this study, the following conclusions and implications are drawn:
   1. The teachers are confident in their efficacy relative to disability awareness, teaching confidence, and instructional strategies for the inclusion of children with autism. This implies that the teachers have strong conviction about their abilities to affect development of children with autism despite the intricacy of mainstreaming process.
   2. The teachers agree on favorable statements about social attitudes, epistemological beliefs and personal distance towards children with autism. This result indicates that the teachers maintain positive views and insights about the disability of children with autism even with the composite impact of the disability itself to the life of these individuals.
   3. The teachers often use intervention practices for children with autism such as behavior modification, communication styles, and social skills training. This suggests that the teachers employ effective teaching strategies to a wide extent necessary to treat the difficulties encountered by children with autism.
   4. Teachers’ efficacy for inclusion has significant influence on their intervention practices in handling children with autism. This signifies that as teachers’ perceived competence in mainstreaming increases, they become more predisposed to utilize helpful teaching strategies in treating children with autism. Because efficacy stems from both mastery and vicarious experiences, teachers should be given more trainings so as to increase their likelihood, this time, of using latest intervention practices.
   5. Teachers’ attitudes towards disability, especially personal distance, has significant influence on intervention practices for children with autism. This result is encouraging to note that, among the three indicators, the feeling of comfort experienced by teachers when they are in close contact to children with autism consistently contributes to precise application of various intervention practices. This signifies that teachers’ complete acceptance as it relates to effective education of children with autism will likely be more favorable in the future.


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