Measuring Growth of the Autistic Learner – The Challenges Facing Teachers and Their Practice (75608)

Session Information: Education & Difference: Gifted Education, Special Education, Learning Difficulties & Disability
Session Chair: Shalette Ashman

Thursday, 23 November 2023 11:20
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 708
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

This abstract presents the outcomes of a two-year collaborative research initiative involving nine specialist schools dedicated to individuals with mild to severe autism. The project aimed to analyse shifts in attitudes towards assessment methods and the use of data collection tools for tracking student progress. Specifically, the investigation centered on changes in attitudes among educators, their participation in targeted professional development sessions, and the subsequent effects on their selection of data collection instruments.
Throughout the project's duration, data accumulation occurred through surveys, focus groups, and professional learning opportunities. Initial findings highlighted a lack of awareness among teachers regarding the necessity of employing specific tools tailored to effectively measure the growth of autistic learners. This hesitancy towards adopting specialised assessment tools was primarily attributed to a deficiency in comprehension and training in this specific field.
As the research advanced, educators involved in the study engaged in a series of professional learning sessions designed to enhance their grasp of autism-specific assessment techniques. The results displayed a noteworthy positive transformation in teachers' attitudes towards the imperative nature of using specialised tools. However, despite the heightened awareness, the selection of data collection tools did not evolve as anticipated. Remarkably, some pivotal assessment tools designed explicitly to capture the progress of autistic learners were disregarded in favor of instruments aligned with pre-existing curricula. This unexpected preference alteration was attributed to factors such as alignment with curricular materials, familiarity, and convenience.

Catriona Fleet, University Technology Sydney, Australia

About the Presenter(s)
Ms Catriona Fleet is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at University Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00