Do educational practitioners invest in specialised discourses of autism? Professional knowledge landscapes of teachers and teaching assistants in mainstream schools

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    Abstract

    A key metaphor used to describe the complexity of what teachers do is that of professional knowledge landscapes. This conveys the idea that effective practice should be explored in relation to how teachers perceive pupils, but also to how teachers see themselves and questions of professional identity. The research reported here was part of a larger study into inclusive pedagogy for autistic pupils. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was applied to transcripts of semi-structured interviews with mainstream practitioners (n=8) to identify constructions about practice. Findings show that specialised knowledge about autism was welcomed, but effective practice was seen to be based wholly on ongoing interactions with pupils and did not differ from practices used with other pupils. Findings from this research contest the idea that mainstream practitioners simply fall short in adopting certain practices for autistic pupils and indicate they have practices of their own which are aligned with ideas about inclusive education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages17
    JournalBritish Journal of Special Education
    Early online date12 Sep 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sep 2019

    Keywords

    • Autism
    • inclusive education
    • teachers' professional knowledge

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