Examination of the effect of professional development on the attitudes of pre-service teachers regarding inclusion of students with autism.

Ward, Angela Kristine.
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An experimental design was conducted to examine the change in mean scores of pre-service teachers after targeted professional development. A two-factor repeated measures design was used with professional development as the independent variable and raw scores on The Teacher Attitudes Toward Inclusion Scale (TATIS) as the dependent variable. A total of 65 participants responded to four administrations of the TATIS. Professional development targeting the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders and teaching strategies demonstrated to be effective in the literature was provided to a random sample of the participants. Results demonstrate a change in raw scores of participants in the experimental group following professional development. The scores of the participants in the control group remained constant across administrations of the TATIS. Significant differences were noted when comparing groups of participants specifically between participants majoring in secondary education and those majoring in special education.

Autism., Professional development., Pre-service teachers., Attitude.