Date of Award

8-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

College/School

College of Education and Human Services

Department/Program

Teacher Education and Teacher Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Helenrose Fives

Committee Member

Ana Maria Villegas

Committee Member

Jamaal Matthews

Committee Member

Victoria Puig

Subject(s)

Autistic children--Education, Autism, Early childhood teachers, Self-efficacy, Inclusive education

Abstract

This is a multi-method study to develop and validate an instrument to measure teachers’ self-efficacy for teaching students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in inclusive early childhood classrooms, Teacher Self-efficacy for Teaching Students with ASD Inclusive Classrooms Scale: TSE-ASDI. I conducted literature and expert reviews as well as cognitive pre-testing with my target populations of pre-service and in-service early childhood teachers. I conducted a quantitative study using exploratory factor analysis, reliability analyses, correlational analyses, and by comparing mean differences in scores when grouped by teaching status, special education preparation and experience with individuals with ASD. My measure development process provided evidence for validity based on test content, response process, internal structure of the instrument as well as evidence based on relations to other variables. The result of this process was a highly reliable, unidimensional, 16-item scale to measure the construct of teaching students with ASD in inclusive early childhood classrooms. Based on these findings, this investigation has implications for research and practice.

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