Regional and Rural Teachers’ Experiences with Two Models of Practice Supporting the Education of Students on the Autism Spectrum

  • Libby Macdonald Griffith University, Autism CRC
  • Wendi Beamish Griffith University, Autism CRC
  • Annalise Taylor Griffith University, Autism CRC
  • Emma Gallagher Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), Autism CRC
  • Ainslie Robinson Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), Autism CRC

Abstract

The experiences of regional and rural teachers supporting students on the autism spectrum in their classrooms often differ from those of their metropolitan counterparts. Interventions designed for metropolitan settings may not work the same way in regional and rural classrooms, and teachers outside major centres may encounter challenges in accessing appropriate resources and professional development. Research focussed on teaching students on the spectrum is largely conducted in metropolitan areas and does not address the contextual factors impacting regional and rural educators. Using data collected as part of a larger study, this paper examines the experiences of regional and rural teachers who were introduced to models of practice designed to support their decision making with respect to supporting students on the autism spectrum. Through interviews and survey responses, these teachers have described challenges and opportunities related to the unique and diverse settings in which they work. Their perceptions of the benefits of the models and accompanying professional support in these settings reinforce the need to embed inclusive support for students on the spectrum in foundational teaching practices that can be adapted to diverse classrooms.

Published
2021-03-23
How to Cite
Macdonald, L., Beamish, W., Taylor, A., Gallagher, E., & Robinson, A. (2021). Regional and Rural Teachers’ Experiences with Two Models of Practice Supporting the Education of Students on the Autism Spectrum. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 31(1), 42-57. Retrieved from https://journal.spera.asn.au/index.php/AIJRE/article/view/290