A Transcendental Phenomenological Study on the Experiences of Christian School Teachers Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
School of Education
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder, Christian School Teachers, Attitudes, Beliefs, Values, Practices
Education | Special Education and Teaching
Hall, Gale Dionne, "A Transcendental Phenomenological Study on the Experiences of Christian School Teachers Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2036.
The purpose of this qualitative transcendental phenomenological study is to describe the experiences of 13 Christian school teachers, who for at least six months, educated students with ASD in three Christian Schools in Hampton Roads Virginia. While information is available for the experiences of public school educators, the experiences of Christian school teachers who educate students with ASD has yet to be examined. Thus, the central research question addressed how Christian school teachers describe their experiences with students with ASD and was guided by the theoretical framework of Milton Rokeach’s theory of organization and change within value systems. I obtained data from on-site interviews, a focus group, and teacher event logs. The interview data was analyzed through personal introspection and Atlas.ti software where coding and theme naming were conducted. The significant themes derived from the analysis were teacher attitudes and experiences of acceptance, purpose, perseverance, and stewardship. This study speaks to the heart of Christian education as it revealed a direct relation between a Christian school teacher’s belief system and worldview, in conjunction with their view of and interaction with students who have ASD; which was generally positive. The findings of this study show that strides are being made in Christian schools to embrace and celebrate ASD and its spectrum of challenges. Recommendations for future research include longitudinal and quantitative studies to track the experiences of students with ASD in Christian schools.