School of Education
Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)
autism, self-efficacy, special education, individual education plan, individuals with disability act, no child left behind
Curriculum and Instruction | Education
Howard, Kathleen M., "The Ability of Autism-Specific Professional Development and Years of Experience to Predict Teacher Self-Efficacy for Those Working with Students on the Autism Spectrum" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4969.
The purpose of this quantitative predictive correlation study was to examine teacher self-efficacy while working with students on the autism spectrum (ASD), as related to autism specific professional development and years of experience. Autism is being diagnosed at an exceptional rate, resulting in a greater emphasis being placed on educators to provide effective interventions, in both the general education and special education classrooms. Positive self-efficacy among teachers working with students on the autism spectrum is critical to improving educational outcomes for this unique population. A random sample of 73 teachers from six schools in a rural Virginia school district completed a survey including the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) and a demographic questionnaire. The survey answers provided information on their years of experience working with students with ASD and the number of professional development sessions attended. The researcher used a multiple linear regression analysis to analyze the predictive relationship between the criterion variable of teacher self-efficacy and the linear combination of predictor variables (autism specific professional development and years of experience). The researcher failed to reject the null hypothesis at the 95% confidence level since the researcher was unable to prove a significant, predictive relationship between the criterion variable of teacher self-efficacy and the linear combination of predictor variables (autism specific professional development and years of experience). The results of this study can be used by educational leaders to create more targeted autism-related professional development opportunities for teachers. More research is needed to further investigate factors impacting teachers’ self-efficacy while working with students with ASD.