Teacher aides’ views and experiences on the inclusion of students with Autism: A cross-cultural perspective.

Angela Page, Renee Ferrett


The human rights issue of inclusion in education has been the focus of numerous legislative and policy documents around the world. The right of a student with additional needs to access their local school and participate in mainstream classrooms has been mandated for numerous years across many nations. Increasing numbers of students with additional needs who are included in the regular classroom are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but reports indicate the understanding of ASD students remains low. This study investigates the views and experiences of teacher aides (TAs) who support students with ASD in mainstream settings in two countries: the Cook Islands (CI) and New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The research addressed the growing international use of TAs and their roles in inclusive classrooms, and the need to understand contemporary practices from comparative global perspectives. Results indicate many similarities between TA views and experiences on the inclusion of students with ASD in NSW and the CI. The findings are discussed in terms of recommendations to enhance the efficacy and practices of TAs in supporting students with ASD in the inclusive classroom.


educational practice, comparative education

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