Second Year, full-time
How do autistic children in mainstream primary schools access the curriculum and tests and exams? How inclusive and meaningful are school exams for autistic children and what is their experience of taking them? What are the views of different stakeholders on the importance of those tests, and are their views shaped by different perceptions of autism?
Starting with secondary data sets and following a literature review, I will be investigating the extent to which autistic children in mainstream schools access the school curriculum and tests taken by the rest of their cohort. A small number of schools within one local authority will be selected in which I will carry out semi-structured interviews and administer questionnaires with school staff, parents of autistic children and a group of parents of children with no identified special educational need. I will also run focus groups. Additionally, I aim to incorporate the views of autistic children and, at a later stage, the views of autistic adults who attended a mainstream school. I would like to gain an understanding not only of the importance different participants ascribe to those tests, but also how their views are influenced by their perception of autism. Ultimately, I would like to make recommendations about the nature and format of school tests, in order to increase the participation of autistic children, which in turn could play a part in ensuring better longer term outcomes for them..
Dr Karen Guldberg and Dr Kerstin Wittemeyer
School of Education scholarship