Luanne Sailors Dissertation Final Defense

The College of Education, Health and

Human Sciences

Announces the Final Examination of

Luanne Sailors

for the degree of

Doctor of Education

June 16, 2015 at 4:30 pm

405 Ball Hall, University of Memphis

Memphis, TN


Biographical Sketch

Bachelors Degree, Education (Teaching All Learners), University of Memphis

Masters Degree, Education (Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment K-12), Walden University

Advisory Committee

Dr. Robert Williamson, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, Committee chair

Dr. Laura Casey, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership

Dr. William Hunter, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership

Dr. Jeremy Todd Whitney, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Instruction and Curriculum Leadership

Major Field of Study

Instruction and Curriculum Leadership

Period of Preparation: 2014-2015

Comprehensive Examination Passed: November 2014

Examining the Attitudes of Pre-Service Teachers Toward Including Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a General Education Setting



Including students with a range of abilities in today’s classrooms paired with increasing inclusive practices has presented itself as a challenge for all educators. More specifically, students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have had an increased presence in general education settings. This study aims to discover pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward including students with ASD in a general education setting, to examine pre-service teacher knowledge regarding ASD, and examine if any correlation between the two may exist. The main research instrument consisted of a set of 1) demographics questions (categorical data), 2) attitudes of inclusion of students with ASD measured in a Likert-scale component, and 3) measuring knowledge of students with ASD (scaled score) component. Correlation results were analyzed using Pearson’s r coefficient calculation and indicated a positive correlation between attitude and knowledge. Results supported prior research and indicated that the pre-service teachers possessed positive attitudes toward including students with ASD, but felt slightly different when including students with any range of abilities. In regards to participant knowledge of ASD, results indicated that pre-service teachers were knowledgeable about topics surrounding ASD.