Indonesian Educators’ Knowledge and Beliefs about Teaching Children with Autism

Budiyanto; Sheehy, Kieron; Kaye, Helen and Rofiaha, Khofidotur (2020). Indonesian Educators’ Knowledge and Beliefs about Teaching Children with Autism. Athens Journal of Education, 7(1) pp. 77–98.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30958/aje.7-1-4

Abstract

There is a large number of children with autism who need to be taught within the Indonesian education system. A significant influence on how their needs are perceived are the epistemological and cultural beliefs of teachers. This research is the first to examine these issues in the context of the Indonesian government’s intention to develop an inclusive education system. An analysis of 136 questionnaire responses from teachers and educational therapists indicated that although only a minority was aware of, or had been trained in, established autism interventions, children with autism are being taught within Indonesian schools. This included being taught within regular schools. The data suggest that having access to information about autism in the Bahasa Indonesia language plays a role in educators’ beliefs about the stigmatization of teachers and parents of autistic children. Teachers’ epistemological beliefs were found to be linked to their beliefs in inclusive education. This research suggests that is essential for educational research to acknowledge the influence of the cultural milieu within which inclusive education is being developed. The implications of this research for how the development of inclusive education can be supported within Indonesia are discussed.

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