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Identifying the gaps between study and practice for trainee teachers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): A qualitative study


  • Abdelrazzaq Al-Tawaha Department of Crop Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Putra Malaysia University



Autism, Autism spectrum disorder, trainee teacher, special education


Teacher preparation programmes are important because they provide students with the knowledge and experience necessary to teach academic and life skills to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study’s aim is to identify the gaps between study and practice for trainee teachers who will teach students with ASD. This was achieved by examining and evaluating responses from trainee teachers in their first field experiences of working with students with ASD and understanding their perspectives regarding what they felt was missing from their college preparation prior to in-field experience. A qualitative design was utilised in which semi-structured interviews were conducted with six trainee teachers from the special education department during their first field training with students with ASD. Six main themes were identified, including the first encounter of real cases, reality is unlike books, challenges dealing with teachers, difficulty communicating with parents, inadequate knowledge of evidence-based practices (EBP) for children with ASD, and the need for critical assessment from different parties