Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to rise at an astonishing rate. As many schools attempt to create an inclusive environment that is conducive for students with autism's academic success, it is important that we recognize the teacher's role in creating an inclusive classroom. Teachers with high self-efficacy have a positive impact on student achievement. Therefore, this qualitative study explores the effects of a teacher's self-efficacy with the inclusion of students with autism in a general education classroom.

Eleven general education teachers were interviewed in order to gain insight into their experience and perceptions on the inclusion of students with autism. The questions asked required participants to reflect on their beliefs, training, and the practices implemented within their classroom while teaching students with autism. The collected data was audio recorded and transcribed, then analyzed using a software analysis program. The results showed a positive correlation between teacher self-efficacy and the importance of knowledge and positive experiences teaching students with autism. The findings in this study support the need for continued in-service and preservice training that will allow educators to be prepared to teach students with autism in general education classrooms. It also provides evidence of the change that needs to occur in teacher preparation programs that would allow novice teachers to have the foundation of knowledge and experience in inclusion that will allow them to be successful practitioners. It also acknowledges the importance of on-going training that teachers will need while educating diverse learners.