Autism Spectrum Disorder, Interpersonal Teacher Behavior and Motivation A study into interpersonal teacher behavior and its association with pupil motivation in special education
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The purpose of this study is to find out to what extent interpersonal teacher behavior is displayed in specialized Autism Spectrum Disorder learning situations and the way pupils are motivated in these. Special Educational Needs schools for children with severe behavior problems in the Netherland tend to create special classes for ASD pupils. There is hardly any information about the effect of separate classes for a diagnosed disorder like autism within specialized schools. To get insight in this, the first research question focuses on the way teachers interpret their own interpersonal teacher behavior compared with the way pupils perceive this. For both teacher and their pupils, interpersonal teacher behavior is measured by the Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction. The second question is about the displayed interpersonal teacher behavior and the way pupils are motivated. Therefore the pupils QTI is related with the pupils Motivation Strategies Learning Questionnaire. Questionnaires are taken after a mathematics lesson and the questions are related to this. The reason for mathematics is ASD students’ preferred structured and clear character of these lessons. The participating Special Educational Needs schools are all situated in Limburg, a province in the South of the Netherlands. In this study pupils and teachers perceive the displayed interpersonal teacher behavior mainly equal. The displayed teacher behavior can be characterized as dominant. Next to this teacher behavior has also reasonable aspects of cooperative behavior. Dominant behavior has its effect on pupil motivation. It has moderate effect on the motivation variable anxiety which pupils sometimes perceive during mathematics lessons. On basis of the results more insight is gathered in the way interpersonal teacher behavior is displayed within specialized ASD environments. Next to this how pupils are motivated and its relation with interpersonal teacher behavior. This is a contribution to the ongoing development of interpersonal teacher behavior and motivation of ASD pupils in Special Educational Needs schools.