Transition Models of Practice (MoP)

One of the major challenges facing education sectors in Australia today is how to deliver educational programs in a way that supports the learning of students on the autism spectrum.

Many students on the autism spectrum experience significant challenges in education environments that can be barriers to accessing the curriculum. These challenges are often the result of the unique learning styles of students on the autism spectrum and schools failure to provide appropriate accommodations and adjustments for these students. The results of the Australian Autism Cooperative Research Centre Educational Needs Analysis Survey (Saggers et al., 2016) indicated that teacher knowledge about autism is limited, they are unsure how to best support students on the autism spectrum and that there is a lack of suitable resources and relevant professional development.

The aim of the project was to develop, trial and evaluate a Model of Practice (MoP) containing accessible and relevant resources and professional development material for Early Years (EY) and Middle Years (MY) mainstream educators of students on the autism spectrum in Australian schools.

The results of the evaluation of the Early and Middle Years MoP indicated that teachers found the resources provide useful strategies and that the strategies were well organised and easy to read. Ultimately, the findings showed that using the MoP increased teacher confidence in teaching students on the autism spectrum and their perceived knowledge of autism and effective classroom strategies.

The findings of this study indicate that teachers of mainstream classes benefit from accessible, relevant, evidence-based information and resources.