Macquarie University
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In what ways does policy effect practice?: the impact of policy on the ability of general classroom teachers to teach students with autism spectrum disorder in New South Wales

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posted on 2022-03-28, 01:34 authored by Michelle Walker
This research aimed to study inclusive practices undertaken by general classroom teachers in NSW with the aim to assess classroom teacher familiarity with inclusive policies nationally and internationally. Policies that apply to current teacher practice were analysed including the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards of Education 2005. The study focused on classroom teacher knowledge of policy texts and the effect this has on teaching students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the general education setting. Overall aims of this research included determining classroom teacher understanding of relevant inclusive policy texts nationally and internationally, and analysing classroom teacher attitudes and methods of meeting learning needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder or students who present with social, communication and behavioural needs, in light of relevant policies. Four [4] schools were used within the sample of this research. General classroom teachers within each school undertook an Online Survey. Fifty-eight [58] general classroom teachers completed the Online Survey supplying information regarding personal training, professional experience, knowledge and teaching practice. Six [6] interviews were executed with willing staff members from the chosen schools. The interviews provided a further depth of discussion in order to achieve the aims of this research. Results of this research showed the need for a deeper understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder amongst classroom teachers as well as a need for further professional development for classroom teachers to meet the needs of this student population. The research found that classroom teachers must be encouraged to engage with educational policy freely and to build greater understanding and knowledge of policy within multiple contexts. Great differences were found between education systems and classroom teacher knowledge of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards of Education 2005. This research exposed future directions for research in understanding the reasons for classroom teacher disengagement with policy and the relationship this has with the professional development that classroom teachers do and should take part in.


Alternative Title

In what ways does policy affect practice?

Table of Contents

Introduction and research objectives -- Abbreviations and definitions -- Index of tables and figures -- Research significance -- Literature review -- Research methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Conclusion.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 72-86

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, School of Education

Department, Centre or School

School of Education

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

David L. W. (David Lloyd William) Saltmarsh


Copyright Michelle Walker 2015. Copyright disclaimer:




New South Wales


1 online resource (102 pages) graphs, tables

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