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Factors of teachers' competence for teaching students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Suzana Pulec Lah (2013) Factors of teachers' competence for teaching students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). PhD thesis.

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    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most frequently diagnosed disorder during the childhood period. Prevalence estimates of ADHD among the school population vary, with the dominating estimates ranging from 3 to 7 per cent (APA, 2000; NCCMH, 2009). The characteristic features that are primarily defined as attention deficit, impulsivity and hyperactivity by diagnostic classifications may to a great extent inhibit a person’s functioning in every important aspect of their life. The vagueness concerning the aetiology, nature and dynamics of the problems as well as the success rate of different treatments have resulted in various beliefs, understanding of and approaches to the treatment of individuals with ADHD. During the schooling period, one of the most important aims of the treatment of ADHD individuals is to form an appropriate educational programme, i.e. suitable individualisation and differentiation of the learning process, which is mainly carried out by the teacher. The teacher’s competence to teach students with ADHD is therefore of key importance to ensure a quality educational process for children with ADHD. The thesis presents modern concepts of definitions as well as currently accepted facts concerning the ADHD. This is followed by a presentation of the impact of ADHD on both learning and teaching as well as some basic tenets of social cognitive theory and self-efficacy theory that were used to determine and explain selected factors of the teacher’s qualification for efficient teaching of ADHD students. The findings made by other researchers on ADHD are presented as a starting point for the planning of the research on this, until now rarely treated issue in Slovenia. The basic aim of the thesis is to explore the teacher's scope of knowledge, experience, and beliefs, the sense of self-efficacy, practice and self-perceived needs related to the teaching of ADHD students. The sample included primary school teachers from various Slovene regions. The data was gathered by a battery of assessment tools made especially for the purpose of this research. In the process of gathering and analyzing the data, both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to suit the needs of the present research as well as the research questions formed; however, the prevailing methodology was quantitative. The results show that teachers need extra in-service training to be able to teach ADHD students, which is what they have sensed themselves. Apart from selected general knowledge on the ADHD phenomenon, they require specific knowledge on efficient teaching elements for this group of students. Different analyses have shown that these two factors have the greatest impact on the efficiency of the solving of problems of ADHD students (vignettes). The teacher’s sense of self-efficacy and a sense of systemic support when working with ADHD students also turn out to be quite influential factors, but to a lesser extent and only in specific subgroups. The teachers who have achieved statistically significant different results in the majority of the content sections measured (except for beliefs about ADHD students and teaching students with ADHD) were identified and classified into three groups. Present findings were considered when creating guidelines for further professional development and in-service training and when proposing a model of systemic support for teachers working with ADHD students. The set of instruments thus formed to ascertain a teacher's knowledge, beliefs, sense of self-efficacy, problem-solving, and sense of support when teaching ADHD students has proved to be appropriate in terms of content and psychometric characteristics. Following some modification, it could be used for the teacher's self-evaluation of their knowledge, beliefs and practice as well as for self-regulation of their further professional development resulting in more efficient work with ADHD students. We believe that the findings presented are important for a better understanding of the teacher's practice, for appropriate communication with teachers, and the creation of more realistic expectations of teachers; the findings may therefore be of help to all those involved in providing teacher support, in forming programmes for further in-service training as well as pre-service training of teachers and school counsellors. Finally, some limitations of the research are presented and some suggestions for further research on the issue given.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
    Keywords: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), ADHD students, teaching ADHD students, factors of teachers’ competence, knowledge, beliefs, self-efficacy, system support
    Number of Pages: 310
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Simona TancigMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=9638729)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 1467
    Date Deposited: 29 May 2013 14:35
    Last Modified: 29 May 2013 14:35
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/1467

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