The Metaphorical Perceptions Of Teachers Working With Autistic Individuals For Autistic Individuals And Typical Developing Individuals (İn English, Summary)
One of the important goals of education is to increase the academic achievements of all children affected by isufficiency and/or unaffected by insufficiency. (Baş, 2012; Hagaman and Reid, 2008; Harris, Danoff, Saddler, Frizzelle and Graham, 2005). Information about the educational processes of teachers, which are the factors that play a role in increasing academic achievement, the levels of knowledge and the ways of being affected by the process and the ways of perceiving the process are directly effective on individuals.
In order to give independent life skills to individuals with autism or other disabilities, educators must renew themselves, develop themselves, be open to innovations, and at the same time know the developmental processes of autistic individuals and the developmental processes of typical developing individuals. However, research shows that private education does not achieve the expected success in Turkey, and that one of the most important reasons for this is that teachers have attitudes towards individuals with special needs (Diken and sucuoglu, 1999; Kaner, 2010; Gökdere, 2012).
Many studies have been carried out on the autistic individuals and the education of autistic individuals. Basgul and Uluçınar-Sağır (2017) investigated metaphorical perceptions of classroom teachers towards special education. Because of the lack of in-depth knowledge about teacher perceptions, they have stated that the metaphors developed about the child with special education and special needs are superficial. In addition, from the metaphors developed, it is revealed that teachers do not fully understand the importance and scope of special education. Güleç-Aslan (2014) studied the metaphorical perceptions for autism the students who were educated in the undergraduate program of mental retardation teaching. In the Research Center for the autistic child education, the students of the mentally disabled program continue to teaching practices; the students in this field difficulty in behavior problems, the theoretical knowledge in the field, etc .. It has been determined that they are experiencing difficulties. In addition, positive and enjoyable situations (The reach of students' goals, etc.) of teacher candidates experience has been seen. In addition to finding it difficult to work in the field of autism, it has been determined that teacher candidates perceive it as a profession with many positive aspects. Qualitative research in special education in Turkey; special education, autism, inclusion, mentally disabled children, etc. (Anılan ve Kayacan, 2015; Talas, 2017; Doğaroğlu ve Bapoğlu-Dümenci, 2015; Güleç-Aslan, Cihan ve Altın, 2014; Yılmaz-Bolat ve Ata, 2017; Töret, Özdemir, Gürel-Selimoğlu ve Özkubat, 2014; Ünsal ve Öksüz, 2018; Macaroğlu-Akgül, 2016) there are areas. Also, qualitative research on autism is limited. Qualitative research has not been observed in which teachers working with a particular group are interpreted by comparing the perceptions of the other group and the perceptions of the group.
Teachers working in the field of special education have many professional problems when they do not have enough knowledge and skills about autism (Güleç-Aslan, 2014). Working with individuals with autism in Turkey is a multidisciplinary situation as in all special education. It has been the subject of interest that the perceptions of experts from different fields towards autistic and typical developing individuals should be examined, what are the perceptions of these specialists towards autistic and typical developing individuals, how to categorize these perceptions and whether teachers have a relationship with their working time, branches and sex in the formation of these categories. For this purpose, the problems of the research:
1. What are the perceptions and categories of teachers working with autistic individuals for typical developing individuals?
2. What are the perceptions and categories of teachers working with autistic individuals for autistic individuals?
3. Is there a similarity between teachers' perceptions for typical developing individuals and perceptions for autistic individuals?
4. Is there a difference between teacher perceptions for typical developing individuals and perceptions for autistic individuals?
5. Does the teacher's perceptions of typical developing individuals concentrate on specific categories based on the areas of teachers, the gender of teachers, and the total working time of teachers?
6. Does the teacher's perceptions of autistic individuals concentrate on specific categories based on the areas of teachers, the gender of teachers, and the total working time of teachers?
In this study, phenomenologic method research pattern was used from qualitative research approaches and data were collected through metaphor. The phenomenon pattern focuses not only on the facts that we are aware of, but on the facts that we do not have an in-depth and detailed understanding. Facts can appear in various forms in the world we live in such as events, experiences, perceptions, orientations, concepts and situations. We may encounter these facts in various ways in our daily lives. However, this does not mean that we fully understand the facts. It provides a suitable basis for the phenomenology research for studies that are not completely unfamiliar to us, but aimed at investigating events that we do not fully understand (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2016).
Metaphors allow for to know as a means of understanding man's nature and environment, making meanings through specific interpretations from the objective reality that appears to be meaningless, and giving meaning to life and experience (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2005). The phenomenon pattern was used to examine the perceptions of teachers working with autistic individuals for typical developing individuals and autistic individuals and conduct an in-depth study based on the opinions of the participants.
The criterias were determined by the criteria sampling method for the study group. The criteria sampling method used states that provide predefined criteria. The fact that the participant works with autistic individuals is determined as a criterion in this study. 48 teachers working with autistic individuals in various cities of Turkey participated in the study, but 41 valid metaphors were obtained in autistic individuals and 40 in typical developing individuals.
Twenty-seven of the teachers who participated in the study were women and 13 male teachers. In addition, teacher disciplines are "20 special education teachers, 6 paid teachers, 3 psychological counseling-guidance teachers-psychologists, a sociologist, a child development teacher, a music teacher, a visual arts teacher and a physical education teacher". The distribution of teachers according to the duration of working with autistic individuals is as follows: less than 1 year (10), 1-3 Year (10), 4-6 year (13) and over 6 years (7).
Collection of Data
Data were collected with open-ended questionnaires and open-ended written questionnaires that were sent online to participants. The form consists of three parts. The first part includes the gender of the participants, the duration and discipline of working with autistic individuals. In the second part, teachers were asked to complete this sentence in order to reveal their perceptions of autistic individuals: The autistic individual is be like
.. In the third part, teachers were asked to complete this sentence in order to reveal their perceptions of typical developing individuals: The typical developing individual is be like.....Because
In the analysis of the data obtained from the study, content analysis technique was used. The main purpose of content analysis is to achieve concepts and relationships that can explain the collected data. In general, the data summarized in the descriptive analysis is examined in depth in content analysis and the data is not realized by the descriptive approach and themes can be accessed as a result of content analysis (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2006). In this context, metaphors developed by teachers for autistic and typical developing individuals were analyzed in five stages, as in the relevant literature (Saban, 2008; Kalyoncu, 2012). These stages used in data analysis: naming phase, elimination phase, category development phase, validation phase, calculation of frequencies and interpretation of data.
The naming phase. At this stage, a separate alphabetical list of metaphors produced by teachers working with autistic individuals related to the concept of typical developing individual and autistic individual " has been made. After the list is made, teachers have been shown to produce 41 valid metaphors for the typical developing individual and 40 valid metaphors for the autistic individual. Metaphors are encoded at this stage to form a basis for the category stage (for example; K1, K2, K3 etc.).
The elimination phase. At this stage, metaphors are studied in terms of the subject of metaphor, the source of metaphor, the relation between the subject of metaphor and the source of metaphor. In this context, it has been decided to eliminate participants who do not have a metaphor and do not present a metaphor as a justification. In this respect, it has been seen that a participant has only given metaphors and justification for the typical evolving individual and has been eliminated.
The category development phase. It has been examined that the metaphors developed by teachers for autistic individuals and typical developing individuals show a reason for the comprehension of teachers. In this direction, metaphors dealing with similar themes are included in the same categories considering the codes given to metaphors during the naming phase.
The phase of ensuring validity and reliability. The metaphors produced by the teachers were categorized by two independent researchers. Then, the lists of researchers were compared and the number of consensus and differences of opinion were determined. Miles and Huberman's reliability formula (reliability = Consensus / Consensus + disagreement) on the most recent list (metaphors for typical developing individuals): It was calculated as %91 (Miles and Huberman, 1994). Again, using the same formula (metaphors produced for autistic individuals). It was calculated as %93.
The calculation of frequencies and interpretation of the data. The categories created at this stage have been consolidated and the frequency and percentage of teacher candidates using these metaphors were expressed in frequency. Data were interpreted according to the findings obtained.
For typical developing individuals, the metaphor categories produced by teachers are as follows: "An ordinary situation (20)", Labor, effort and mastery is a necessary situation (8)", "Sequential, hierarchical and systematic (5)", "A situation that requires precaution and control (4)", "The form can be given and directed (2)" and "Eager and excited (1)". Besides this, for autistic individuals, the methaphor categories produced by teachers are as follow: "It is a difficult situation and it requires labor-mastery (13)", "Extraordinary and mysterious (10)", An ordinary situation (4), "A situation that requires systematic (4)", "A condition requiring precondition (3), Important (3) and "Imbalance (3)".
Examples of Metaphors And Justifications For Typical Developing Individuals
An ordinary situation. The typical developing individual is like a mirror. Because there is no different situation. It's what it looks like a himself/herself. (K9), The typical developing individual is like drawer. Because we can easily open it and reach the inside. (K22), The typical developing individual is like a plastic pitcher. Because we can see a lot of the same everywhere. (K30), The typical developing individual is be like complex whole. Because simple parts form complex whole. (K40)
Labor, effort and mastery is a necessary situation. The typical developing individual is like a poem. Because poetry is meaningless without labor. (K13), The typical developing individual is like a game. Because if Labor is given, it is earned, if Labor is not given, it is lost. (K14)
Sequential, hierarchical and systematic. The typical developing individual is like a clock. Because it progresses sequentially and systematically. (K2) ...
A situation that requires precaution and control. The typical developing individual is like an elevator. Because if maintenance and controls are not done, there may be an accident. (K18) ...
The form can be given and directed. The typical developing individual is like paper. Because we can write what we want, give a form we want. (K15)
Eager and excited. The typical developing individual is similar to a magician. Because he wants to do everything, and he tries to understand everything. (K35)
Examples of Metaphors And Justifications For Autictic Individuals
It is a difficult situation and it requires labor-mastery. The autistic individual is like a bead. Because the skill is necessary to string the bead into a rope. (K5), The autistic individual is like a game. Because it takes a systematic and intense effort to win the game. (K13)., The autistic individual is like an encrypted vault. Because if you decode it, you get the valuable stuff in the vault. (K22)., The autistic individual is like a closed box. Because you have your own business in the box. We have to make an effort to open the box. (K40).
Extraordinary and mysterious. The autistic individual is like a crow. Because crows remember years ago. It knows everything. But it can't speak. (K3)., The autistic individual is like Saturn. Because Saturn is an unusual planet. (K30)
An ordinary situation. The autistic person is like himself/herself. Because it's not fake. (K7)
A situation that requires systematic. The autistic individual is like a digital clock. Because it progresses systematically and programmatically. (K2)
A condition requiring precondition. An autistic individual is like a rainbow. Because the rainbow must rain in order to appear with all color. (K1)
Important. The autistic individual is like other individuals. Because each individual is special and important. (K25)
Imbalance. The autistic individual is like the sea. Because sometimes it's calm and harmonious, sometimes it's bored and frustrated. (K14)
Discussion and Conclusion
Fifty percent of this number is formed by special education teachers. It has been concluded that teachers think that a typical developing individual, who is developing without an unusual situation, is a situation that goes through the processes that it needs to be. Teachers have shown that the education of autistic individuals is a difficult and intensive process and that autistic individuals need to undergo a process that requires scientific knowledge. In addition, teachers find autistic individuals unusual and mysterious because they have limited knowledge. Gulec-Aslan's (2014) research from this perspective as a result, a different and mysterious world from the perceptions of autistic individuals of teacher candidates coincides with the results obtained from the research.
The categories "An ordinary situation", "Labor, effort and mastery is a necessary situation" and " Sequential, hierarchical and systematic" are similar when examined in the light of teachers' metaphors. It has been concluded that teachers ' autistic individuals and typical developing individuals are both ideas in terms of Labour, mastery and systematic aspects of education. In addition, the "ordinary case" category is similar in both groups. It was concluded that teachers evaluated autistic individuals and typical developing individuals as subjective and that their perceptions were formed in this way.
In the categorization of metaphors for typical developing individuals, the categories of The form can be given and directed, Important and Eager and excited have emerged to be different. Teachers typically have metaphors for developing individuals under the heading A situation that requires precaution and control. This refers to a planned and controlled training process in the development of typical developing individuals and socially, in increasing academic success. The category "The form can be given and directed" suggests that teachers can easily guide typical developing students to their goals and achieve success in this direction, while the fact that this category does not appear for autistic individuals suggests that sufficient performance can not be achieved in this sense with autistic individuals. The emergence of the "Eager and excited " category in relation to the "communicative competence" in the education process with the typical developing individuals makes it meaningful that this category does not appear in autistic individuals.
The categories Extraordinary and mysterious, A condition requiring precondition, Important and Imbalance have emerged in the categorization of metaphors produced for autistic individuals. In the Extraordinary and mysterious" category, teachers' metaphores may have caused autism to be seen as a mysterious situation because information about individuals and autism is less than the unknown. The "A condition requiring precondition" category shows the importance of pre-conditions for the development of autistic individuals. It also highlights the implementation of individual and special education in this category. The category of "Important" refers to an emphasis on the uniqueness of autistic individuals as well as all individuals, and this category refers to that they can be special, different and talented. The category of Imbalance refers to instability in the behavior of autistic individuals compared to those with typical development. Regardless of the duration of the study, it has been determined that participants see a typical developing individual as ordinary and appropriate. Furthermore, it has been concluded that all teachers, regardless of working time, view the educational process of autistic individuals as systematic. The increase in working time with autistic individuals and the decrease in the diversity of categories show parallelism. This shows that as experience is gained, perceptions towards autistic individuals tend to become more stable.
Special education teachers have never produced metaphors in the categories of A condition requiring precondition and Imbalance. This indicates that individuals with autism know that prerequisite skills in their education processes are a situation that they should already have. The fact that special education teachers do not produce metaphors in category "Imbalance" indicates that they have theoretical knowledge for autistic individuals and that autistic individuals know that it is normal for them to undergo sudden emotional changes due to their sensitivities and/or different reasons. Almost all teachers produced metaphors in the category of " Labor, effort and mastery is a necessary situation" indicates that the education of autistic individuals is a systematic and intensive process. Another point is that metaphors produced in the "imbalance category are produced by class teachers and paid teachers, i.e. outside the special education area.
This research was carried out in the field of "autistic individuals and their education" where qualitative research was limited. The research will contribute to the literature by providing information about autistic individuals, typical developing individuals and teachers working for autistic individuals. The findings will be shared with individuals and organizations providing education with autistic individuals and will be able to guide teacher education at a higher quality level. The results obtained in the research will be able to guide the relevant institutions (Ministry of National Education, faculties of education etc.) in raising qualified teachers. In addition, it will help teachers who continue teaching with autistic individuals to make the right decisions in achieving their decisions and goals. It is also thought that it may shed light on subsequent research.
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