“Why single me out”? Peer mentoring, autism and inclusion in mainstream schools

Bradley, Ryan James (2017). “Why single me out”? Peer mentoring, autism and inclusion in mainstream schools. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The past decade has seen a significant increase in the number of autistic students attending mainstream educational provision. Improving outcomes for this group is a complex issue given the deficit of evidence based practice within schools. A mixed methods multiple case study design was used to evaluate the impact and outcomes of a new peer mentoring programme targeting the inclusion of autistic students. Twelve autistic students and thirty-six non-autistic students participated as mentors across five mainstream secondary schools in the South East of England.

Semi-structured interviews were used to record the views and experiences of the mentors and staff participating in the programme. Autistic mentors completed questionnaires on levels of social satisfaction, bullying and social competence. All showed improvements over the course of the programme. These findings highlight the importance of the full inclusion of autistic students in peer mentoring programmes and the use of approaches promoting social competence. The study has wider implications on the way educational approaches for autistic students are developed and implemented in mainstream secondary schools.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/7846


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