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Course to help teachers understand autism

A South Australian Government grant has opened the doors for Flinders University to design a postgraduate course for teachers about instructing children with autism.

Dr Susan Close, the SA minister for education and child development, announced the course. It follows recent evaluations that found accessing professional learning and teaching qualifications in the area of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) was difficult for teachers. Furthermore, accessible qualifications were generally limited to introductory levels.

Flinders vice-chancellor professor Colin Stirling said the new course would greatly aid the understanding of ASD and lead to better teaching.

“The new course … responds strongly to a community need and stands to make a very real difference in the lives of children with autism and their families,” Stirling said.

Associate professor Kerry Bissaker, associate dean of Flinders School of Education, will lead the new project and is joined by Dr Julie McMillan and Dr Dave Armstrong. Bissaker says the increasing number of students with disabilities mean teacher education and knowledge sorely need to be addressed. She says this new course will provide for development of sophisticated knowledge.

“The courses are designed to sort of complement what teachers are doing in school,” Bissaker said. “A lot of the work they’ll be doing through their study will be applied in classrooms because the primary focus is on improving outcomes for students with autism in their classes and across the schools.”

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One comment

  1. I am happy to receive cost for training on autism as we have a few children with autism enrolled at our service and also have friends that have children with autism. This would be a great opportunity for further development.

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