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Title: Cypriot elementary school teachers' knowledge, attitudes and in-service training (INSET) regarding children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Author: Doukanari, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 786X
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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Background - ADHD is one of the most common and controversial lifelong disorders. It is a heterogeneous disorder (hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention) with multiple presentations and levels of severity. The prevalence of school-age children with ADHD is approximately 5.0%. Considering the pivotal role of elementary school teachers in the diagnostic and intervention procedure, holding positive attitudes and having a clear understanding of the disorder is of critical importance. Aims - The present study had as a purpose to broaden and add to the research base on ADHD by investigating Cypriot elementary school teachers’ knowledge of the disorder and their attitudes towards the instruction of children with ADHD. The study also aimed to explore teachers’ prior INSET experiences and their expectations and recommendations for future INSET. Design and method - An explanatory mixed methods design of two sequential phases was used. In the first phase, primarily quantitative data were collected through questionnaires (n = 191) while in the second phase qualitative data were obtained through semi-structured interviews (n = 23) and focus groups (n = 4). Results - On average, Cypriot elementary school teachers correctly responded to 43.3% of the 35 knowledge items. Substantial knowledge gaps and misconceptions were found in all three subscales (symptoms/diagnosis, treatment, general information). The majority of teachers did not have absolute attitudes regarding children with ADHD. Characteristics such as the nature of ADHD-related behaviours and the severity informed their feelings, beliefs and predispositions to act in certain ways. Although 65.9% had taught at least one student with ADHD during their teaching career, only 15.0% reported experience with relevant formal INSET. The lack of INSET and consequently the limited knowledge in managing ADHD-related behaviours was the most commonly reported reason for interviewees’ disagreement with the presence of children with ADHD in mainstream classrooms and their negative predisposition to undertake their education. Conclusion - Considering the overall findings, it could be argued that with the provision of extensive INSET and support, teachers’ knowledge of ADHD has potential to increase while their attitudes towards the instruction of this group of children are likely to become more favourable. Based on the identified knowledge gaps, the rationale behind teacher attitudes and the recommendations for future INSET, several practical implications are provided for the administrators of the MoEC and policy-makers.
Supervisor: Chambers, Mary ; Clarke, Paula Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available