Teachers' responses toward children who stutter
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Previous research has shown that the majority of people hold negative stereotypes for people who stutter. However, some studies have shown that people express positive attitudes and perceptions. In addition, it has been found that there is often a discrepancy between peoples’ attitudes and behaviours toward people with disabilities and people who stutter. Aims: The aim of the study was to investigate teachers’ responses towards children who stutter, using qualitative methods. Methods and Procedures: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with five female teachers all from the same primary school, with varying levels of teaching experience and stuttering. A hermeneutic approach was adopted with the intention of gleaning a body of rich data. Participants were asked about their understanding of stuttering and their perceptions of people and children who stuttered. Moreover, they were asked to discuss their approach to interacting with children who stutter and why they would chose to respond to them in those ways. Finally, they were asked to discuss how equipped they felt to deal with children who stutter. Outcomes and results: The findings showed that teachers tended to overtly express positive views of people and children who stutter. However, it must be noted that participants were not excluded on the basis of previous training on stuttering, or being a stutterer. In addition, it was mentioned that the teachers had prepared by conducting prior reading and a meeting. The teachers appeared to be very mindful of equality and inclusion policies as well as meeting educational standards and targets in school when responding to children with disabilities and children with speech difficulties including stutters. Conclusions and Implications: The views that were expressed in this study were mainly positive. However, this study may have been part limited by the preparation beforehand and may suggest that participants may have expressed additional views that may have added to our understanding of their perceptions and understanding of children who stutter. When we - 5 - are considering previous studies where contradictory findings may have emerged, it may be possible to suggest that these may have arisen from methodological differences. One of these differences may be whether or not participants prepared beforehand.
B.Sc. (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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