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Teaching the Hidden Curriculum of Group Work for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Kristina Scott
Published Online: 2019-11-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/edu-2019-0008


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with marked abnormal impairments in social interactions. This study used a multiple baseline design (A-B-A) to understand how four fifth grade students with ASD verbally interacted with five teacher-nominated peers during cooperative group work. The purpose of this study was to examine how students with ASD participated in the hidden curriculum of socialization that group work has associated with it. Video-recorded observations were transcribed and coded based on the nature of each conversational attempt: prompted reciprocal communication, unprompted reciprocal communication, self-centric conversations, directives, clarification questions/statements, and off-topic remarks. Data was taken at baseline, during a time period where a structured protocol was used in reciprocal peer tutoring during literature circles, and when the literature class returned to business-as-usual. Results from this study indicate that when the four participants with ASD used a structured protocol that guided communication attempts (through explicit tasks) during cooperative academic group work their overall interaction attempts increased, as did their (prompted and unprompted) reciprocal exchanges. Generalization happened for one student, but a limitation may explain why it did not happen for all four students.

Keywords: autism; inclusion; social skills; cooperative learning; special education


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About the article

Received: 2019-01-02

Accepted: 2019-09-05

Published Online: 2019-11-01

Citation Information: Open Education Studies, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 122–137, ISSN (Online) 2544-7831, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/edu-2019-0008.

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© 2019 Kristina Scott, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License. BY 4.0

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