The provisions on offer for gifted learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Dubai mainstream schools: capturing students and educators perspectives

El Naggar, Alia (2023) The provisions on offer for gifted learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Dubai mainstream schools: capturing students and educators perspectives. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Gifted students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are an underserved and under-researched population. Insufficient research has been conducted on this exceptional group of learners with an emphasis on the educational provisions that they are offered in mainstream school settings. With a geographical emphasis on the Middle East, this pragmatic, qualitative study explores the educational provisions on offer for gifted learners with ASD in Dubai mainstream schools. Furthermore, students’ lived experiences and recommendations on such school provisions are captured and presented in this research. The research questions of this study are (1) what are the provisions on offer for gifted students with ASD in Dubai mainstream private primary schools? (2) how do gifted learners with ASD perceive the current offered provision in school? (3) what is recommended by gifted learners with ASD in terms of provisions offered in school? Following a qualitative research approach, semi-structured interviews, survey, and document analysis were used to obtain data. Four gifted students with ASD and six educators (including school leaders, subject teachers, and SEN teachers) took part in semi-structured interviews while twenty-one educators from a variety of Dubai schools participated in the survey. Interviews were transcribed and qualitatively analyzed using coding and thematic analysis. Findings from both the survey and interviews demonstrated insufficient and inappropriate educational structures for this group of twice-exceptional learners. Common themes from educators’ interviews and survey included confusion, uncertainty, and inability to serve such students. Themes from student interviews include misidentification, feelings of frustration, and social challenges. Accordingly, recommendations on the enhancement of educational provisions are proposed as per students’ and educators’ responses. Finally, being the first to investigate the educational provisions of gifted learners with ASD in Dubai mainstream schools, it is hoped that this study will act as a first step towards change in the education of such exceptional learners in the country.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Sutherland, Professor Margaret, Gaad, Professor Eman and Simmons, Dr. David
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83640
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2023 10:19
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2023 10:20
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83640

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