Armenian teachers’ dichotomous perspectives on children with high-functioning autism


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This article uses the views of student teachers and serving teachers from
a post-Soviet context in order to better understand current thinking
around teachers’ perceptions of children with what might be termed
‘hidden’ disabilities. Drawing on social comparison theory, and adopting
a phenomenographical approach, the study explores teachers’
perspectives of autism in the Republic of Armenia, offering an insight
into the impact of its social, cultural and political history. Whilst serving
teachers demonstrated contrastive and downward comparisons when
presented with a vignette of a young person with Asperger’s Syndrome,
student teachers expressed more connective comparisons. The data
suggest, then, that Armenian student teachers represent progressive
attitudinal change towards individuals with disabilities. These results also
shed light on how social comparison theory might be used to tease out
assumptions and taken-for-granted attitudes in the global West.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberJRS3_12469
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Research in Special Educational Needs
Issue number2
Early online date31 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Teacher attitudes
  • Student teacher attitudes
  • Armenia
  • Social comparison
  • Autism


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