Secondary School Teachers' Beliefs, Attitudes, and Reactions to Stuttering Purpose The study identifies teachers' beliefs about and attitudes toward stuttering and explores to what extent these beliefs and attitudes prompt specific teachers' reactions to the stuttering of a student. Method Participants were teachers in secondary education in Flanders (Belgium), currently teaching an adolescent who stutters. They were ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2016
Secondary School Teachers' Beliefs, Attitudes, and Reactions to Stuttering
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stefanie Adriaensens
    University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Elke Struyf
    University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Stefanie Adriaensens: stefanie.adriaensens@uantwerpen.be
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Ann Packman
    Associate Editor: Ann Packman×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / School-Based Settings / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2016
Secondary School Teachers' Beliefs, Attitudes, and Reactions to Stuttering
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2016, Vol. 47, 135-147. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-15-0019
History: Received April 14, 2015 , Revised September 21, 2015 , Accepted December 19, 2015
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2016, Vol. 47, 135-147. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-15-0019
History: Received April 14, 2015; Revised September 21, 2015; Accepted December 19, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The study identifies teachers' beliefs about and attitudes toward stuttering and explores to what extent these beliefs and attitudes prompt specific teachers' reactions to the stuttering of a student.

Method Participants were teachers in secondary education in Flanders (Belgium), currently teaching an adolescent who stutters. They were the student's class teacher or instructed a course in which communication is important. Ten semistructured interviews were conducted and analyzed thematically.

Results Teachers believed that (a) when peers do not react to the stuttering, the lesson is not disrupted by it, and the student who stutters participates in the lesson, stuttering is not necessarily a problem; (b) when attention is paid to it, stuttering can become a problem; (c) they try to react as little as possible to the stuttering; and (d) they seldom talk about the stuttering.

Conclusion Although teachers reported that they feel confident in how to deal with stuttering, and although it is possible that students who stutter do not feel the need to talk about their stuttering, teachers could consult their students on this matter. This way, they would acknowledge the stuttering and likely encourage the students to approach them when they feel the need.

Acknowledgments
The study was made possible by a grant of the internal research fund of the University of Antwerp (BOF/ID/IDnr.25767). The authors would like to thank their colleagues at the Department of Training and Educational Sciences at the University of Antwerp for their provided input. Special thanks go to the teachers who participated in the study.
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