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Relationships and attitudes of students without learning difficulties toward students with specific learning disabilities

Nina Orgolič Štuhec (2017) Relationships and attitudes of students without learning difficulties toward students with specific learning disabilities. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    An important aspect of inclusive education and educating pupils with specific learning difficulties (pupils with SpLDs) is found in the peers that they have without specific learning difficulties (peers without SpLDs). Pupils with SpLDs who learn together with a peer without SpLDs achieve better results and develop their social-emotional skills. Practice and theory indicate that peers without SpLDs have insufficient knowledge about specific learning difficulties, which can lead to negative points of view towards those pupils with SpLDs. It is accordingly important to raise awareness among peers about special needs (SN), adjustments, and strong suits of pupils with SpLDs. The attitude of those peers without SpLDs depends on the standpoints that are shaped and change under the influence of diverse factors (educational environment, domestic environment, broader environment, age, experience, etc.). The research in my Master's thesis examines which standpoints pupils without SpLDs have towards adjustments received by pupils with SpLDs. Additionally, I wanted to determine the attitudes of pupils without SpLDs towards pupils’ with SpLDs and teamwork, or towards the cooperation of peers without SpLDs in a group with a pupil that has SpLDs. I was also interested in whether there are differences amongst them according to the grade average in core educational subjects (Slovene and Math). Further, I was interested in the sociometric status of pupils with SpLDs within the class. The sample consists of 124 pupils from sixth to ninth grades. Amongst them were eight pupils with distinct SpLDs. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the attitude towards pupils with SpLDs and standpoints towards the adjustments that pupils with SpLDs get, alongside with a sociometric questionnaire. The research tested the identification of a pupil with SpLDs. It was discovered that pupils without SpLDs could recognize a pupil with SpLDs. The results have shown that the majority of questioned pupils express a positive attitude towards pupils with SpLDs. Pupils included in the study describe pupils with SpLDs as nice, honest, creative, and at the same time also as slow, different, lonely, fearful, sad, and awkward. It can be observed that they are not described as aggressive, lazy, or dumb, which shows that pupils without SpLDs recognize a pupil with SpLDs and are aware that such pupils have certain deficits. I also determined that academic performance has no influence on attitudes towards pupils with SpLDs. It was established that the majority of pupils without SpLDs gladly participate in group activities with pupils that have SpLDs. Mostly students with lower grade averages like to work in groups that include a pupil with SpLDs. Pupils included in the study showed an understanding of the fact that pupils with SpLDs need additional time when taking exams and in evaluations, as well as an adjusted reading segment. It is also understood that they leave class so that the special education teacher can adjust their work and activities, and explain the topic and instructions to them. They also think it is right that these pupils receive more help from the teacher. Pupils included in the study have positive standpoints towards such adjustments made regardless of their academic performance (more/less successful pupils). The study showed that pupils with distinct SpLDs have a lower sociometric status in comparison to their peers without SpLDs, whereas the pattern cannot be generalized for the entire population of pupils with SpLDs, because of the small sample group.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: pupils with specific learning difficulties, peers without specific learning, difficulties, attitude, standpoints, raising awareness about specific learning disabilities
    Number of Pages: 120
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Marija KavklerMentor
    doc. dr. Alenka PolakComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11536713)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4454
    Date Deposited: 12 May 2017 08:32
    Last Modified: 12 May 2017 08:32
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4454

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