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Preschool teachers' and preeschool teachers assistants' attitudes towards children with special needs

Anja Bervar (2017) Preschool teachers' and preeschool teachers assistants' attitudes towards children with special needs. Diploma thesis.

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    Abstract

    According to the White Paper on Education in the Republic of Slovenia, children with special needs should begin attending kindergarten at least two years before starting primary school. Working with children with special needs in kindergarten must be based on the Kindergarten Curriculum, while also collaborating with other specialists (such as special education teachers, psychologists, speech and language therapists etc.) and introducing changes required by children with special needs. Since children are marked with their special needs, it is very important to create an individual programme that includes additional adjustments for each specific child with special needs. Collaboration with parents of children with special needs as well as with the parents of children without special needs is of key importance in achieving a successful development of children in terms of their cognitive, emotional and social abilities. When it comes to inclusion, it is essential to include children with special needs in social relations with others. Inclusion prevents exclusion of individuals from social environments. In addition to inclusion, integration plays a very important role as it connects a special needs person/child with other children and people. Standpoints are personal attitudes of every individual, by means of which we respond to circumstances around us and which direct our attention. There are no biological predispositions for standpoints; rather, we create and change them based on the social structures we build throughout life. Standpoints can be positive or negative, and can be changed. In my research, I was interested in the standpoints cultivated by professional workers in kindergarten to children with special needs. I therefore composed a questionnaire with a scale of standpoints. The research sample included 126 professional kindergarten workers. I analysed data by means of Excel files and presented them in the form of tables and graphs. According to the results, most of the kindergarten teachers and assistants of kindergarten teachers (53%) regard working with children with special needs as a pedagogic challenge, as well as an additional burden. As many as 21% of them see working with children with special needs merely as an additional burden. I ascertained that kindergarten teachers feel more professionally qualified for working with children with special needs than their assistants; in fact, as many as 38% of the assistants feel that they are not sufficiently professionally qualified for this type of work. Only 12% of kindergarten teachers believe that they are sufficiently qualified for working with children with special needs. To summarise, not every kindergarten teacher has a positive standpoint in relation to children with special needs. They also think that, as regards working with children with special needs, they require far more knowledge than they gain while studying.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: attitudes, children with special needs, inclusion, preschool teachers, preschool teachers’ assistants
    Number of Pages: 66
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Alenka PolakMentor
    asist. dr. Suzana Pulec LahComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11659081)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4596
    Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 09:58
    Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 09:58
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4596

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