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Early childhood educators and assistants' perceptions of educational needs and competencies in the field of teaching children with special needs in nurseries and kindergartens

Betina Zamuda (2017) Early childhood educators and assistants' perceptions of educational needs and competencies in the field of teaching children with special needs in nurseries and kindergartens. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    In the published expert literature, we often read that teachers and assistant teachers feel increasingly stressed, for they encounter situations during their work, which they are not sufficiently trained for. Among the professional workers, such situations cause stress and a feeling that they are not fit for the tasks. In practice, we realize increasingly larger needs for education and training of the professional workers for working with children with special needs, and for some directives for easier incorporation of those children into the life and work of the kindergarten unit. Special and rehabilitation teachers, as the experts for working with children with special needs, can offer various forms of help and support, by means of which they would acquire some new knowledge, upgrade them and develop their competencies, necessary for the work with the children with special needs. The professional team of a kindergarten, guided by a special and rehabilitation teacher, is one of the effective forms of help and support to the professional workers. Through such team, the professional workers gain high levels of expertise from the field of working with children with special needs, which derive from special skills of the special and rehabilitation teacher, experiences of the professional workers, and various professional literature. The competencies are upgraded in such a way. Consequently, the professional workers cope with situations, which they encounter more easily while working with the children with special needs. In the research part, we formed and used a survey questionnaire, which was appropriately filled in by 110 professional workers – teachers of the preschool children and assistant teachers from kindergartens from all over Slovenia. The purpose of the research was to ascertain how professional workers percept their competencies and educational needs in the field of working with children with special needs, and which forms of help and support they need by special and rehabilitation teachers. By means of a questionnaire, we were also discovering, whether the professional workers in the kindergarten express a need for forming a professional team, led by the special and rehabilitation teacher, with the purpose of offering some help, support and additional professional knowledge and competencies for working with children with special needs. By means of the acquired data, we gained an insight into what kind of forms of help and support in working with children with special needs are expected by the professional workers in kindergartens in order for their professional work with children with special needs would be more successful and more qualitative. The results of the research have shown that professional workers are offered help and support by the special and rehabilitation teacher, but they would wish more of that. Most support and help would be needed in the fields of discovering the children with special needs, communication and cooperation with parents, and cooperation in the professional team/group, for in these fields they perceive a lack of factual competencies for working with children with special needs. At the same time, we have discovered that the professional workers wish that a special team/group would be formed within the kindergarten, led by a special and rehabilitation teacher.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: children with special needs, professional kindergarten workers, educational needs, competencies, teamwork
    Number of Pages: 92
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Alenka PolakMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11690057)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4636
    Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2017 11:52
    Last Modified: 12 Sep 2017 11:52
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4636

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