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Preschool children's attitudes towards special needs children

Mojca Paradiž (2018) Preschool children's attitudes towards special needs children. MSc thesis.

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    Preschool education of children with special needs is based on the foundation of social integration and inclusion, which emphasizes the importance of shared education and living of children with typical developing and their peers with special needs. The goal of shared education is in addition to a better integrated development of children with special needs aimed towards inclusive education, understanding the difference, the development of tolerance and compassion for children with typical development. To achieve the positive effects of coexistence, the positive attitudes of the environment, which, in addition to educators and parents of other children, represent children with typical development in the pre-school age. The views are generated based on experience, which makes it even more important to create positive experiences of coexistence in the preschool period, where the organization of preschool programs itself, makes it easier to transition and meet. Research, which would include examining the relationships of preschool children to children with special needs in the Slovenian area is almost nonexistent. Positive experiences can be formulated by professional workers based on understanding of special needs from the perspective of the preschool child. Therefore, in the master's thesis, the views of children with typical development of the children with physical impairment were studied from the point of view of all three components of attitudes - cognitive, emotional and behavioral. During the research we used a short-animated film, which presented socializing of a girl with typical development and a boy with a physical impairment. The film was the starting point for the oral questionnaire, which was answered by 57 children of both sexes aged 4 to 5 years in one public kindergarten in Slovenia. Children with varying experience regarding the frequency of meeting with peers with special needs were included. We divided them into a group of children who have a daily contact with children with special needs, a group of children with occasional contacts with children with special needs and to a group which does not encounter children with special needs within the kindergarten. We tried to determine whether the position of pre-school children to children with physical disabilities in the animated film, the interpretation and understanding of physical disability in general and the reasons for it and how they experience a child with a physical disability. Willingness to cooperate and aid children with physical disabilities vary depending on how much children in their everyday situations encounter their peers with different special needs. The results of the empirical research show that most children from all three groups understand that physical impairment is not a contagious disease and that they themselves will not become physically hindered, if they interact with a peer who has special needs. Children from all three groups also consider that motor impairment is a curable and not a lifelong condition. They think that the physically handicapped children will eventually walk and will be able to attain and develop other skills over the years. Children from all three groups statistically significantly differ only in attitudes towards the attributes of a child with physical impairment in the social, physical and cognitive field. We did not confirm whether in positions to capabilities of a physically disabled child in these three areas there are statistically significant differences. We also did not find statistically significant differences in attitudes towards the personality characteristics of the child with physical impairment. The most positively expressed emotional component of attitudes is that of children from the group which meet children with special needs only occasionally. Children from this group also show greater willingness to provide help and cooperation with a physically handicapped child than children from the other two groups. We also found that more than half of the children in all three groups are ready to provide help to a child with physical disability.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: children with special needs in kindergartens, psychosocial development of pre-school children, social integration and inclusion, attitudes towards children with special needs
    Number of Pages: 106
    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=12066377)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5177
    Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2018 07:32
    Last Modified: 19 Jul 2018 07:32
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5177

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