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Class teacher's role in working with primary school students with special needs and his professional development

Urška Golčman (2018) Class teacher's role in working with primary school students with special needs and his professional development. MSc thesis.

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    Elementary School Act (1996) and Placement of Children with Special Needs Act (2000) have on a formal level enabled integration of children with special needs in primary schools which have been encountered with new challenges. Realization of inclusion in school practice is a professionally demanding and responsible task in which the class teacher has an important role. In the theoretical part we present formal views of integrating students with special needs, division of integration and inclusion, and factors which influence realisation of inclusion in school practice. We introduce class teacher’s role from the point of view of school legislation and specialized literature, focusing on class teacher’s role and his or her tasks when working with children with special needs. Different models and factors of class teacher’s professional development are presented as well. In the quantitative research we have referred to experiences of 51 general class teachers and 41 specialist class teachers from ten selected schools in Slovenia that have had a student with special needs included in their classroom. Research analyses show that class teachers generally do agree with inclusion concepts, however, they understand it as integration of students with special needs in regular primary school where such students are expected to adjust to educational environment. Teachers are mostly concerned with enabling suitable adjustments, and to a lesser extent with searching for and developing children’s strong points. Most of the class teachers believe that they can significantly help to socially include a child with special needs in his or her classroom (general class teachers feel this way more frequently than special class teachers). This is achieved by systematically working with the rest of the class, behaving and giving messages that reveal what relationships, conducts, values and beliefs are desirable. At the beginning of their career class teachers evaluate their competences at work with children with special needs significantly worse than afterwards, while listing their experiences with class teaching, encouraging school climate, participation in expert groups, as well as educational and qualification programmes as the most important factors for their professional development. In the future class teachers desire qualification programmes dealing with concrete teaching methods and classroom interaction patterns, possible adjustments and ways of testing and assessing children with special needs. They also wish for qualification programmes dealing with the role and functions of class teacher working with children with special needs, which shows how up-to-date and undefined the issue concerned is.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: inclusion, students with special needs, primary school, class teacher's role, professional development
    Number of Pages: 103
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    prof. dr. Milena Valenčič ZuljanMentor
    izr. prof. dr. Janez JermanComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=12065865)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5179
    Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2018 07:31
    Last Modified: 19 Jul 2018 07:31
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5179

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