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Kindergarten teacher professional development at work with special needs children

Maruša Žgank (2019) Kindergarten teacher professional development at work with special needs children. MSc thesis.

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    Preschool teachers are today faced with various challenges. They need to have a wide range of skills in many areas, so they have to know children, their characteristics and features, ways of working with children, and ways of working with parents, colleagues and the community, which requires their continuous professional learning. Working with children with special needs (hereinafter referred to as children with SN) is also a unique incentive for preschool teachers’ professional development because they work with SN children almost every year. Research findings show that pedagogical workers estimate that their ability to work with children with SN is low, and we are interested in the extent to which this applies to preschool teachers. Our intention is to find out how preschool teachers assess their own ability to work with individual groups of children with SN, what problems they are facing and how they are solving them, where do they gain their competences, how much they are prepared to educate in this field and what are the factors that have the greatest effect. We have found that 73 % of preschool teachers believe that a child with a SN affects their work in a class and the main problems they have pointed out are the lack of time for other children in the group, the absence of another professional worker who works only with a child with SN, more disciplinary input, etc. Those problems are solved by adjusting their work, additional time, and adapting the materials, although none of the 100 surveyed preschool teachers feel they are well trained to work with children with SN. More than half of them (63 %) believe that they are medium-skilled in working with children with SN, and they are also prepared to improve their professional development in the field of work with children with SN (84 % of them) although 82 % of them are already actively involved in various forms of education. The motifs for choosing education are different, among the most common are interesting topics and the desire to improve their knowledge in certain areas.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: professional development of preschool teachers, children with special needs, a culture of organization, career, professional role, inclusion, integration
    Number of Pages: 154
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    prof. dr. Milena Valenčič ZuljanMentor
    doc. dr. Milena Košak BabuderComentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12498505
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5825
    Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2019 08:31
    Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 08:31
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5825

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