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Collaboration between special education teachers and parents in distance education

Špela Mlakar (2022) Collaboration between special education teachers and parents in distance education. MSc thesis.

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    In the theoretical part of the master's thesis we present the concept of cooperation between the school and the parents and its purpose; forms of cooperation; factors that hinder or promote effective cooperation and the principles of cooperation. We present the competencies that pedagogical workers need to work with parents and connect the experience of working with parents with the professional development of special and rehabilitation educators (hereinafter SRP). The aim of the master's thesis is to research and study the field of cooperation between parents and the SRP, to analyze in detail their participation during distance learning (hereinafter IND) and to compare it with their participation during school education (hereinafter IVŠ). The aim is also to check if and how the information and communication competencies of both have affected each other. Finally, the aim is to examine the field of professional development of the SRP and the contribution that the IND has made to it. The results were obtained with the survey technique, using a non-standardized questionnaire for the SRP and parents of children with special needs, and with the interview technique. The research used a descriptive and causal, non-experimental method, of pedagogical research as well as a quantitative and qualitative research approach. The sampling method was non-random and purposeful. The questionnaire was used on a sample of SRPs providing additional professional assistance (N = 43) and parents of children with special needs (N = 41). We conducted the interview with one SRP and one mother of a child with special needs. Data were processed at the level of descriptive and inferential statistics. The results show that parents and the SRP participated on average more often during the IND than during the IVŠ. It turned out that mutual cooperation was more common in the case of parents who have younger children with special needs. Both were mostly satisfied with the frequency of contacts and mutual cooperation during the IND. Although the majority answered that both methods of cooperation suited them equally, parents are still more inclined to cooperate with each other during the IVŠ. Both of them recognized both strengths and weaknesses during the IND period, and also faced various difficulties and obstacles in their cooperation with each other. The results of the research showed that the SRP did not differ in different aspects of cooperation with parents during the IND according to the number of years of service, while there were statistically significant differences in parents according to the level of education achieved. Parents with a higher level of education had less need for guidance and additional skills to use digital technology and online tools at the start of the IND. It turned out that children needed more parental support and help during the IND than before. It was also found that during the IND, parents felt sufficiently involved in the partnership and the SRP were satisfied with their involvement. From the point of view of the expert group, the SRP reported that they actively included the parents in the process of making an individualized program, while parents were more indecisive towards this topic. It turned out that the SRP held an average of two meetings of the expert group in the 2020/2021 school year, while parents reported that only one meeting was held on average, and 7 parents reported that not a single meeting of the expert group was held. On average, the SRPs assessed their own digital competence before the start of the IND as average and needed more guidance and additional knowledge at the start of the IND, while there were no statistically significant differences in parents. Finally, we found that the IND period had a major impact on professional development, which was largely judged to have contributed positively in some respects and negatively in others. They also largely agreed that during the IND they managed to adapt flexibly to the changed way of working and that they managed to imagine the IND as a positive challenge. The research provided important expert insight into the impact of the covid-19 epidemic on the education of children with special needs during distance education, the participation of parents and special and rehabilitation educators during this time, and the impact of distance education on their professional development.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: collaboration, parents, special education teachers, students with special needs, additional professional help, distance education, professional development
    Number of Pages: 149
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    prof. dr. Milena Valenčič ZuljanMentor
    asist. dr. Romina Plešec GasparičComentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/99857155
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 7120
    Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2022 10:31
    Last Modified: 07 Mar 2022 10:31
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/7120

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