Reference : Social participation of students with special educational needs in regular classes
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Education & instruction
Social participation of students with special educational needs in regular classes
Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS) >]
Krischler, Mireille mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS) >]
22-08-2017 to 25-08-2017
[en] Theoretical background: Although more than twenty years have passed since the Salamanca statement (UNESCO, 1994), research still shows that children with special educational needs (SEN) are often socially excluded by peers (Garrote & Dessemontet, 2015) and have fewer friends than their typically developing peers (e.g. Eriksson, Welander, & Granlund, 2007). Following UN conventions (UN, 2006; UNESCO, 2000) there is a drive to a more inclusive society and hence inclusive education is on the political agenda of many countries. Inclusive education not only aims to reduce educational inequalities but also promotes social participation as being accepted and appreciated by typically developing peers facilitates the development of social relations and creates opportunities for participating in peer groups (Hartup, 1996). However, social participation not only depends on the opportunity of social interaction with peers but is also affected by social competence and peer acceptance (e.g. Schwab, Gebhardt, & Gasteiger-Klicpera, 2013). To this extent, children with SEN seem to have poorer social skills than their peers and experience more problems in creating and maintaining social relations (Carlson, 1987). Students with SEN are also more vulnerable of being bullied by their typically developing peers (Rose, Monda-Amaya, & Espelage, 2011). Studies comparing the social participation of groups of students having different types of SEN suggest that the risk of being less well accepted by peers is higher for students with behavioural problems than for students with learning difficulties (Avramidis, 2010; Bossaert, Colpin, Pijl, & Petry, 2013a).
Social participation includes the extent of social interactions, peer acceptance, friendships as well as social self-concept (Bossaert et al., 2013a; 2013b). As merely including these students in regular classes alone cannot guarantee social participation, the question arises to what extent different person variables contribute to social inclusion or rejection. To this extent Bossaert et al (2013a) reported that not all students with SEN experience difficulties, and that especially boys with social-emotional difficulties (i.e. autistic spectrum disorders) and girls with motor and sensory difficulties were at risk. Similarly, Schwab et al (2013) concluded that social participation was associated with specific behavioural difficulties of some students with SEN. Students with learning difficulties may also be at risk as research generally has found that these students often have problems with social skills (Wight & Chapparo, 2008), which may affect their friendships and social participation.
The current study therefore first aimed to investigate the social participation of primary school students with SEN (i.e bahvioural problems or learning difficulties) attending regular schools. Second, we investigated to what extent social participation was related to academic performance, behavioural problems, and prosocial behaviour.
Method: Preservice teachers completed measures of social participation, behavior and academic performance for a total of 50 primary students. Students attended different primary school classes and were described as having learning difficulties, behavioural difficulties, or both. More specifically, preservice teachers completed the Perceptions of Inclusion Questionnaire (Venetz, et al., 2015), the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman, 1997) and estimated the students┬┤ academic performance in German, French and Mathematics. The PIQ is a brief measure to assess the emotional, social and competence-based relatedness of students aged 8-16 years. The 12 items comprise 3 scales: social inclusion, emotional inclusion and academic self-concept. Each item is rated on a 4-point scale from 1 (not at all true) to 4 (certainly true). The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire consists of 25 statements of behavior. For each statement the degree to which this behavior is typical of their child Is rated on a 3-point scale (0 = not true, 1 = somewhat true, 2 = certainly true). The scale contains four behaviour difficulty subscales (conduct problems; hyperactivity; peer problems; and emotional symptoms) and one strength category (prosocial behavior). A total behaviour score is calculated by adding the scores of the four problem domains. Academic performance was assessed by estimates of students┬┤ academic performance in German, French and Mathematics.
Preliminary Results: Frequency distributions indicate that although the social participation of students with learning difficulties and behavioural problems, nearly one third experiences problems. In addition preservice teachers reported behavioural difficulties for a large proportion of their students (34-42%). Furthermore, for 46% of the students, prosocial behavior was rated low (i.e. scores less than 5). No differences in social inclusion were found for students with behavioural or learning difficulties. However, students with behavioural problems had significantly higher SDQ scores (i.e. more behavioural problems) than students with learning difficulties
Social inclusion was negatively correlated with peer problems and conduct problems, that is students with more peer or conduct problems are less socially integrated. In contrast, a positive correlation between prosocial behavior and social inclusion indicated that students displaying kindness and support towards others are more successful in participating in their social group. No relationships were found between academic performance and social participation.
Conclusion: Students with SEN may have difficulties to be fully accepted in social groups, even when educated in inclusive schools, whereby especially students with conduct and peer problems may be vulnerable. Prosocial behavior however may facilitate social participation.
FnR ; FNR7964914 > Ineke Pit-Ten Cate > INCLUS > Inclusive Education: The Effect Of Teacher Characteristics And School Support On Inclusive Practice > 01/05/2015 > 30/04/2018 > 2014

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