Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6305

Search results for: students with special needs

6305 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Digital Game-Based Learning on Educational Outcomes of Students with Special Needs in an Inclusive Classroom

Authors: Shafaq Rubab

Abstract:

The inclusion of special needs students in a classroom is prevailing gradually in developing countries. Digital game-based learning is one the most effective instructional methodology for special needs students. Digital game-based learning facilitates special needs students who actually face challenges and obstacles in their learning processes. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of digital game-based learning on the educational progress of special needs students in developing countries. The quasi-experimental research was conducted by using purposively selected sample size of eight special needs students. Results of both experimental and control group showed that performance of the experimental group students was better than the control group students and there was a significant difference between both groups’ results. This research strongly recommended that digital game-based learning can help special needs students in an inclusive classroom. It also revealed that special needs students can learn efficiently by using pedagogically sound learning games and game-based learning helps a lot for the self-paced fast-track learning system.

Keywords: inclusive education, special needs, digital game-based learning, fast-track learning

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6304 Perception of the Frequency and Importance of Peer Social Support by Students with Special Educational Needs in Inclusive Education

Authors: Lucia Hrebeňárová, Jarmila Žolnová, Veronika Palková

Abstract:

Inclusive education of students with special educational needs has been on the increase in the Slovak Republic, facing many challenges. Preparedness of teachers for inclusive education is one of the most frequent issues; teachers lack skills when it comes to the use of effective instruction depending on the individual needs of students, improvement of classroom management and social skills, and support of inclusion within the classroom. Social support is crucial for the school success of students within inclusive settings. The aim of the paper is to analyse perception of the frequency and importance of peer social support by students with special educational needs in inclusive education. The data collection tool used was the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS). The research sample consisted of 953 fourth grade students – 141 students with special educational needs educated in an inclusive setting and 812 students of the standard population. No significant differences were found between the students with special educational needs and the students without special educational needs in an inclusive setting when it comes to the perception of frequency and importance of social support of schoolmates and friends. However, the perception of frequency and importance of a friend’s social support was higher than the perception of frequency and importance of a classmate’s social support in both groups of students.

Keywords: inclusive education, peer social support, peer, student with special eEducational needs

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6303 Perception of Authorities in Social Support by Students under the Conditions of Inclusive Education

Authors: Jarmila Zolnova, Lucia Hrebenarova, Veronika Palkova

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The interconnections between supportive sources of authorities at school and students have been proved. Lacking research in this field in Slovakia translates into absenting perception of social support by students with special educational needs. The aim of this paper (presented by the poster) is to reveal and interpret the perception of frequency and importance of authorities at school from students' perspective. The sample included 718 students aged 10 years and 1 month on average. Eighty nine students of this count were students with special educational needs. Data were obtained from the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS) for students. Mutual relations between teachers acting as the source of support and students were not significant. Neither was significant the support of other school employees. Both groups of students assessed the frequency and importance of social support from teachers more positively than the support from other school employees.

Keywords: intact student, pedagogue, pupil with special education needs, school employee, social support

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6302 Training Student Teachers to Work in Partnership with Parents of Students with Special Needs

Authors: Alicia Greenbank, Efrat Bengio

Abstract:

The aim of this research was to examine the efficacy of the first course in Israel, whose objective is to train student teachers in the special education department to work cooperatively with parents of children with special needs. Studies often highlight the importance of cooperation between teachers and parents of students with special needs. Israel’s Special Education Law defines parents as complete partners, and the Ministry of Education encourages and even requires that partnership be present. Yet this partnership is difficult to achieve many kindergarten teachers, and teachers have a lot of difficulties establishing and managing a pattern of cooperation with their students’ parents. Often we see different perspectives on the child's development and needs, distrust, lack of appreciation, and communication difficulties on both sides – parents & teachers. The course describes a method of instilling the need for cooperation at an early stage of teacher training-in the teacher training program. 22 students in the special education program for early childhood education in the fourth year of learning took part in the course. The fourth-year is the experiential training year and the first time that students have worked in a school. The course consisted of 14 sessions. Seven parents of students with different disabilities participated at 6 of the sessions. The changes in the students' attitudes towards partnership and their ability to manage this partnership were carried out by examining the reports written by the students before the meetings with the parents and the reflections they wrote after each meeting with the parents and at the end of the course. Three themes emerged from the narrative analysis, corresponding to the three preconditions for joint activities with parents — Approach, Attitude, Appropriate Atmosphere, according to the Four A’s Model. The findings showed that a course combining meetings with parents of children with special needs offers many benefits for teacher training. The course raised student awareness of the question partnership, changed students’ approaches and attitudes towards the parents, stressed the importance of partnership, and provided students with tools for working with parents through the school. Based on the findings of this study, courses in this format can be applied in order to cooperate between teachers and parents, for example, parents of gifted children with special needs.

Keywords: Partnership with parents in special education, parents of children with disabilities, parents of children with special needs, parents’ involvement in special education

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6301 Mental Vulnerability and Coping Strategies as a Factor for Academic Success for Pupils with Special Education Needs

Authors: T. Dubayova

Abstract:

Slovak, as well as foreign authors, believe that the influence of non-cognitive factors on a student's academic success or failure is unquestionable. The aim of this paper is to establish a link between the mental vulnerability and coping strategies used by 4th grade elementary school students in dealing with stressful situations and their academic performance, which was used as a simple quantitative indicator of academic success. The research sample consists of 320 students representing the standard population and 60 students with special education needs (SEN), who were assessed by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) by their teachers and the Children’s Coping Strategies Checklist (CCSC-R1) filled in by themselves. Students with SEN recorded an extraordinarily high frequency of mental vulnerability (34.5 %) than students representing the standard population (7 %). The poorest academic performance of students with SEN was associated with the avoidance behavior displayed during stressful situations. Students of the standard population did not demonstrate this association. Students with SEN are more likely to display mental health problems than students of the standard population. This may be caused by the accumulation of and frequent exposure to situations that they perceive as stressful.

Keywords: coping, mental vulnerability, pupil with special education needs, school performance, school success

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6300 Engaging Students with Special Education Needs through Technology-Enhanced Interactive Activities in Class

Authors: Pauli P.Y. Lai

Abstract:

Students with Special Education Needs (SEN) face many challenges in learning. Various challenges include difficulty in handwriting, slow understanding and assimilation, difficulty in paying attention during class, and lack of communication skills. To engage students with Special Education Needs in class with general students, Blackboard Collaborate is used as a teaching and learning tool to deliver a lecture with interactive activities. Blackboard Collaborate provides a good platform to create and enhance active, collaborative and interactive learning experience whereby the SEN students can easily interact with their general peers and the instructor by using the features of drawing on a virtual whiteboard, file sharing, classroom chatter, breakout room, hand-raising feature, polling, etc. By integrating a blended learning approach with Blackboard Collaborate, the students with Special Education Needs could engage in interactive activities with ease in class. Our research aims at exploring and discovering the use of Blackboard Collaborate for inclusive education based on a qualitative design with in-depth interviews. Being served in a general education environment, three university students with different kinds of learning disabilities have participated in our study. All participants agreed that functions provided by Blackboard Collaborate have enhanced their learning experiences and helped them learn better. Their academic performances also showed that SEN students could perform well with the help of technology. This research studies different aspects of using Blackboard Collaborate to create an inclusive learning environment for SEN students.

Keywords: blackboard collaborate, enhanced learning experience, inclusive education, special education needs

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6299 The Impact of Scaffolding on Motivation of Vocational Special Education Students in Kakamega Program for Persons with Hearing Impaired in Kenya

Authors: J. W. Mbogani, B. A. Bunyasi

Abstract:

The special skills for five students in the vocational class in Kakamega program for Hearing impaired were identified within one term period of the Kenyan education system. Three students were identified as having a liking for tailoring. The remaining two students did not show any interest in any vocational subject. The three students were attached to two professionals in practicing general tailors within the school vicinity for scaffolding purposes. The students were allowed to attend general classes under the normal curriculum and were withdrawn after eleven in the morning for tailoring classes. The students were then monitored with the guideline of a checklist. The purpose of monitoring was to establish whether the behavior of the students reflected a motivated student. It was established that two of them improved in their school attendance in terms of regularity, punctuality and responsibility accomplishment. The third student ended up attending only tailoring classes. The socialization aspect of the two students improved a lot. They also tended to identify more with the teachers than their fellow students. We recommend that learners with special needs in education should be subjected to the normal curriculum. They may benefit more and attain a skill that could help them economically. Further study should also be done to in several institutions involving learners in other classes.

Keywords: general tailoring, scaffolding, term, vocational class

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6298 Study on the Focus of Attention of Special Education Students in Primary School

Authors: Tung-Kuang Wu, Hsing-Pei Hsieh, Ying-Ru Meng

Abstract:

Special Education in Taiwan has been facing difficulties including shortage of teachers and lack in resources. Some students need to receive special education are thus not identified or admitted. Fortunately, information technologies can be applied to relieve some of the difficulties. For example, on-line multimedia courseware can be used to assist the learning of special education students and take pretty much workload from special education teachers. However, there may exist cognitive variations between students in special or regular educations, which suggests the design of online courseware requires different considerations. This study aims to investigate the difference in focus of attention (FOA) between special and regular education students of primary school in viewing the computer screen. The study is essential as it helps courseware developers in determining where to put learning elements that matter the most on the right position of screen. It may also assist special education specialists to better understand the subtle differences among various subtypes of learning disabilities. This study involves 76 special education students (among them, 39 are students with mental retardation, MR, and 37 are students with learning disabilities, LDs) and 42 regular education students. The participants were asked to view a computer screen showing a picture partitioned into 3 × 3 areas with each area filled with text or icon. The subjects were then instructed to mark on the prior given paper sheets, which are also partitioned into 3 × 3 grids, the areas corresponding to the pictures on the computer screen that they first set their eyes on. The data are then collected and analyzed. Major findings are listed: 1. In both text and icon scenario, significant differences exist in the first preferred FOA between special and regular education students. The first FOA for the former is mainly on area 1 (upper left area, 53.8% / 51.3% for MR / LDs students in text scenario; and 53.8% / 56.8% for MR / LDs students in icons scenario), while the latter on area 5 (middle area, 50.0% and 57.1% in text and icons scenarios). 2. The second most preferred area in text scenario for students with MR and LDs are area 2 (upper-middle, 20.5%) and 5 (middle area, 24.3%). In icons scenario, the results are similar, but lesser in percentage. 3. Students with LDs that show similar preference (either in text or icons scenarios) in FOA to regular education students tend to be of some specific sub-type of learning disabilities. For instance, students with LDs that chose area 5 (middle area, either in text or icon scenario) as their FOA are mostly ones that have reading or writing disability. Also, three (out of 13) subjects in this category, after going through the rediagnosis process, were excluded from being learning disabilities. In summary, the findings suggest when designing multimedia courseware for students with MR and LDs, the essential learning elements should be placed on area 1, 2 and 5. In addition, FOV preference may also potentially be used as an indicator for diagnosing students with LDs.

Keywords: focus of attention, learning disabilities, mental retardation, on-line multimedia courseware, special education

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6297 Reasons for Study of Evening Class Students, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Authors: Luedech Girdwichai, Ratchasak Sannok, Jeeranan Wueamprakhon

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This research aims to study reasons for study of Evening Class Students, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. Population is special program students of the Faculty of Industrial Technology, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University enrolled in academic year B.E. 2012. Data were collected in February 2013 from 98 students. Tool used in this research was questionnaire. Data were analyzed by statistics: percentage, mean, and standard deviation, using a computer program. The results revealed that: 1. Most of the special program students have monthly income between 10,001–20,000 Baht. Majority of the students were private company employees, working in operational level. They were mainly single and the commuting distance to the university is between 10-30 kilometers. 2. Reasons for enrolling of special program students of the Faculty of Industrial Technology, namely, career, self advancement, personal reasons and support from others received high scores. 3. Problems identified such as facilities, services, learning media and the content of the course received average scores.

Keywords: reasons, evening class students, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

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6296 Perception of Inclusion in Higher Education

Authors: Hoi Nga Ng, Kam Weng Boey, Chi Wai Kwan

Abstract:

Supporters of Inclusive education proclaim that all students, regardless of disabilities or special educational needs (SEN), have the right to study in the normal school setting. It is asserted that students with SEN would benefit in academic performance and psychosocial adjustment via participation in common learning activities within the ordinary school system. When more and more students of SEN completed their early schooling, institute of higher education become the setting where students of SEN continue their learning. This study aimed to investigate the school well-being, social relationship, and academic self-concept of students of SEN in higher education. The Perception of Inclusion Questionnaire (PIQ) was used as the measuring instruments. PIQ was validated and incorporated in a questionnaire designed for online survey. Participation was voluntary and anonymous. A total of 90 students with SEN and 457 students without SEN responded to the online survey. Results showed no significant differences in school well-being and social relationship between students with and without SEN, but students with SEN, particularly those with learning and development impairment and those with mental illness and emotional problems, were significantly poorer in academic self-concept. Implications of the findings were discussed.

Keywords: ccademic self-concept, school well-being, social relationship, special educational needs

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6295 The Role of Parents in Special Education in the Maldives: Teachers' Voice

Authors: Fathimath Warda, Mariyam Nihaadh

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Students with Special Education Needs (SEN) are increasing in the Maldives, like anywhere else in the world, due to the changes in lifestyle of the people and ease of being diagnosed with advancements in medical health. With the growth in the population of these students, the demand for professionals in various fields is unmet. Thus, with the introduction of the Inclusive Education Policy in 2013, all students are educated in the same classroom by the regular teacher. This poses problems as the teachers are not well trained and qualified to meet the varying needs of the students, given the limited time and the large number of students in the classroom. This is a major concern for all stakeholders in the education sector and research has been conducted by various local scholars in this area. However, studies on the role of parents of such students is an area that remains yet to be explored in the Maldives, which makes a study of this nature crucial. The main aim of this study is to determine the ways in which the education provided to Special Needs Students can be maximized for a better outcome. Therefore, the study intends to understand the involvement of parents in providing education to special needs students from the teachers' perspectives. The basis for this study is the Parent Development Theory developed by Mowder, which was initially known as Parent Role Development Theory. A qualitative research has thus been utilised for the purpose of the study as it requires to find the beliefs and attitudes of teachers, along with relevant justifications regarding the role of parents in educating students with special needs. Data was gathered using one-to-one interviews, as it is one of the most reliable ways of getting meaningful and in-depth data. The study employs a total of 8 participants who are teachers teaching in inclusive classes where students with special needs are included. Emphasis was paid to select teachers who have the experience of teaching students with different disorders commonly found in the Maldives, namely in the four areas, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and speech impairment. Hence, purposive sampling will be used to select the participants. Data analysis has been done using thematic coding. The findings revealed that teachers highlighted that parents' involvement was a key factor in ensuring success of education in children with special needs. Thus, the study concludes that the role of parents as a necessary input for the proper development of children and in educating children with special needs, suggesting that extra measures have to be taken develop a positive relationship between teachers and parents in order to strengthen this aspect.

Keywords: involvement, parents' role, special education needs, teachers' voice

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6294 Students with Severe Learning Disabilities in Mainstream Classes: A Study of Comprehensions amongst School Staff and Parents Built on Observations and Interviews in a Phenomenological Framework

Authors: Inger Eriksson, Lisbeth Ohlsson, Jeremias Rosenqvist

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Ingress: Focus in the study is directed towards phenomena and concepts of segregation, integration, and inclusion of students attending a special school form in Sweden, namely compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities (in Swedish 'särskola') as an alternative to mainstream compulsory school. Aim: The aim of the study is to examine the school situation for students attending särskola from a historical perspective focussing the 1980s, 1990s and the 21st century, from an integration perspective, and from a perspective of power. Procedure: Five sub-studies are reported, where integration and inclusion are looked into by observation studies and interviews with school leaders, teachers, special and remedial teachers, psychologists, coordinators, and parents in the special schools/särskola. In brief, the study about special school students attending mainstream classes from 1998 takes its point of departure in the idea that all knowledge development takes place in a social context. A special interest is taken in the school’s role for integration generally, and the role of special education particularly and on whose conditions the integration is taking place – the special school students' or the other students,' or may be equally, in the class. Pedagogical and social conditions for so called individually integrated special school students in elementary school classes were studied in eleven classes. Results: The findings are interpreted in a power perspective supported by Foucault and relationally by Vygotsky. The main part of the data consists of extensive descriptions of the eleven cases, here called integration situations. Conclusions: In summary, this study suggests that the possibilities for a special school student to get into the class community and fellowship and thereby be integrated with the class are to a high degree dependant on to what extent the student can take part in the pedagogical processes. The pedagogical situation for the special school student is affected not only by the class teacher and the support and measures undertaken but also by the other students in the class as they, in turn, are affected by how the special school student is acting. This mutual impact, which constitutes the integration process in itself, might result in a true integration if the special school student attains the status of being accepted on his/her own terms not only being cared for or cherished by some classmates. A special school student who is not accepted even on the terms of the class will often experience severe problems in the contacts with classmates and the school situation might thus be a mere placement.

Keywords: integration/inclusion, mainstream school, power, special school students

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6293 Training as Barrier for Implementing Inclusion for Students with Learning Difficulties in Mainstream Primary Schools in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Mohammed Alhammad

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The movement towards the inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream schools has become widely accepted practice in many countries. However in Saudi Arabia, this is not happening. Instead the practice for students with learning difficulties (LD) is to study in special classrooms in mainstream schools and they are not included with their peers, except at break times and morning assembly, and on school trips. There are a number of barriers that face implementing inclusion for students with LD in mainstream classrooms: one such barrier is the training of teachers. The training, either pre- or in-service, that teachers receive is seen as playing an important role in leading to the successful implementation of inclusion. The aim of this presentation is to explore how pre-service training and in-service training are acting as barriers for implementing inclusion of students with LD in mainstream primary schools in Saudi Arabia from the perspective of teachers. The qualitative research approach was used to explore this barrier. Twenty-four teachers (general education teachers, special education teachers) were interviewed using semi-structured interview and a number of documents were used as method of data collection. The result showed teachers felt that not much attention was paid to inclusion in pre-services training for general education teachers and special education teachers in Saudi Arabia. In addition, pre-service training for general education teachers does not normally including modules on special education. Regarding the in-service training, no courses at all about inclusion are provided for teachers. Furthermore, training courses in special education are few. As result, the knowledge and skills required to implemented inclusion successfully.

Keywords: inclusion, learning difficulties, Saudi Arabia, training

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6292 Improving the Quality of Higher Education for Students with Disability in Universities of Pakistan

Authors: Nasir Sulman

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In Pakistan, the inclusion of persons with disabilities in higher education institutions has significantly been increased with every passing year and anyone can observe a sizeable number of these students in each faculty. The study executes to conduct a baseline survey for measuring faculty understanding about the special needs, experiences of students with disabilities and support provided by university administration in order to teach these students effectively. The researcher has used mixed methods and the University of Karachi was selected through non-probability-based sampling method. This university is one of the largest universities in Pakistan where more than 40,000 students have been enrolled. Data was gathered through a questionnaire and focused group discussion from three stakeholders including students with disabilities, faculty members and members of the university administration. The key findings show that students with disabilities experience a number of problems related to accommodating their special needs. However, the most encouraging factors identified are the attitude, support, and motivation they received from various faculty members and university administration. On the basis of the findings of the study the researcher has prepared a faculty guidebook and established a ‘Model Learning Assistance Centre for Students with Disabilities’ in the Department of Special Education, University of Karachi. Both these efforts will be helpful for improving the support services for students with disabilities to strengthen the existing laws, policies, and practices in institutions of higher education.

Keywords: persons with disabilities, higher education, learning assistance center, faculty guidebook

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6291 Delivering Comprehensive Sexuality Education to Students with Disability in Special Schools in Fiji

Authors: Sera Ratu, Jane Chivers, Jessica Botfield

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Objectives: The Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) and Family Planning Australia are working together to introduce quality comprehensive sexuality education into Special Schools - which are schools for students with disability. Sexual and reproductive health information is needed by students with disability attending Special Schools. Children with special needs go through the same changes as able-bodied children. The Fiji Disability Inclusion project is a three-year project that started in 2015. One of its objectives is to increase exposure to comprehensive sexuality education for primary and secondary school students with disability. Method: A baseline survey was undertaken with 72 students with disability; it included questions about puberty, sexual health, and relationships. 34 teachers also completed a survey about their views of sexuality education and confidence in delivering it. Consent was facilitated by running information sessions with teachers and parents. The process of gaining consent and completing the surveys was designed to be accessible to students with disability. Given the sensitive nature of reproductive and sexual health, and the potential vulnerability of young people with disability, ethical considerations were important in the design and implementation of the surveys, and ethics approval was obtained. Results: Findings from the surveys suggest that students have mixed knowledge and awareness of sexual health issues. Most teachers reported a need for their students to learn about sexuality and relationships. A positive outcome of conducting the surveys was that RFHAF staff reported they have developed skills and confidence in communicating with young people with a range of disabilities. They have a greater understanding of what students want to learn, and what teachers feel is important. Conclusions: These survey findings will assist RFHAF in developing comprehensive sexuality education programs that are relevant and accessible to students in Special Schools, and to develop an appropriate professional development program for teachers. Findings may also be applicable to other Special Schools when developing sexuality education programs. The education programs developed for students as part of this project, and the professional development programs for teachers, may be relevant to other countries.

Keywords: comprehensive sexuality education, delivery, sexual and reproductive health and rights, special schools

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6290 Comparison of Sign Language Skill and Academic Achievement of Deaf Students in Special and Inclusive Primary Schools of South Nation Nationalities People Region, Ethiopia

Authors: Tesfaye Basha

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The purpose of this study was to examine the sign language and academic achievement of deaf students in special and inclusive primary schools of Southern Ethiopia. The study used a mixed-method to collect varied data. The study contained Signed Amharic and English skill tasks, questionnaire, 8th-grade Primary School Leaving Certificate Examination results, classroom observation, and interviews. For quantitative (n=70) deaf students and for qualitative data collection, 16 participants were involved. The finding revealed that the limitation of sign language is a problem in signing and academic achievements. This displays that schools are not linguistically rich to enable sign language achievement for deaf students. Moreover, the finding revealed that the contribution of Total Communication in the growth of natural sign language for deaf students was unsatisfactory. The results also indicated that special schools of deaf students performed better sign language skills and academic achievement than inclusive schools. In addition, the findings revealed that high signed skill group showed higher academic achievement than the low skill group. This displayed that sign language skill is highly associated with academic achievement. In addition, to qualify deaf students in sign language and academics, teacher institutions must produce competent teachers on how to teach deaf students with sign language and literacy skills.

Keywords: academic achievement, inclusive school, sign language, signed Amharic, signed English, special school, total communication

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6289 Barriers That Special Education Teachers Faced When Working with Students with Intellectual Disabilities in an Inclusion Schools

Authors: Faris Algahtani

Abstract:

Every child has a right to education. This is one of the laws in the constitution and it empowers every child to access knowledge but it does not, however, allocate special interest to the rights of education for children with disabilities. It also does not address the challenges that teachers of such children face while trying to educate them. This study was conducted at government schools of Saudi Arabia. As the teaching profession is the most valuable profession and deserves to have its challenges tackled. This paper explores the challenges that teachers face as they try to teach students who have intellectual disabilities (ID). It looks at the daily challenges of a teacher who has to teach both children with disabilities and those without. The literature review shed light on the various aspects of mainstream education from the classroom to the outside environment to the teachers involved in mainstream education. The study employed qualitative methods in which Focus Group Discussions were utilized and Twenty (N=20) special education teachers were randomly sampled from primary schools through 6 groups of teachers from 6 different schools were interviewed through semi-structured interviews with the aim of drawing collective perceptions rather than personal perceptions about the challenges. The study found that most teachers had similar perceptions about the challenges that teachers face as they educate students with intellectual disabilities. The study recommends that The Ministry of Education should consider increasing the availability of special needs courses, workshops and conference for special education teachers.

Keywords: intellectual disabilities, inclusion, mainstream schools, disabilities, special education teachers

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6288 Changing Pedagogy from Segregation to Inclusion: A Phenomenological Case Study of Ten Special Educators

Authors: Monique Somma

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As special education service delivery models are shifting in order to better meet the academic and social rights of students with exceptionalities, teaching practices must also align with these goals. This phenomenological case study explored the change experiences of special education teachers who have transitioned from teaching in a self-contained special education class to an inclusive class setting. Ten special educators who had recently changed their teaching roles to inclusive classrooms, completed surveys and participated in a focus group. Of the original ten educators, five chose to participate further in individual interviews. Data collected from the three methods was examined and compared for common themes. Emergent themes included, support and training, attitudes and perceptions, inclusive practice, growth and change, and teaching practice. The overall findings indicated that despite their special education training, these educators were challenged by their own beliefs and expectations, the attitudes of others and systematic barriers in the education system. They were equally surprised by the overall social and academic performance of students with exceptionalities in inclusive classes, as well as, the social and academic growth and development of the other students in the class. Over the course of their careers, they all identified an overall personal pedagogical shift, to some degree or another, which they contributed to the successful experiences of inclusion they had. They also recognized that collaborating with others was essential for inclusion to be successful. The findings from this study suggest several implications for professional development and training needs specific to special education teachers moving into inclusive settings. Maximizing the skills of teachers with special education experience in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) and mentorship opportunities would be beneficial to all staffs working toward creating inclusive classrooms and schools.

Keywords: attitudes and perceptions, inclusion of students with exceptionalities, special education teachers, teacher change

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6287 Using Action Based Research to Examine the Effects of Co-Teaching on Middle School and High School Student Achievement in Math and Language Arts

Authors: Kathleen L. Seifert

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Students with special needs are expected to achieve the same academic standards as their general education peers, yet many students with special needs are pulled-out of general content instruction. Because of this, many students with special needs are denied content knowledge from a content expert and instead receive content instruction in a more restrictive setting. Collaborative teaching, where a general education and special education teacher work alongside each other in the same classroom, has become increasingly popular as a means to meet the diverse needs of students in America’s public schools. The idea behind co-teaching is noble; to ensure students with special needs receive content area instruction from a content expert while also receiving the necessary supports to be successful. However, in spite of this noble effort, the effects of co-teaching are not always positive. The reasons why have produced several hypotheses, one of which has to do with lack of proper training and implementation of effective evidence-based co-teaching practices. In order to examine the effects of co-teacher training, eleven teaching pairs from a small mid-western school district in the United States participated in a study. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of co-teacher training on middle and high school student achievement in Math and Language Arts. A local university instructor provided teachers with training in co-teaching via a three-day workshop. In addition, co-teaching pairs were given the opportunity for direct observation and feedback using the Co-teaching Core Competencies Observation Checklist throughout the academic year. Data are in the process of being collected on both the students enrolled in the co-taught classes as well as on the teachers themselves. Student data compared achievement on standardized assessments and classroom performance across three domains: 1. General education students compared to students with special needs in co-taught classrooms, 2. Students with special needs in classrooms with and without co-teaching, 3. Students in classrooms where teachers were given observation and feedback compared to teachers who refused the observation and feedback. Teacher data compared the perceptions of the co-teaching initiative between teacher pairs who received direct observation and feedback from those who did not. The findings from the study will be shared with the school district and used for program improvement.

Keywords: collabortive teaching, collaboration, co-teaching, professional development

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6286 Creating an Inclusive Classroom: Country Case Studies Analysis on Mainstream Teachers’ Teaching-Efficacy and Attitudes towards Inclusive Education in Japan and Singapore

Authors: Yei Mian Adrian Yap

Abstract:

How we idealize the regular schools to be inclusive as much as possible hinges on mainstream teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy towards the inclusion of students with special needs in the regular schools. This research studies the Japanese and Singaporean mainstream teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy towards the inclusion of students with special needs in the regular classrooms by investigating what key variables influence their attitudes and teaching-efficacy and how they strategize to address their challenges to include their students with special needs in their regular classrooms. In order to understand the nature of teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy towards the inclusive education, a mixed-method research methodology was carried out in Japan and Singapore; it involved an explanatory sequential method of employing quantitative research first before qualitative research. In the quantitative research, 189 Japanese and 183 Singaporean teachers were invited to participate in the questionnaires and out of these participants, 38 Japanese and 15 Singaporean teachers shared their views during their semi-structured interviews. Based on the empirical findings, Japanese teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy were more likely to be influenced by their experiences in teaching students with special needs, knowledge about disability legislation, presence of their disabled family members and level of confidence to teach students with special needs. On the other hand, Singaporean teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy were affected by gender, educational level, received trainings in special needs education, knowledge about disability legislation and level of confidence to teach students with special needs. Both country results also demonstrated that there was a positive correlation between their teaching-efficacy and attitude. Narrative findings further expanded the reasons behind these quantitative factors that shaped teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy. Also it discussed the various problems faced by Japanese and Singaporean teachers and how they identified their coping strategies to circumvent their challenges in including their students with special needs in their regular classrooms. The significance of this research manifests in necessary educational reforms in both countries especially in the context of inclusive education. These findings may not be as definitive as expected but it is believed that it could provide useful information on the current situation about teachers’ concerns towards the inclusive education. In conclusion, this research could potentially make its positive contribution to the body of literature on teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy in the context of Asian developed countries and these findings could posit that regular teachers’ positive attitudes and strong sense of teaching self-efficacy could directly improve the success rate of inclusion of students with special needs in the regular classrooms.

Keywords: attitudes, inclusive education, special education, teaching-efficacy

Procedia PDF Downloads 269
6285 Teachers' Perceptions on Teaching Saudi English Special Edition Textbooks in Respect of Culture

Authors: Sumayyah Qaed J. Alsulami

Abstract:

English as a foreign language (EFL) in Saudi Arabia is still new and evolving. Recently, many of the university language centres that provide intensive and mandatory English courses for the preparatory-year students have been working to develop English teaching. These centres emphasise teaching using 'special editions' textbooks for Saudi students. While the government has been working to provide social and economic policies that intend to open up and communicate widely with the world, there is a need to educate Saudi citizens to be aware and understand others in order to promote tolerance and accept others, especially in a conservative culture like Saudi Arabia. In this study, the data will be English teachers’ views on teaching culture using the special edition textbooks that will be conducted by semi-structured interviews. Teachers’ views will manifest to what extent these textbooks are used interculturally to teach the students.

Keywords: EFL, intercultural teaching, teachers' views, textbooks

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6284 Media (Il) Literacy: An Evaluation of the Curriculum and Implementation of the Department of Education's Special Program in Journalism

Authors: Sarah Isabelle S. Torres

Abstract:

This study evaluated the curriculum and implementation of the Special Program in Journalism (SPJ). By conducting surveys, focus group discussions, and interviews and by analyzing the school publication of five national high schools, the researcher found out that SPJ is ineffective in instilling media literacy to the students. Media Literacy will help the students understand how media operates, thus, they will be able to produce outputs that are socially relevant, critical, and in-depth. For one, the curriculum includes lessons and activities that are mostly technical in nature. There are no theoretical topics such as ethics, history of the press, or media ownership. Second, most of the SPJ teachers have little background on Journalism and they are not trained enough to teach the program effectively. Third, most of the students are not really inclined in Journalism and do not see themselves as media practitioners in the future. Lastly, the Department of Education’s budget for the program is far from what the curriculum needs. All of these lead to the low Media Literacy levels of the students. SPJ, therefore, has to be reevaluated and amended. In conclusion, Media Literacy should be added in the curriculum so the students will not only be equipped with technical skills but with theoretical knowledge, as well.

Keywords: education, journalism, media, media literacy

Procedia PDF Downloads 314
6283 Creating an Inclusive Classroom: Country Case Studies Analysis on Mainstream Teachers' Teaching-Efficacy and Attitudes towards Inclusive Education in Japan and Singapore

Authors: Yei Mian Adrian Yap

Abstract:

This study aims to assess the Japanese and Singaporean mainstream teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy towards the inclusion of students with special needs in the regular classrooms by investigating what kind of key variables influence their attitudes and teaching-efficacy. It also further investigates how they strategize to address their challenges to include their students with special needs in their regular classrooms. In order to understand the nature of teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy towards the inclusive education, a mixed-method research methodology was carried out in Japan and Singapore; it involved an explanatory sequential method of employing quantitative research first before qualitative research. In the quantitative research, 189 Japanese and 183 Singaporean teachers were invited to participate in the questionnaires and out of these participants, 38 Japanese and 15 Singaporean teachers shared their views during their semi-structured interviews. Based on the empirical findings, Japanese teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy were more likely to be influenced by their experiences in teaching students with special needs, knowledge about disability legislation, presence of their disabled family members and level of confidence to teach students with special needs. On the other hand, Singaporean teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy were affected by gender, educational level, received trainings in special needs education, knowledge about disability legislation and level of confidence to teach students with special needs. Both country results also demonstrated that there was a positive correlation between their teaching-efficacy and attitude. Narrative findings further expanded the reasons behind these quantitative factors that shaped teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy. Also, it discussed the various problems faced by Japanese and Singaporean teachers and how they identified their coping strategies to circumvent their challenges in including their students with special needs in their regular classrooms. The significance of this research manifests in necessary educational reforms in both countries especially in the context of inclusive education. These findings may not be as definitive as expected but it is believed that it could provide useful information on the current situation about teachers’ concerns towards the inclusive education. In conclusion, this research could potentially make its positive contribution to the body of literature on teachers’ attitudes and teaching-efficacy in the context of Asian developed countries. Further, these findings could posit that regular teachers’ positive attitudes and strong sense of teaching self-efficacy could directly improve the success rate of inclusion of students with special needs in the regular classrooms.

Keywords: attitudes, inclusive education, special education, teaching-efficacy

Procedia PDF Downloads 251
6282 An Application of E-Learning Technology for Students with Deafness and Hearing Impairment

Authors: Eyup Bayram Guzel

Abstract:

There have been growing awareness that technology offers unique and promising advantages by offering up-to-data educational materials in promoting teaching and learning materials, new strategies for building enhanced communication environment for people with disabilities and specifically for this study concentrated on the students with deafness and hearing impairments. Creating e-learning environment where teachers and students work in collaboration to develop better educational outcomes is the foremost reason of conducting this research. This study examined the perspectives of special education teachers’ regarding an application of e-learning software called Multimedia Builder on the students with deafness and hearing impairments. Initial and follow up interviews were conducted with 15 special education teachers around the scope of qualitative case study. Grounded approach has been used to analyse and interpret the data. The research results revealed that application of Multimedia Builder software were influential on reading, sign language, vocabulary improvements, computer and ICT usage developments and on audio-visual learning achievements for the advantages of students with deafness and hearing impairments. The implications of the study encouraged the ways of using e-learning tools and strategies to promote unique and comprehensive learning experiences for the targeted students and their teachers.

Keywords: e-learning, special education, deafness and hearing impairment, computer-ICT usage.

Procedia PDF Downloads 351
6281 Evaluation of the Quality of Education Offered to Students with Special Needs in Public Schools in the City of Bauru, Brazil

Authors: V. L. M. F. Capellini, A. P. P. M. Maturana, N. C. M. Brondino, M. B. C. L. B. M. Peixoto, A. J. Broughton

Abstract:

A paradigm shift is a process. The process of implementing inclusive education, a system constructed to support all learners, requires planning, identification, experimentation, and evaluation. In this vein, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the capacity of one Brazilian state school systems to provide special education students with a quality inclusive education. This study originated at the behest of concerned families of students with special needs who filed complaints with the Municipality of Bauru, São Paulo. These families claimed, 1) children with learning differences and educational needs had not been identified for services, and 2) those who had been identified had not received sufficient specialized educational assistance (SEA) in schools across the City of Bauru. Hence, the Office of Civil Rights for the state of São Paulo (Ministério Público de São Paulo) summoned the local higher education institution, UNESP, to design a research study to investigate these allegations. In this exploratory study, descriptive data were gathered from all elementary and middle schools including 58 state schools and 17 city schools, for a total of 75 schools overall. Data collection consisted of each school's annual strategic action plan, surveys and interviews with all school stakeholders to determine their perceptions of the inclusive education available to students with Special Education Needs (SEN). The data were collected as one of four stages in a larger study which also included field observations of a focal students' experience and a continuing education course for all teachers and administrators in both state and city schools. For the purposes of this study, the researchers were interested in understanding the perceptions of school staff, parents, and students across all schools. Therefore, documents and surveys from 75 schools were analyzed for adherence to federal legislation guaranteeing students with SEN the right to special education assistance within the regular school setting. Results shows that while some schools recognized the legal rights of SEN students to receive special education, the plans to actually deliver services were absent. In conclusion, the results of this study revealed both school staff and families have insufficient planning and accessibility resources, and the schools have inadequate infrastructure for full-time support to SEN students, i.e., structures and systems to support the identification of SEN and delivery of services within schools of Bauru, SP. Having identified the areas of need, the city is now prepared to take next steps in the process toward preparing all schools to be inclusive.

Keywords: inclusion, school, special education, special needs

Procedia PDF Downloads 73
6280 [Keynote Talk]: A Blueprint for an Educational Trajectory: The Power of Discourse in Constructing “Naughty” and “Adorable” Kindergarten Students

Authors: Fernanda T. Orsati, Julie Causton

Abstract:

Discursive practices enacted by educators in kindergarten create a blueprint for how the educational trajectories of students with disabilities are constructed. This two-year ethnographic case study critically examine educators’ relationships with students considered to present challenging behaviors in one kindergarten classroom located in a predominantly White middle-class school district in the Northeast of the United States. Focusing on the language and practices used by one special education teacher and three teaching assistants, this paper analyzes how teacher responses to students’ behaviors constructs and positions students over one year of kindergarten education. Using a critical discourse analysis, it shows that educators understand students’ behaviors as a deficit and needing consequences. This study highlights how educators’ responses reflect students' individual characteristics including family background, socioeconomics and ability status. This paper offers in-depth analysis of two students’ stories, which evidenced that the language used by educators amplifies the social positioning of students within the classroom and creates a foundation for who they are constructed to be. Through exploring routine language and practices, this paper demonstrates that educators outlined a blueprint of kindergartners, which positioned students as learners in ways that became the ground for either a limited or a promising educational pathway for them.

Keywords: behavior, early education, special education, critical discourse analysis

Procedia PDF Downloads 203
6279 Teaching English to Students with Hearing Impairments - A Preliminary Study

Authors: Jane O`Halloran

Abstract:

This research aims to identify the issues and challenges of teaching English as a Foreign Language to Japanese university students who have special learning needs. This study sought to investigate factors influencing the academic performance of students with special or additional needs in an inclusive education context. This study will focus on a consideration of the methods available to support those with hearing impairments. While the study population is limited, it is important to give classes to be inclusive places where all students receive equal access to content. Hearing impairments provide an obvious challenge to language learning and, therefore, second-language learning. However, strategies and technologies exist to support the instructor without specialist training. This paper aims to identify these and present them to other teachers of English as a second language who wish to provide the best possible learning experience for every student. Two case studies will be introduced to compare and contrast the experience of in-class teaching and the online option and to share the positives and negatives of the two approaches. While the study focuses on the situation in a university in Japan, the lessons learned by the author may have universal value to any classroom with a student with a hearing disability.

Keywords: inclusive learning, special needs, hearing impairments, teaching strategies

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6278 Disaster Capitalism, Charter Schools, and the Reproduction of Inequality in Poor, Disabled Students: An Ethnographic Case Study

Authors: Sylvia Mac

Abstract:

This ethnographic case study examines disaster capitalism, neoliberal market-based school reforms, and disability through the lens of Disability Studies in Education. More specifically, it explores neoliberalism and special education at a small, urban charter school in a large city in California and the (re)production of social inequality. The study uses Sociology of Special Education to examine the ways in which special education is used to sort and stratify disabled students. At a time when rhetoric surrounding public schools is framed in catastrophic and dismal language in order to justify the privatization of public education, small urban charter schools must be examined to learn if they are living up to their promise or acting as another way to maintain economic and racial segregation. The study concludes that neoliberal contexts threaten successful inclusive education and normalize poor, disabled students’ continued low achievement and poor post-secondary outcomes. This ethnographic case study took place at a small urban charter school in a large city in California. Participants included three special education students, the special education teacher, the special education assistant, a regular education teacher, and the two founders and charter writers. The school claimed to have a push-in model of special education where all special education students were fully included in the general education classroom. Although presented as fully inclusive, some special education students also attended a pull-out class called Study Skills. The study found that inclusion and neoliberalism are differing ideologies that cannot co-exist. Successful inclusive environments cannot thrive while under the influences of neoliberal education policies such as efficiency and cost-cutting. Additionally, the push for students to join the global knowledge economy means that more and more low attainers are further marginalized and kept in poverty. At this school, neoliberal ideology eclipsed the promise of inclusive education for special education students. This case study has shown the need for inclusive education to be interrogated through lenses that consider macro factors, such as neoliberal ideology in public education, as well as the emerging global knowledge economy and increasing income inequality. Barriers to inclusion inside the school, such as teachers’ attitudes, teacher preparedness, and school infrastructure paint only part of the picture. Inclusive education is also threatened by neoliberal ideology that shifts the responsibility from the state to the individual. This ideology is dangerous because it reifies the stereotypes of disabled students as lazy, needs drains on already dwindling budgets. If these stereotypes persist, inclusive education will have a difficult time succeeding. In order to more fully examine the ways in which inclusive education can become truly emancipatory, we need more analysis on the relationship between neoliberalism, disability, and special education.

Keywords: case study, disaster capitalism, inclusive education, neoliberalism

Procedia PDF Downloads 148
6277 Social Communication Problems, Social Anxiety, and Mood Problems among Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder from Teachers' Perspective

Authors: Naila Tallas Mahajna, Jamal Al Khateeb

Abstract:

This study examined the level of social communication problems, social anxiety, and mood problems among children with ASD (age 6-13 years) enrolled in special classes (n=46) and regular classes (n=36) from teachers' perspective in the schools of a part of Palestine. Teachers responded to three questionnaires - social communication problems, social anxiety and mood problems- that were used to answer the research questions. Results: social communication problems, social anxiety and mood problems were of medium rates for students with ASD enrolled in reguler and special classes. No significant differences in the level of social communication problems could be attributed to class type (Regular, Special) or the grade level-(1st – 3rd, 4th - 6th). There were significant differences in social anxiety levels that could be attributed to grade level in favor of the 4th - 6th grades but there were no significant differences according to class type (Regular, Special). There were statistically significant differences in mood problems levels that could be attributed to the class type in favor of special classes, but no differences were found according to grade level. There was a direct significant relationship between communication problems, social anxiety, and mood problems. Conclusion: social communication problems may be an important risk factor for the development of social anxiety and mood problems among students with ASD.

Keywords: social communication problems, social anxiety, mood problems, autism spectrum disorders

Procedia PDF Downloads 69
6276 Using Problem-Based Learning on Teaching Early Intervention for College Students

Authors: Chen-Ya Juan

Abstract:

In recent years, the increasing number of children with special needs has brought a lot of attention by many scholars and experts in education, which enforced the preschool teachers face the harsh challenge in the classroom. To protect the right of equal education for all children, enhance the quality of children learning, and take care of the needs of children with special needs, the special education paraprofessional becomes one of the future employment trends for students of the department of the early childhood care and education. Problem-based learning is a problem-oriented instruction, which is different from traditional instruction. The instructor first designed an ambiguous problem direction, following the basic knowledge of early intervention, students had to find clues to solve the problem defined by themselves. In the class, the total instruction included 20 hours, two hours per week. The primary purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship of student academic scores, self-awareness, learning motivation, learning attitudes, and early intervention knowledge. A total of 105 college students participated in this study and 97 questionnaires were effective. The effective response rate was 90%. The student participants included 95 females and two males. The average age of the participants was 19 years old. The questionnaires included 125 questions divided into four major dimensions: (1) Self-awareness, (2) learning motivation, (3) learning attitudes, and (4) early intervention knowledge. The results indicated (1) the scores of self-awareness were 58%; the scores of the learning motivations was 64.9%; the scores of the learning attitudes was 55.3%. (2) After the instruction, the early intervention knowledge has been increased to 64.2% from 38.4%. (3) Student’s academic performance has positive relationship with self-awareness (p < 0.05; R = 0.506), learning motivation (p < 0.05; R = 0.487), learning attitudes (p < 0.05; R = 0.527). The results implied that although students had gained early intervention knowledge by using PBL instruction, students had medium scores on self-awareness and learning attitudes, medium high in learning motivations.

Keywords: college students, children with special needs, problem-based learning, learning motivation

Procedia PDF Downloads 80