Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Search results for: special needs

16 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: Inclusive education, special education, special needs.

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15 A Conversation about Inclusive Education: Revelations from Namibian Primary School Teachers

Authors: M. D. Nghiteke, A. Mji, G. T. Molepo

Abstract:

Inclusive education stems from a philosophy and vision, which argues that all children should learn together at school. It is not only about treating all pupils in the same way. It is also about allowing all children to attend school without any restrictions. Ten primary school teachers in a circuit in Namibia volunteered to participate in face-to-face interviews about inclusive education. The teachers responded to three questions about their (i) understanding of inclusive education; (ii) whether inclusive education was implemented in primary schools; and (iii) whether they were able to work with learners with special needs. Findings indicated that teachers understood what inclusive education entailed; felt that inclusive education was not implemented in their primary schools, and they were unable to work with learners with special needs in their classrooms. Further, the teachers identified training and resources as important components of inclusive education. It is recommended that education authorities should perhaps verify the findings reported here as well as ensure that the concerns raised by the teachers are addressed.

Keywords: Classrooms and schools, inclusive education, resources, training.

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14 Emotional, Behavioural and Social Development: Modality of Hierarchy of Needs in Supporting Parents with Special Needs

Authors: Fadzilah Abdul Rahman

Abstract:

Emotional development is developed between the parents and their child. Behavioural development is also developed between the parents and their child. Social Development is how parents can help their special needs child to adapt to society and to face challenges. In promoting a lifelong learning mindset, enhancing skill sets and readiness to face challenges, parents would be able to counter balance these challenges during their care giving process and better manage their expectations through understanding the hierarchy of needs modality towards a positive attitude, and in turn, improve their quality of life and participation in society. This paper aims to demonstrate how the hierarchy of needs can be applied in various situations of caregiving for parents with a special needs child.

Keywords: Hierarchy of needs, parents, special needs, care-giving.

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13 Robot Technology Impact on Dyslexic Students’ English Learning

Authors: Khaled Hamdan, Abid Amorri, Fatima Hamdan

Abstract:

Involving students in English language learning process and achieving an adequate English language proficiency in the target language can be a great challenge for both teachers and students. This can prove even a far greater challenge to engage students with special needs (Dyslexia) if they have physical impairment and inadequate mastery of basic communicative language competence/proficiency in the target language. From this perspective, technology like robots can probably be used to enhance learning process for the special needs students who have extensive communication needs, who face continuous struggle to interact with their peers and teachers and meet academic requirements. Robots, precisely NAO, can probably provide them with the perfect opportunity to practice social and communication skills, and meet their English academic requirements. This research paper aims to identify to what extent robots can be used to improve students’ social interaction and communication skills and to understand the potential for robotics-based education in motivating and engaging UAEU dyslexic students to meet university requirements. To reach this end, the paper will explore several factors that come into play – Motion Level-involving cognitive activities, Interaction Level-involving language processing, Behavior Level -establishing a close relationship with the robot and Appraisal Level- focusing on dyslexia students’ achievement in the target language.

Keywords: Dyslexia, robot technology, motion, interaction, behavior and appraisal levels, social and communication skills.

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12 Urban Accessibility of Historical Cities: The Venetian Case Study

Authors: Valeria Tatano, Francesca Guidolin, Francesca Peltrera

Abstract:

The preservation of historical Italian heritage, at the urban and architectural scale, has to consider restrictions and requirements connected with conservation issues and usability needs, which are often at odds with historical heritage preservation. Recent decades have been marked by the search for increased accessibility not only of public and private buildings, but to the whole historical city, also for people with disability. Moreover, in the last years the concepts of Smart City and Healthy City seek to improve accessibility both in terms of mobility (independent or assisted) and fruition of goods and services, also for historical cities. The principles of Inclusive Design have introduced new criteria for the improvement of public urban space, between current regulations and best practices. Moreover, they have contributed to transforming “special needs” into an opportunity of social innovation. These considerations find a field of research and analysis in the historical city of Venice, which is at the same time a site of UNESCO world heritage, a mass tourism destination bringing in visitors from all over the world and a city inhabited by an aging population. Due to its conformation, Venetian urban fabric is only partially accessible: about four thousand bridges divide thousands of islands, making it almost impossible to move independently. These urban characteristics and difficulties were the base, in the last 20 years, for several researches, experimentations and solutions with the aim of eliminating architectural barriers, in particular for the usability of bridges. The Venetian Municipality with the EBA Office and some external consultants realized several devices (e.g. the “stepped ramp” and the new accessible ramps for the Venice Marathon) that should determine an innovation for the city, passing from the use of mechanical replicable devices to specific architectural projects in order to guarantee autonomy in use. This paper intends to present the state-of-the-art in bridges accessibility, through an analysis based on Inclusive Design principles and on the current national and regional regulation. The purpose is to evaluate some possible strategies that could improve performances, between limits and possibilities of interventions. The aim of the research is to lay the foundations for the development of a strategic program for the City of Venice that could successfully bring together both conservation and improvement requirements.

Keywords: Accessibility and inclusive design, historical heritage preservation, technological and social innovation.

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11 A Case Study on Theme-Based Approach in Health Technology Engineering Education: Customer Oriented Software Applications

Authors: Mikael Soini, Kari Björn

Abstract:

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Degree Programme provides full-time Bachelor-level undergraduate studies. ICT Degree Programme has seven different major options; this paper focuses on Health Technology. In Health Technology, a significant curriculum change in 2014 enabled transition from fragmented curriculum including dozens of courses to a new integrated curriculum built around three 30 ECTS themes. This paper focuses especially on the second theme called Customer Oriented Software Applications. From students’ point of view, the goal of this theme is to get familiar with existing health related ICT solutions and systems, understand business around health technology, recognize social and healthcare operating principles and services, and identify customers and users and their special needs and perspectives. This also acts as a background for health related web application development. Built web application is tested, developed and evaluated with real users utilizing versatile user centred development methods. This paper presents experiences obtained from the first implementation of Customer Oriented Software Applications theme. Student feedback was gathered with two questionnaires, one in the middle of the theme and other at the end of the theme. Questionnaires had qualitative and quantitative parts. Similar questionnaire was implemented in the first theme; this paper evaluates how the theme-based integrated curriculum has progressed in Health Technology major by comparing results between theme 1 and 2. In general, students were satisfied for the implementation, timing and synchronization of the courses, and the amount of work. However there is still room for development. Student feedback and teachers’ observations have been and will be used to develop the content and operating principles of the themes and whole curriculum.

Keywords: Engineering education, integrated and theme-based curriculum, learning experience, student centred learning.

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10 Awareness and Attitudes of Primary Grade Teachers (1-4thGrade) towards Inclusive Education

Authors: P. Maheshwari, M. Shapurkar

Abstract:

The present research aimed at studying the awareness and attitudes of teachers towards inclusive education. The sample consisted of 60 teachers, teaching in the primary section (1st – 4th) of regular schools affiliated to the SSC board in Mumbai. Sample was selected by Multi-stage cluster sampling technique. A semi-structured self-constructed interview schedule and a self-constructed attitude scale was used to study the awareness of teachers about disability and Inclusive education, and their attitudes towards inclusive education respectively. Themes were extracted from the interview data and quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS package. Results revealed that teachers had some amount of awareness but an inadequate amount of information on disabilities and inclusive education. Disability to most (37) teachers meant “an inability to do something”. The difference between disability and handicap was stated by most as former being cognitive while handicap being physical in nature. With regard to Inclusive education, a large number (46) stated that they were unaware of the term and did not know what it meant. Majority (52) of them perceived maximum challenges for themselves in an inclusive set up, and emphasized on the role of teacher training courses in the area of providing knowledge (49) and training in teaching methodology (53). Although, 83.3% of teachers held a moderately positive attitude towards inclusive education, a large percentage (61.6%) of participants felt that being in inclusive set up would be very challenging for both children with special needs and without special needs. Though, most (49) of the teachers stated that children with special needs should be educated in regular classroom but they further clarified that only those should be in a regular classroom who have physical impairments of mild or moderate degree.

Keywords: Attitudes, awareness, inclusive education, teachers.

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9 Effective Design Factors for Bicycle-Friendly Streets

Authors: Z. Asadi-Shekari, M. Moeinaddini, M. Zaly Shah, A. Hamzah

Abstract:

Bicycle Level of Service (BLOS) is a measure for evaluating street conditions for cyclists. Currently, various methods are proposed for BLOS. These analytical methods however have some drawbacks: they usually assume cyclists as users that can share street facilities with motorized vehicles, it is not easy to link them to design process and they are not easy to follow. In addition, they only support a narrow range of cycling facilities and may not be applicable for all situations. Along this, the current paper introduces various effective design factors for bicycle-friendly streets. This study considers cyclists as users of streets who have special needs and facilities. Therefore, the key factors that influence BLOS based on different cycling facilities that are proposed by developed guidelines and literature are identified. The combination of these factors presents a complete set of effective design factors for bicycle-friendly streets. In addition, the weight of each factor in existing BLOS models is estimated and these effective factors are ranked based on these weights. These factors and their weights can be used in further studies to propose special bicycle-friendly street design model.

Keywords: Bicycle level of service, bicycle-friendly streets, cycling facilities, rating system, urban streets.

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8 On Adaptive, Auto-Configurable Apps

Authors: Prisa Damrongsiri, Kittinan Pongpianskul, Mario Kubek, Herwig Unger

Abstract:

Apps are today the most important possibility to adapt mobile phones and computers to fulfill the special needs of their users. Location- and context-sensitive programs are hereby the key to support the interaction of the user with his/her environment and also to avoid an overload with a plenty of dispensable information. The contribution shows, how a trusted, secure and really bi-directional communication and interaction among users and their environment can be established and used, e.g. in the field of home automation.

Keywords: Apps, context-sensitive, location-sensitive, selfconfiguration, mobile computing, smart home.

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7 The Impact of Parent Involvement in Preschool Disabled Children

Authors: Sheng-Min Cheng

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between parent involvement and preschool disabled children’s development. Parents of 3 year old disabled children (N=440) and 5 year old disabled children (N=937) participating in the Special Needs Education Longitudinal Study were interviewed or answered the web design questionnaire about their actions in parenting their disabled children. These children’s developments were also evaluated by their teachers. Data were analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling. Results were showed by tables and figures. Based on the results, the researcher made some suggestions for future studies.

Keywords: Child development, longitudinal data analysis, parent involvement, preschool disabled children.

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6 The Effect of Education Level on Psychological Empowerment and Burnout-The Mediating Role of Workplace Learning Behaviors

Authors: Sarit Rashkovits, Yael Livne

Abstract:

The study investigates the relationship between education level, workplace learning behaviors, psychological empowerment and burnout in a sample of 191 teachers. We hypothesized that education level will positively affect psychological state of increased empowerment and decreased burnout, and we purposed that these effects will be mediated by workplace learning behaviors. We used multiple regression analyses to test the model that included also the 6 following control variables: The teachers' age, gender, and teaching tenure; the schools' religious level, the pupils' needs: regular/ special needs, and the class level: elementary/ high school. The results support the purposed mediating model.

Keywords: Education level, Learning behaviors, Psychological empowerment, Burnout.

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5 Village Construction under China-s Rapid Urbanization: The Role and Strategy of Planning in the Rural Areas

Authors: Chen Zhang, Jiwu Wang

Abstract:

With China's urbanization continuing to accelerate, a amount of rural people flood into China's cities in recent years, and the issue of agriculture, rural areas and farmers is getting more and more serious. In 2005, the Chinese government put forward a plan for “the construction of new rural village", in order to coordinate the development of both urban and rural areas. The planning method of rural region differs sharply from that of urban areas, as same as village social structure and habits of farmer-s life, so the studies which can consider the special needs of village construction in China are absolutely essential. This paper expresses explore current situation and problems existing in the construction of China-s new rural village, such as bigger gap between urban and rural areas, excessive new construction projects, extinct traditional village style and so on. It tries to analyze the deep reason of the present situation of the village from law system, industrial structure, financial sources and planning method. Then it also provides a guide for developing policies and procedures promoting the development of china-s rural areas.

Keywords: Rural areas, village construction, physical planning, law system, financial sources, Public participation, China.

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4 Math Curriculum Adaptation for Disadvantaged Students in an Inclusive Classroom

Authors: Tai-Hwa Emily Lu

Abstract:

This study was a part of the three-year longitudinal research on setting up an math learning model for the disadvantaged students in Taiwan. A target 2nd grade class with 10 regular students and 6 disadvantaged students at a disadvantaged area in Taipei participated in this study. Two units of a market basal math textbook concerning fractions, three-dimensional figures, weight and capacity were adapted to enhance their math learning motivations, confidences and effects. The findings were (1) curriculum adaptation was effective on enhancing students- learning motivations, confidences and effects; (2) story-type problems and illustrations decreased difficulties on understanding math language for students from new immigrant families and students with special needs; (3) “concrete – semiconcrete – abstract" teaching strategies and hands-on activities were essential to raise students learning interests and effects; and (4) curriculum adaptation knowledge and skills needed to be included in the pre- and in-service teacher training programs.

Keywords: curriculum adaptations, mathematics, disadvantaged students, inclusive classroom

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3 The Role of Private Equity during Global Crises

Authors: Libena Cernohorska, Veronika Linhartova, Michal Sinka, Petr Teply

Abstract:

The term private equity usually refers to any type of equity investment in an asset in which the equity is not freely tradable on a public stock market. Some researchers believe that private equity contributed to the extent of the crisis and increased the pace of its spread over the world. We do not agree with this. On the other hand, we argue that during the economic recession private equity might become an important source of funds for firms with special needs (e.g. for firms seeking buyout financing, venture capital, expansion capital or distress debt financing). However, over-regulation of private equity in both the European Union and the US can slow down this specific funding channel to the economy and deepen credit crunch during global crises.

Keywords: scredit lunch, distress debt, global crisis, private equity, regulation

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2 Developing a Sustainable Educational Portal for the D-Grid Community

Authors: Viktor Achter, Sebastian Breuers, Marc Seifert, Ulrich Lang, Joachim Götze, Bernd Reuther, Paul Müller

Abstract:

Within the last years, several technologies have been developed to help building e-learning portals. Most of them follow approaches that deliver a vast amount of functionalities, suitable for class-like learning. The SuGI project, as part of the D-Grid (funded by the BMBF), targets on delivering a highly scalable and sustainable learning solution to provide materials (e.g. learning modules, training systems, webcasts, tutorials, etc.) containing knowledge about Grid computing to the D-Grid community. In this article, the process of the development of an e-learning portal focused on the requirements of this special user group is described. Furthermore, it deals with the conceptual and technical design of an e-learning portal, addressing the special needs of heterogeneous target groups. The main focus lies on the quality management of the software development process, Web templates for uploading new contents, the rich search and filter functionalities which will be described from a conceptual as well as a technical point of view. Specifically, it points out best practices as well as concepts to provide a sustainable solution to a relatively unknown and highly heterogeneous community.

Keywords: D-Grid, e-learning, e-science, Grid computing, SuGI.

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1 A Laboratory Assistance Module

Authors: Konstantinos E. Evangelidis, Evangelos Kehris, Theodore H. Kaskalis

Abstract:

We propose that Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) should be designed by taking into account the characteristics, the special needs and the specific operating rules of the academic institutions in which they are employed. In this context, we describe a VLE module that extends the support of the organization and delivery of course material by including administration activities related to the various stages of teaching. These include the co-ordination, collaboration and monitoring of the course material development process and institution-specific course material delivery modes. Our specialized module, which enhances VLE capabilities by Helping Educators and Learners through a Laboratory Assistance System, is willing to assist the Greek tertiary technological sector, which includes Technological Educational Institutes (T.E.I.).

Keywords: Virtual learning environments, Teachingcoordination, Laboratorial education, Technological institutes.

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