ECER Best Poster Award 2018

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Author: Katja Bogda
Network: 04. Inclusive Education
Title: A Systematic Narrative Literature Review Of Teachers’ Classroom Behavior In Schools For Special Educational Needs

Referring to students with special educational needs, previous studies mainly focused on comparing the effects of inclusive and exclusive institutional learning environments. The majority of these studies found a favorable development of cognitive competencies if children with special educational needs attended an inclusive school compared to exclusive settings. However, it remains unclear, which factors lead to these different achievement levels. One possible explanation is the teacher’s classroom behavior. Here, it is assumed that teachers of both schooling settings differ in their teaching methods, their teaching quality, as well as their interactions with students.

Therefore, the aim of this study presented on the poster is to provide a review of empirical research findings of teachers’ classroom behavior in schools for special educational needs using Germany as example. Hence, the current status of research is analyzed and synthetized in a narrative literature review to address the following two research questions: (1) What teaching methods can be observed in primary schools for special educational needs? (2) To what extent does the teachers’ classroom behavior differ in both schooling settings?

To determine relevant literature eight databases with a search syntax consisting of 110 combinations of German keywords were used for investigation. Afterwards the determined publications (N = 777) were selected in a two-step process on the basis of criteria for including and excluding a publication to identify the relevant literature with regard to the research questions for a later full-text analysis based on a coding scheme and synthesis.

The review revealed two main results. (1) The situation in classrooms of schools for special educational needs in Germany is nearly undiscovered. Only N = 13 studies investigated the teachers’ classroom behavior in this school type. Due to the huge diversity regarding, for example, the sample sizes, the composition of the sample referring to the children’s special educational needs, and employed instruments and methods a comparison of the studies is rather challenging. However, what did the analyzed studies reveal about the teaching in exclusive school settings? The studies indicate, for example, that classical teaching methods dominate (e.g., teacher-centered teaching).

(2) Inclusive schools and schools for special educational needs differ in terms of the teaching quality but are almost equal regarding applied teaching methods. Studies comparing both learning environments indicate that teachers in inclusive classrooms show, for example, a higher student orientation, better classroom management, as well as structuring.

You can view Katja's poster here.

Katja Bogda is a PhD student at the Chair of Psychology for Primary Education (Prof. Dr. Nadine Spörer). Her research focus is the teaching in different (inclusive vs. exclusive) schooling settings and its effects on the development of students with special educational needs.

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