04 SES 04.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
People with intellectual disability (ID) have a very specific social status. Firstly, they represent one of the most numerous groups of disabled people and secondly, they are a group which is perceived by the intact population more negatively than people with a different type of disability (Scior, 2011). This is also a group which is significantly more at risk of social exclusion, segregation and marginalisation. Similarly to other former Eastern Bloc countries in the last two decades, the Czech Republic has noted an increased interest of governmental bodies in a systematic removal of barriers that make it difficult or even impossible for the people with ID to fully integrate into the life of main society. A tool for integration is not only the integration itself, but also a trend of the so called inclusion. Particularly in the area of education the inclusion in the Czech Republic has developed more on a theoretical level rather than as a real matter of practice. The Czech education system may be recognised as segregational, separative or selective. Pupils' (with ID) educational needs may therefore be saturated even outside the mainstream education, i.e. at practical or special schools. The Czech Republic has been facing a continuously increasing pressure from international and national institutions to reform its education system. The most significant barriers preventing a successful advancement of inclusive education may be registered at various levels.
At a microsocial level, these include especially psychosocial barriers that may greatly impact on relationships between the pupils with and without ID. Research has not sufficiently mapped the area of understanding, notions and attitudes of intact pupils towards people with ID. Primary cognitive structures - pupils' preconceptions - about ID may be subject to many ambiguities, mysteries, prejudices and often unjustified fears. This may lead to tentative or even hostile attitudes of intact pupils towards people with ID as documented by some international research studies: negative attitudes towards ID were found by Nowicki & Sandieson (2002) or Siperstein et al. (2007).
In pedagogy, it is generally accepted that a child forms their own preconceptions about various phenomena or events he/she witnesses. These preconceptions contain a cognitive dimension (understanding, notions about a particular phenomenon) and an affective dimension (attitudes towards a particular phenomenon, expressing a relationship). In the Czech Republic and other European countries the research into pupils' preconceptions has mainly focused on the area of natural science. No research study has been implemented in the Czech Republic which would have investigated preconceptions of primary school pupils about ID. Based on literature review and in regard to the current state of research on inclusive education the following research question was proposed: Do attitudes of primary school pupils towards intellectual disability differ in terms of year attended, gender and experience? The primary objective of the study was to analyse the affective dimension of preconceptions (attitudes) towards people with ID in terms of pupils' age (attended year of primary school respectively), in terms of gender, and in terms of experience the pupils have in relation to people with ID. Another aim was to analyse the overlap and the benefit of our findings for other European countries (particularly the former Eastern bloc countries) and to compare the results with other studies.
American Psychological Association (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington: American Psychological Association. Nowicki, E., & Sandieson, R. (2002). A Meta-Analysis of School-Age Children’s Attitudes towards Persons with Physical or Intellectual Disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 49(2), 243-265. Scior, K. (2011). Public awareness, attitudes and beliefs regarding intellectual disability: A systematic review. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32(6), 2164-2182. Siperstein, G., Norins, J., & Mohler, A. (2007). Social Acceptance and Attitude Change: Fifty Years of Research. In J. Jacobson, J. Mulick, & J. Rojahn (eds.), Handbook of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (pp. 133 - 154). New York: Springer.
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