04 SES 12 A, Peers Attitudes Toward Peers
Inclusive education of students, whether they have special educational needs (SEN), are especially talented or gifted, have a migration or a poor socio-economic background etc., is widely associated with the discussion of their social participation. Research on this topic shows that (a) students’ atti-tudes towards peers of marginalized groups are one of the main influences on their chances to participate and (b) that peers’ attitudes towards marginalized groups of students are rather negative (eg. SEN: de Boer 2012). The perception of peers could be affected by various differences (eg. cultural, intellectual or economical) (Schwab 2015) and it is necessary to develop and evaluate instruments and theoretical foundations to assess the attitudes of students towards different groups of peers in a nuanced way. Besides measuring those attitudes, the implications of the state of knowledge on antecedents of attitudes are to be taken into accout to evolve evidence-based interventions. In this symposium different approaches to the stated desideratum are presented and discussed.
In the first study the development and analysis of an instrument to measure attitudes towards different groups of peers is presented. Based on a sample of 428 students from grade 5 to 10 in Germany, results from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses imply three factors: “Attitudes towards peers with disabilities”, “Attitudes towards peers of other origin”, and “Attitudes towards peers with difficult socio-economic background”.
The second presentation focuses on attitudes towards peers with different migration backgrounds. The sample consists of 431 austrian students from the 8th grade. Their attitudes were measured with vignettes of same age peers with different migration backgrounds: France, India and Iran. In addition the ability of speaking the german language and the fashion style were altered. The results indicate that students’ attitudes towards students with migration background are neutral to slightly negative with significant differences between the different migration backgrounds given to the participants.
The third study gives an overview on the state of research on attitudes towards peers with disabili-ties based on contact theory. Novelty of this study is the focus on studies which take attitudes of students and both components of the contact theory in consideration: improving quality of contact between children with and without disabilities and providing knowledge about children with disabilities. The review bases on a comprehensive search across multiple databases, the evaluation of the methodological quality of the studies and the level of evidence found.
In the discussion the empirical and theoretical approaches to students’ attitudes will be compared and related to the international research.
De Boer, A., Pijl, S. J., & Minnaert, A. (2012). Students' attitudes towards peers with disabilities: A review of the literature. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 59(4), 379-392. Schwab, S. (2015). Social dimensions of inclusion in education of 4th and 7th grade pupils in inclusive and regular classes: outcomes from Austria. Research in Developmental Disabilities. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2015.06.005
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