04 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session - NW 04
General Poster Session
In the National and International scenario is gaining ground the necessity to create educational paths in line with the needs of all children. EU Recommendations and Strategies clarify the importance of Educational Services that are usable and suitable since the first year of age and highlight the contributions that can be made whether consist problems in child development. Due to the lack of clear standards that could evaluate and define the quality of inclusion in early childhood, the present research focuses on the inclusion of disabled children from 0 to 3 years. Many studies recognise several benefits on disabled children that early take advantage of inclusive educational paths. These studies also clarify the way in which the latter enable social skills development to a greater extent (Pickett, Griffith, Rogers-Adkinson 1993) and meliorate social interactions with the peer group, even if subsist disorders that compromise these skills (Camargo, Rispoli, Ganz, Hong, Davis, Mason 2014; Zanickova, Roll-Petterson 2014; Theodorou, Nind 2010). Researches further suggest the necessity of structured and specific interventions because a well-organised environment (Soukakou 2012) and a specific competence of the educators (Theodorou, Nind 2010) promote the creation of positive relationships and of interactions of quality in an inclusive education context (Guralnick, Connor, Johnson 2011). Early introduction to nursery for a disabled child also means support to his family. During disable child’s early childhood, families face situations of stress and anxiety (Guralnick, Conlon 2007). So for this reason, parents should be supported in developing care capabilities by promoting awareness of the importance of their role in child development (Spiker, Boyce, Boyce 2002). At European and national level, inclusion in Early Childhood Education and Care presents a set of heterogeneous strategies and practices, more or less responding to the needs that arise from the context. The proposed research has the main purpose of comprehend how inclusion in ECEC is promoted and interpreted in order to establish criteria and strategies to be considered as indicative of an inclusive quality context. The research objectives focus on the understanding and identification of specific practices and strategies as well as on parents’ perception towards inclusion and on operational definitions promoted at administrative and legislative level. In order to be able to achieve the objectives set, the survey has been structured in various phases that contemplate the study of the local situation, in this case the ECEC in Sardinia, the comparison of practices and strategies in a foreign reality, namely the Balearic Islands, and finally an expansion of research at the national level.
The research design chosen to conduct the survey consists of the sequential exploratory type (Picci, 2012) where to an initial phase of the qualitative research it follows a quantitative one. The two phases are interconnected to each other and the results and variables that emerged from the first phase enable the construction of the second phase. The choosing of this research design is dictated by the complexity of the investigated phenomenon and mostly from the need of structuring the survey and the tools used on the values of the participants. The chosen sample consists mainly of operators (educators, pedagogical coordinators) of ECEC and families of children with disabilities who benefit from or attended the services. The first part of the research, conducted in the region of Sardinia, has so far involved 24 operators of ECEC and 14 families with disable children, these numbers, given the availability shown by other municipalities of the Island, are set to increase. The main tools chosen at this stage were the focus groups with the operators and the semi-structured interviews with the families. Even if partial, the obtained results allowed the formulation of the second part of the research, which consists of a comparison with the reality of Balearic Islands’ ECEC. This research stage, thanks to the collaboration of the Universitat de les Illes Balears, will involve some ECEC of Mallorca as well as the educators and the members of the Equips d’orientació educative i psicopedagògica d’atenció primerenca (EAP). In addition to the tools used in the first phase, which will be duly translated and adapted, an observation period in the various services is programmed. The observation will be carried out with the use of an observation table, structured and defined with the indicators and the criteria that emerged from the results of the research conducted in the region of Sardinia. The last part of the research, that will be structured in the following months, consist in the creation of a quantitative tool, a questionnaire to be disseminated in Italy addressed to educators and coordinators of ECEC.
At the end of the research, the expected results are principally attributable to two fundamental aspects: the first concerns the possibility to identify some general indicators that can define a qualitative inclusive context and the second concerns the possibility, through research, to support the improvement of the services involved. The research has allowed, until now, to define some criteria that social players indicates as indispensable for the inclusion of a disable child in the ECEC, for example the importance of the space, the use of a compensatory didactic, the right psychological support to educator and families, the cooperation between educative institutions and health ones etc. At the end of the research, it is proposed to clarify and make the identified criteria operative and usable by decision-makers and operators as a guarantee of inclusion. The research in its development has led some Sardinian institutions to start a self-assessment process aimed at improving ECEC. It is expected that the process of research could encourage internal improvement within the services.
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