04 SES 07 D, Speechless: Alternatives Methods Of Investigating Inclusive Education
Teachers are seen as important facilitators in the social success of inclusive education. In regular-education settings, students with a disability often experience problems with regard to their social participation. Though, solely the inclusion of students with a disability does not guarantee their social participation; social participation does not occur spontaneously (Guralnick, Gottman, & Hammond, 1996) and teachers actively have to promote this. When compared to their typically developing peers, they have fewer friends (Frostad & Pijl, 2007), have fewer interactions with peers (Koster, Pijl, Nakken, & van Houten, 2010; Scheepstra, Nakken, & Pijl, 1999), are more often rejected and less accepted (Koster et al., 2010; Pijl, Frostad, & Flem, 2008), and more often feel lonely (Cambra & Silvestre, 2003).
Teacher behaviour appears to be mostly based on a teacher’s sense of self-efficacy (TSE) (Zee, Koomen, Jellesma, Geerlings, & de Jong, 2016). With regard to teaching, self-efficacy refers to “a teacher’s feelings of his/her own capacity to successfully facilitate learning” (Brady & Woolfson, 2008, p.528). When a teacher believes that he/she can meet the educational needs of a student, that thought alone can already lead to a greater chance on success. Therefore, teachers with a stronger TSE appear to be better at meeting the needs of their students (Bandura, 1997; Bandura, 2000; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001).
Research suggests that a teacher’s decision to promote social participation of students with a disability is influenced by, among other factors, their sense of self-efficacy (Brady & Woolfson, 2008). Even though overall TSE is related to teacher behaviour with regard to instructional strategies, classroom management and student engagement, it remains unclear if this also holds for the promotion of social participation. The promotion of social participation may ask for different teacher skills. Research of Little (2017) indicates that teachers do not feel prepared to meet the social needs of their students with a disability. They recognize the social-participation problems in their classrooms, but do not feel capable enough to address this.
Unfortunately, no research has yet been conducted on TSE aspects that are related to the promotion of social participation, nor on its effects. Information on teachers’ sense of self-efficacy regarding social participation (TSE-SP) could be of particular value in order to empower teachers in promoting the social participation of their students. The aim of the current study is therefore to examine TSE and TSE-SP and their relation with the social participation in the classroom. The following research questions will be addressed: 1) To what extent do teachers have an overall sense of self-efficacy and more specifically self-efficacy in promoting the social participation of a student with a disability?; and 2) Is there a relationship between TSE-SP and students’ social participation in the classroom?
To answer the first research question an online survey was conducted. The sample consisted of 60 Dutch regular kindergarten teachers. Invitations to participate in the study were distributed via teacher platforms on social media and via e-mail. To measure teachers’ overall self-efficacy, the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale Short Form (TSES) (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001) was used. The instrument holds good reliability (α = .90) (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). To measure teachers’ sense of self-efficacy with regard to the promotion of the social participation of their students with a disability, we developed the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale Short Form Social Participation (TSES-SP). This scale was inspired by the student specific and domain specific variants of the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (Zee et al., 2016). This new scale focuses specifically on the domain of social participation and included four themes according to the model of Koster, Nakken, Pijl and Van Houten (2009): friendships/relationships, contacts/information, social self-perception and acceptance by classmates. Teachers complete this questionnaire with a specific student with a disability in mind. The first results indicate a good reliability (α = .95). Descriptive statistics will be calculated, as well as the correlation between TSE and TSE-SP. Furthermore, via ANOVA it will be analyzed whether TSE-SP differs for teaching students with intellectual disability, physical disability, auditory impairment, speech and language deficits, chronic illness and behavioural problems. To answer the second research question, we are currently conducting a more in-depth study. In a subsample of the data, the kindergarten teachers (n = 16) also completed the two aforementioned questionnaires. Furthermore, social network data was collected in their classes using Peer Ratings (Asher, Singleton, Tinsley, & Hymel, 1979). All classes included at least one student with a disability (physical disability (n = 4), intellectual disability (n = 8), or auditory impairment (n = 4)). To investigate the social participation in the classroom, we will investigate both class-wide measures (density and transitivity of the social networks) as well as the acceptance of the students with a disability. The social network data will be analyzed with UCINET (Borgatti, Everett, & Freeman, 2002). Correlations between TSE(-SP) and both class-wide measures of social participation and acceptance scores for the students with a disability will be calculated.
Teachers held similar scores for TSE (M = 6.76, SD = .78) and for TSE-SP (M = 6.82, SD = 1.17). There was a significant relationship between TSE and TSE-SP, r = .39, p = .002. The ANOVA indicates a significant difference in TSE-SP between the disability types, F(5,54) = 2.70, p = .03, η2 = .20. Post-hoc Tukey’s reveal that teachers experience significantly higher levels of TSE-SP toward students with an auditory impairment (M = 7.53, SD = .54) than toward students with behavioural problems (M = 6.05, SD = .35), p = 05. No other significant differences were found between groups. Dutch kindergarten teachers experience similar levels of TSE and TSE-SP. They feel most confident about promoting the social participation of students with an auditory impairment, and least confident about students with behavioural problems. This may be because children with behavioural problems more often experience difficulties with regard to social participation (Avramidis, Avgeri, & Strogilos, 2018; Pinto, Baines, & Bakopoulou, 2018). Even though difficulties in the social participation of students with a disability can already be present in kindergarten, they may deteriorate during the school career. These results should therefore be interpreted with caution. It is recommended that TSE-SP will also be investigated in other grades. As the second sub study is currently ongoing, the first results will be presented at the ECER in Hamburg.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY, US: W H Freeman/Times Books/ Henry Holt & Co. Bandura, A. (2000). Exercise of human agency through collective efficacy. Curr Dir Psychol Sci, 9(3), 75-78. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.00064 Brady, K., & Woolfson, L. (2008). What teacher factors influence their attributions for children's difficulties in learning? British Journal of Educational Psychology, 78(4), 527-544. Koster, M., Nakken, H., Pijl, S. J., & van Houten, E. (2009). Being part of the peer group: A literature study focusing on the social dimension of inclusion in education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 13(2), 117-140. Tschannen-Moran, M., & Hoy, A. W. (2001). Teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(7), 783-805. Zee, M., Koomen, H. M. Y., Jellesma, F. C., Geerlings, J., & de Jong, P.,F. (2016). Inter- and intra-individual differences in teachers' self-efficacy: A multilevel factor exploration. Journal of School Psychology, 55, 39-56. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2015.12.003.
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