14 SES 09 A, Students and Families Voices in Educational Research
Inclusive education is now understood as a moral and legal imperative (Kefallinou, Symeonidou & Meijer, 2020) reflecting a fairer society (Ballard, 2013). However, once again, the UNESCO report (2020a) draws attention to the draws attention to the plight of the most vulnerable groups, including students with disabilities, and the difficulties in meeting the challenge set out in the 2030 Agenda. This study focuses on one of the most vulnerable groups to educational exclusion processes, such as students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The analysis of the barriers that limit the presence, learning and participation of these students is strategic to advance in the right to inclusive education not only in these but in all students (UNESCO 2020a). Progress towards increasingly inclusive educational systems and contexts cannot be understood without the involvement of families (UNESCO 2020b; Porter and Towell, 2020). Although the available evidence shows us the importance of the families of classmates who share the classroom with students with special needs (SEN) in this process and in particular their attitudes (De Boer, Pijl, Post, & Minnaert, 2012; UNESCO, 2020a), we have little research on their perceptions towards inclusion (Albuquerque, Pinto & Ferrari, 2019; Boer, Pijl & Minnaert, 2010).
When parents do not have positive attitudes toward inclusion, they do not support it and they might negatively influence a child's attitude and behavior (De Boer, et al., 2012). These attitudes are indirect factors that impact social relationships among students (Zanobini, Viterbori, Garello, & Camba, 2018). But they can also become concern factors for families with children with special educational needs (UNESCO, 2020a). Likewise, they can become powerful facilitators of inclusion (Ainscow, 2020).
Despite the demonstrated benefits of inclusion (Kefallinou, et al., 2020), some studies show that parents do not really perceive students with disabilities as a resource for the school (Albuquerque, Pinto & Ferrari, 2019). Moreover, the attitudes of both families with and without children with special educational needs vary according to different factors. Among those studied (Albuquerque, et al., 2019; De Boer, et al., 2010, 2012) are, on the one hand, those related to parents (e.g., gender, age, educational level, socioeconomic status, contact with people with disabilities, income) and on the other hand to children (e.g., having special education needs, type of disability).
The aim of this study was to find out about the attitudes towards inclusion and perceived benefits for the families (both of students with special needs and their peers) whose children are enrolled in schools attended by students with ASD at different educational stages (from kindergarten to high school). Likewise, some factors linked to them will be analyzed.
In particular, the goals of the study have been to analyse the relationship between attitudes and perceived benefits of inclusion on the part of the families and factors linked to the teaching staff (related to the families) and the school (the family school alliance) and the families themselves (whether they have children with special educational needs or not).
Participants: 323 families from different educational stages (from Early Childhood Education to High School) and the families of classmates of students with ASD from 16 mainstream school) 233 families with children with special needs and 90 families with children without special needs. The criteria for inclusion at schools are the following: a) to have students with ASD in the school. All the infant, primary and secondary schools are preferential centers for the schooling of students with ASD, b) that the students with ASD spend more than 50% of the school day in the regular classroom. Instruments: the following instruments were used to collect information. - Questionnaire on the attitudes of parents toward inclusive education of students with ASD, translated and adapted from De Boer , Timmerman, Pijl and Minnaert (2012). This questionnaire evaluates 3 components of attitudes: cognition (6 items); affection (8 items) and behavior (6 items). - Questionnaire on the perception toward the benefits of inclusive education. This questionnaire was designed ad hoc for this study by the research team, following the proposal of Escobar-Pérez & Cuervo-Martínez (2008). It consists of 16 items that evaluate 2 areas: benefits and losses for the classmates of the learners with SEN and for the teachers and the school. - Questionnaire on the school and family partnerships. This is a scale adapted from the PTA's National for Family-School Partnerships (2009). The Power of Partnerships Family Survey. This is a scale that assesses the relationship of the families and the school, and is made up of 21 items. - Beach Center on Disability's Family-Professional Collaboration Scale (Summers, Hoffman, Marquis, Turnbull, Poston, & Nelson, 2005), adapted by Balcells-Balcells, Giné, Guàrdia-Olmos, & Summers (2011). This scale assesses whether the relationship established by the professional with the families corresponds to what is understood as collaboration. It is made up of 19 items and in all of them importance and satisfaction are valued. - Sociodemographic data protocol The families who volunteered to participate in the study answered the questionnaire in paper or online format. The questionnaires were anonymous, guaranteeing the confidentiality of the information. For data analysis, a structural equation model was used and in which, in addition to the variable having a child with special educational needs, the educational stage and the scores in the questionnaires on the school-family partnership and relationship with the tutor were included. The model fit was tested using the CFI, TLI and RMSEA indices.
The results show evidence on how families with children with and without SEN in reg-ular schools perceive inclusion, as well as some important variables on the school’s and the teaching staff’s side that have a positive impact on this perception. Overall family scores on attitudes and perceived benefits of inclusion are high.The structural equation model identified shows the existence of a significant relationship between the perceived benefits of inclusion and attitudes towards the inclusion of stu-dents with ASD. Similarly, an interrelation is found between the existing alliance in the school with the families and their satisfaction with the children’s teacher. There is a significant effect of the variable having or not children with special educa-tional needs and the perception of the benefits of inclusion. Families with SEN tend to perceive more benefits of inclusion. In addition, the perceived relationship between the school and the families has a significant effect on attitudes and benefits, that is, greater satisfaction with the school, better attitudes and perceived benefits of inclusion. Likewise, satisfaction with the teacher also had a significant effect on attitudes for inclusion of students with ASD, so that the greater the satisfaction with the teacher the more positive attitudes towards inclusion. The results of this study have a very significant impact on educational action, guiding the planning and implementation of strategies that define inclusive education consider-ing the variables studied in this research. *This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness under Grant nº EDU 2017-86739-R.
Ainscow, M. (2020) Promoting inclusion and equity in education: lessons from international experiences. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 6 (1), 7-16, DOI: 10.1080/20020317.2020.1729587 Albuquerque, C., G. Pinto, I., & Ferrari, L. (2019). Attitudes of parents of typically developing children towards school inclusion: the role of personality variables and positive descriptions. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 34(3), 369-382. Balcells‐Balcells, A., Giné, C., Guàrdia‐Olmos, J., & Summers, J. A. (2011). Family quality of life: Adaptation to Spanish population of several family support questionnaires. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 55(12), 1151-1163. Ballard, K. (2013). Thinking in another way: ideas for sustainable inclusion. International Journal of Inclusive Education 17(8): 762-775. DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2011.602527 De Boer, A. A., Pijl, S.J., & Minnaert, A. (2010). Attitudes of Parents towards Inclusive Education: A Review of the Literature. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 25, 165–181. De Boer, A. A., Pijl, S.J., Post, W., , & Minnaert, A, (2012). Which Variables Relate to the Attitudes of Teachers, Parents and Peers towards Students with Special Educational Needs in Regular Education? Educational Studies 38, 433–448 De Boer, A., Timmerman, M., Pijl, S. J., & Minnaert, A. (2012). The psychometric evaluation of a questionnaire to measure attitudes towards inclusive education. European journal of psychology of education, 27(4), 573-589. Escobar-Pérez, J., & Cuervo-Martínez, Á. (2008). Validez de contenido y juicio de expertos: una aproximación a su utilización. Avances en Medición, 6, 27-36. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/302438451 Kefallinou, A., Symeonidou, S., & Meijer, C. J. (2020). Understanding the value of inclusive education and its implementation: A review of the literature. Prospects, 49(3), 135-152. Porter, G.L., & Towell, D. (2020). The Journey to Inclusive Schooling. Advancing School Transformation from Within. Toronto: Inclusive Education Canada/Centre for Inclusive Futures. Summers, J. A., Hoffman, L., Marquis, J., Turnbull, A., Poston, D., & Nelson, L. L. (2005). Measuring the quality of family—professional partnerships in special education services. Exceptional children, 72(1), 65-81. UNESCO (2020a) Global Education Monitoring Report 2020: Inclusion and education: All means all. Paris: UNESCO. UNESCO (2020b) Towards inclusion in education: Status, trends and challenges. The UNESCO Salamanca Statement 25 years on. Paris: UNESCO. Zanobini, M., Viterbori, P., Garello, V., & Camba, R. (2018).Parental satisfaction with disabled children’s school inclusion in Italy. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 33 (5), 597–614 DOI: 10.1080/08856257.2017.1386318
Search the ECER Programme
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.