04 SES 10 B, Improving The Learning Environment From An Inclusive Perspective
The European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (European Commission, 2010) aims at the inclusion of children with disabilities in the general education system, generating shared learning environments that promote successful learning for all. Across Europe, the enrolment of students with special educational needs in regular classrooms is increasing, although it does not always mean access to high quality educational experience.
There is consensus in recognizing that the inclusion of children with special needs depends on the relationships that students have with each other. Grouping students with and without special needs in ordinary classrooms generates positive effects both in terms of communication skills and in improving instrumental learning. Likewise, the interactions of help, mutual respect and active listening are increased. In the same sense, studies on the conception of disability based on social models highlight the importance of learning contexts in relation to the achievements in academic and social environments of adolescents with special needs (Mpofu, 2003). Studies such as Carter et al, (2017) and Schmidt & Stichter, (2012), show evidence of the benefits of the inclusion of adolescents with special needs, both in learning and in the social competence of these students. Brock & Carter (2013) found in a review of the figure of paraprofessionals in the classroom with adolescents with special needs, that they had an impact on improved academic and social outcomes. Subsequently, Carter et al. (2017) identified limitations in peer teaching when no more adults are included in the classroom to provide learning opportunities to the entire student body, especially when developmental disabilities exist. In this sense, the importance of not only promoting joint education but also of mobilizing and organizing the necessary resources in an appropriate manner is highlighted.
There is extensive evidence on the social impact of actions, dialogic gatherings and interactive groups in the educational and emotional improvement of children with typical development (Flecha, 2015). In the case of children with special needs, the most exhaustive analyses have been carried out in contexts of preschool and primary education and special education centers (Duque et al., 2020). Research is increasingly showing that in contexts of dialogic interaction such as interactive groups or dialogic gatherings, the learning of children with special needs is increased, not only in the academic environment in subjects such as mathematics, reading, writing, among others (Díez-Palomar, & Olivé, 2015) but also in prosocial behavior (García-Carrión et al., 2020). In contrast, the study of its impact on children with special needs in compulsory secondary education (in Spain, typically from 12 to 16 years old) in standardized centers is almost non-existent. At present, the research project INTER-ACT (Garcia-Carrion, 2018-2021), "Interactive Learning Environments for the Inclusion of Students With and Without Disabilities" funded by the Spanish National Programme for Research, is analyzing successful educational actions such as interactive groups and dialogic gatherings with children with and without special needs and their impact on participation, on the cognitive dimension (instrumental learning and cognitive development) and on the socio-emotional dimension (social cohesion and emotional and affective development).
This contribution analyzes the case of a secondary education center located in Valencian Community (Spain) that serves children with typical development along with students with special educational needs (developmental disabilities and learning disabilities). This study focuses only on those adolescents with developmental disabilities (e: autism, intellectual disability, hyperactivity, etc). It evaluates what are the main improvements identified in the learning, development and relationships of children with special needs from the different agents involved in these contexts of interaction.
This study analyzes in depth the case of a secondary school that started a transformation process based on inclusion 5 years ago. The study was developed following a communicative methodology, which allows us to analyze the interactions that are established in the school with respect to students with developmental disabilities. In recent years the inclusion of the voices of children with special needs in research has become very important with the aim of transforming the processes of discrimination and submission to which they have traditionally been exposed. The communicative methodology incorporates their voices in equal dialogue. This dialogue has allowed researchers and end users to interpret social reality in a dialogical way, to generate knowledge aimed at further transforming inequalities and to understand the feelings of their lives (Redondo-Sama, et al., 2020). The Secondary School has 357 students and a Specific Unit of Special Education that attends to 8 students with autism. The center is integrated by 116 teachers, 2 counselors, 3 special education teachers, 1 speech therapist and 2 educators. 15% of the total students are adolescents with special needs (developmental disabilities and learning disabilities and other mental disorders). Specifically, it is evaluated the impact that dialogic interaction environments are having on children with developmental disabilities who make up 9,5% of the students. Data collection took place during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. These were obtained from: ● 4 communicative focus groups: 2 with head team, 1 with teachers and 1 with students ● 4 communicative life stories: 2 with students and 2 with relatives ● 4 communicative observations. The diversity of techniques and informant profiles has facilitated the triangulation of information, for greater reliability. The dimensions of analysis have been, on the one hand, the exclusionary dimension, those difficulties that occur in these learning contexts based on communicative interaction; on the other hand, the transformative dimension, which identifies those elements that make it possible to overcome existing inequalities in the care of children with developmental disabilities. These two dimensions are transversal to the categories of analysis. These categories have been created in a deductive way taking as a reference the analysis of the scientific literature about main challenges that schools currently face in order to achieve a fully-fledged education for special needs’ students. These categories are: learning outcomes, quality of learning interactions, quality of social relations, attitudes and beliefs towards special needs’ students, adaptive behaviour and self-regulation.
These results show that adolescents with special needs at this secondary school benefit from dialogic interactions when learning with children with typical development. The results show significant increase in the students’ instrumental learning, as well as an improvement in these students’ overall inclusion in the school. All the participants emphasized the importance of adult-mediated peer interactions for the achievement of learning by children with special needs. The dialogic interactions that take place in the interactive groups and dialogic literary gatherings, benefit children with special needs. That is, a good understanding of the learning through argumentative discourse that is generated in these contexts leads to better, earlier, and deeper thinking about the next learning challenges. Children with special needs also gain knowledge by learning from others, therefore reducing the quantity and quality of the interactions in which they are immersed on a daily basis diminishes their opportunities for learning and development (Vygotsky, 1978; Bruner, 1996). On the promotion rate of students with special needs in 2018/2919 and 2019/2020 the data indicates that 100% of students with special needs graduate from compulsory secondary education without exceptional measures. This is a total of four students. Three of these students are currently in middle school without curricular adaptation. During the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 school years, the percentage of children with special needs that succeed is 83% and 73% respectively. The absenteeism rate for these students is 0%. The improvements reported refer to their non-socially adjusted behaviors, such as stereotypes or mannerisms, which have decreased and they have developed more adaptive behavior. In the case of dialogical gatherings, they have reduced the disconnection that they usually suffer from the human world around them, such as their desires, intentions, beliefs, etc. This study aims to inform researchers at the European level.
Brock, M. E., & Carter, E. W. (2013). A systematic review of paraprofessional-delivered educational practices to improve outcomes for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Research and practice for persons with severe disabilities, 38(4), 211-221. doi: 10.1177%2F154079691303800401 Bruner, J. (1997). The culture of education. Harvard University Press. Carter, E. W., Gustafson, J. R., Sreckovic, M. A., Dykstra Steinbrenner, J. R., Pierce, N. P., Bord, A., Stabel, A., Rogers, S., Czerw, A., & Mullins, T. (2017). Efficacy of peer support interventions in general education classrooms for high school students with autism spectrum disorder. Remedial and Special Education, 38(4), 207-221. doi: 10.1177/0741932516672067 Díez-Palomar, J., & Olivé, J. C. (2015). Using dialogic talk to teach mathematics: The case of interactive groups. ZDM, 47(7), 1299-1312. doi: 10.1007/s11858-015-0728-x Duque, E., Gairal, R., Molina, S. & Roca, E. (2020) How the psychology of education contributes to research with a social impact on the education of students with special needs: the case of successful educational actions. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 439. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00439 Flecha, R. (2015). Successful educational actions for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe. Springer. García-Carrión, R., Villardón-Gallego, L., Martínez-de-la-Hidalga, Z., & Marauri, J. (2020). Exploring the impact of dialogic literary gatherings on students’ relationships with a communicative approach. Qualitative Inquiry, 26(8-9), 996-1002. doi: 10.1177/1077800420938879 Mpofu, E. (2003). Enhancing social acceptance of early adolescents with physical disabilities: effects of role salience, peer interaction, and academic support interventions. International journal of disability, development and education, 50(4), 435-454. doi: 10.1080/1034912032000155202 Redondo-Sama, G., Díez-Palomar, J., Campdepadrós, R., & Morlà-Folch, T. (2020). Communicative Methodology: Contributions to Social Impact Assessment in Psychological Research. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00286 Schmidt, C., & Stichter, J. P. (2012). The use of peer-mediated interventions to promote the generalization of social competence for adolescents with high-functioning autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Exceptionality, 20(2), 94-113. doi: 10.1080/09362835.2012.669303 Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society: Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Harvard University Press.
- 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.