Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Views of Pre-School Teachers about Integration

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Views of Pre-School Teachers about Integration

Article excerpt

Abstract

The pre-school education of children with special needs is necessary for their social acceptance and integration to the society. This necessity is determined by the laws in Turkey and its continuity is based upon the integration. This study aims at describing the opinions of pre-school teachers on the pre-school education of children with special needs through integration. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews. Qualitative data were analyzed descriptively. Thirty female preschool teachers who were working for the Ministry of National Education, in a province center in Middle Anatolia Region during the academic year of 2002-2003 participated in the study. All the participants were teachers who had students with special needs. According to the findings, all the teachers in the study think that children with special needs should have pre-school education. Most of the teachers indicated that pre-school education should be given through integration for children with special needs. Furthermore, the teachers in this study expressed that they were not qualified on integration and the working conditions were insufficient.

Key Words

Integration/Inclusion, Pre-school Education, Qualitative Research.

When the literature for the last thirty years was reviewed, it may be noticed that there are many studies that show the benefits of the integration of children with and without disabilities (i.e., Allan & Sproul, 1985; Ashley, 1979; Avramidis, & Norwich 2002; Batu & Kircaali-Iftar, 2005; Buysse, Wesley & Keyes, 1998; Enç, Çaglar & Özsoy 1981; Guralnick, 2001; Güzel-Özmen, 2003; Hendrickson, Shokoohi-Yekta, Hamre-Nietupski & Gable,1996; Lewis & Doorlag, 1987; McWilliam, Wolery & Odom, 2001; Odom, 2000; Özsoy, Özyürek & Eripek, 1989; Salend 1999; Smith, Polloway, Patton & Dowdy, 1995; Stainback, Stainback & Stefanich, 1996).

Two of the biggest problems that students with special needs are facing are the adaptation and academic success in elementary school. Therefore, all students with disabilities must be educated in pre-school period. The pre-school education of children with special needs is necessary for their social acceptance and integration to the society. This necessity is determined by the laws in Turkey and its continuity is based upon the integration.

"For children between 37 and 72 months, whose need of special education is determined, pre-school education is obligatory and this education is maintained on the basis of integration, providing to the supportive services" according to Regulations of Special Education Services (2000) published by the Ministry of National Education.

Although most studies on early education and pre-school education show that integration positively affects all students' development in the classroom, educating disabled students with regular students at preschool level has even a greater impact on both students with/without disabilities. In addition, the effects of such an integration on teachers should be examined.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is, in addition to describing pre-school teachers' views about integration, the description of the benefits, problems, and suggestions related to integration.

Method

Participants and Settings

This study carried out with 30 volunteer pre-school teachers all of whom were females. One of the participants had a master's of degree, 13 participants had bachelor's of science degrees, and 15 participants had associate degrees. Onee participant was a candidate of pre-school teacher. Teaching experiences of the participants were varied between one and twenty seven years. This study was conducted in 18 integration schools. These schools are located in Eskisehir, a city in Middle Anatolia region.

Model

In this study, descriptive method was used; the data were collected through several semi-structural interviews. …

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