Promoting peer interactions in Chinese inclusive preschool classrooms. Strategies teachers apply for children with Special Educational Needs

Tan R (2020)
Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.

Bielefelder E-Dissertation | Englisch
 
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Abstract / Bemerkung
After almost three decades since the concept of LRC (learning in the regular classroom) was first introduced in China to develop inclusive education, China has made quite some progress in offering children with disabilities access to general schools. It has also improved the implementation of inclusion on the preschool level, aiming at increasing the quality of current inclusive services by granting more children with disabilities equal educational opportunities for quality ECE (early childhood education) programs (Hu & Szente, 2010; Gargiulo & Piao, 1995; Hu & Roberts, 2011). While examining research studies conducted focusing on inclusion on Chinese preschool levels, very few of them targeted at teachers’ actual practices and explored how their practice would influence children’s inclusion on a daily basis. The current study applies a social constructivism paradigm to explore how teachers promote the interactions of children with and without SEN in the naturalistic setting and collect in-depth data from interviews and observations to explore whether their beliefs and practice are consistent with each other. As Chinese kindergartens gradually embrace a more balanced curriculum of both whole-group teaching and free play, it is important that studies are conducted to explore how teachers support children’s daily peer interactions in inclusive kindergarten settings in order to fulfill their changing role (Hu et al., 2016).

The first key finding is that both preventive and interventive strategies are identified in the current study and five different levels are developed to present them. Specifically, strategies from the teamwork level; strategies from the classroom environment level; strategies from the curriculum design level; strategies from the activity design level and strategies from the individual children with SEN level. Different from previous studies, the current study has identified another two new levels of strategies explicitly focusing on the activity level and the teamwork level. Moreover, there are similar strategies (e.g., parental involvement) being identified from two different levels.

Secondly, children’s different ages and disabilities influence the frequency teachers apply specific strategies from different levels. Since older preschool children show stronger skills to regulate their own emotions and more advanced cognitive development to argue and rationalize with teachers, thus we find that some strategies (e.g., ‘resolving conflicts’ and ‘dealing with negative emotions’) were identified more frequently from the older class group. Young children are often engaged with themselves and tend to be disconnected from ongoing play activities (e.g., Mendez, McDermott & Fantuzzo, 2002) and so fewer strategies such as ‘creating more small groups’ and ‘creation of share and exchange activity’ were identified. As to children’s different disabilities and how they influence teachers’ different strategies, it is found that for children who are diagnosed with EBD (emotional behavior disabilities), teachers have more frequently applied strategies that target at improving their skills to resolve conflicts and more effectively deal with his negative emotions (frustration, anger). For Children with autism spectrum disorders, they emphasize on the cooperation with parents in the whole inclusion process.

Thirdly, discrepancies between the observational and interview data about the strategies have been identified. Three categories for the consistency and inconsistency from all strategies on different levels were identified: high consistency; some consistency and inconsistency, high inconsistency. Based on Vygotsky’s and Leont’ev’s ‘cultural-historical activity theory’ that emphasizes the key value of considering the contextual factors while exploring the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices (Fang, 1996; Robbins & Stetsenko, 2002), five critical contextual factors were identified including the complicity of the classroom, the overwhelmed teachers, whole-group and teacher-centered approaches, unsupportive parents as well as strong academic-performance orientation.

This study advocates a paradigm shift within the country to encourage new ways of thinking and re searching. It also reveals that teachers, though generally agreeing with the philosophy of inclusion and acknowledging the value of peer interactions, feel challenging to promote the social interactions of children with SEN on a daily basis in an inclusive preschool setting. In-service training that targets improving teachers’ theoretical knowledge and practical skills to promote more peer interactions are thus strongly recommended.
Jahr
2020
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2942201

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Tan R. Promoting peer interactions in Chinese inclusive preschool classrooms. Strategies teachers apply for children with Special Educational Needs . Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld; 2020.
Tan, R. (2020). Promoting peer interactions in Chinese inclusive preschool classrooms. Strategies teachers apply for children with Special Educational Needs . Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld. doi:10.4119/unibi/2942201
Tan, R. (2020). Promoting peer interactions in Chinese inclusive preschool classrooms. Strategies teachers apply for children with Special Educational Needs . Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.
Tan, R., 2020. Promoting peer interactions in Chinese inclusive preschool classrooms. Strategies teachers apply for children with Special Educational Needs , Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.
R. Tan, Promoting peer interactions in Chinese inclusive preschool classrooms. Strategies teachers apply for children with Special Educational Needs , Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld, 2020.
Tan, R.: Promoting peer interactions in Chinese inclusive preschool classrooms. Strategies teachers apply for children with Special Educational Needs . Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld (2020).
Tan, Run. Promoting peer interactions in Chinese inclusive preschool classrooms. Strategies teachers apply for children with Special Educational Needs . Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld, 2020.
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2020-04-01T06:35:04Z
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