AN EXAMINATION OF COOPERATION-HELPING-SHARING BEHAVIORS IN PRESCHOOL CLASSROOMS WITH INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

Abstract

Author(s): Nilg羹n MET?N, Fatma Bet羹l ?ENOL

Inclusive education practices, which aim to socialize children with special needs, have positive effects on normally developing children’s social-emotional behaviors. A sub-set of social behaviors, positive social behaviors are characterized by useful acts for others which are done without expecting any benefit. Children start to adopt such behaviors in their last years of preschool education, and the adoption of prosocial behaviors during the preschool years plays an important role in individuals’ personality traits in the future. In this sense, the aim of this study is to describe normally developing preschoolers’ specific prosocial behaviors (cooperation-helping-sharing behaviors) towards their normally developing peers and their peers with special needs. It is a qualitative research with a scanning model. The study was conducted in public preschools in Afyonkarahisar, and the sample size consisted of 81 5-6 year old normally developing children of which classes included children with special needs. The study data was collected with a structured observation technique. A 22-item structured observation form which was developed by the researcher was used as the data collection instrument of the study. This observation form consisted of cooperation, helping and sharing sub dimensions. The total Cronbach’s Alpha reliability coefficient was 0.807, and for the sub dimensions, it was 0.755 for the cooperation sub dimension, .691 for the helping sub dimension and .689 for the sharing sub dimension. The observations were made when the children with special needs were in the classroom and only during playtime. During the process, the intermittent observation technique was applied. Within the goal of the study, each of the normally developing children were observed for 3-5 minutes. The observation data was analyzed using SPSS 20. The participant children’s cooperation, helping and sharing behaviors were comparatively analyzed based on the age, gender, type of disability, birth order, parents’ educational background and whether they had attended preschool before of both the normally developing children and the children with special needs age, and on the basis of teacher’s age, professional seniority, whether s/he has received any training about inclusive education, and whether there was any child with special needs in her classes. The study results showed that there was no meaningful difference in children’s cooperation, helping and sharing behaviors in terms of normally developing children’s gender, number of siblings, birth order and parents’ education background while there were significant differences in terms of the normally developing children’s age, whether they attended preschool before, teacher’s age, professional seniority, whether s/he has received any training about inclusive education, whether there was any child with special needs in her classes, classroom size, the type of disability and gender of the child with special needs in the class.

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