Attitudes of the Macedonian Preschool Teachers toward Students with Disabilities

  • Daniela Blagoj Dimitrova-Radojichikj Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje
  • Natasha Chichevska-Jovanova Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje
  • Olivera Rashikj-Canevska Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje
Keywords: inclusive education, preschool teacher’s attitudes, students with disabilities, Mots clés, éducation inclusive, attitudes des enseignants du préscolaire, élèves avec handicaps

Abstract

Preschool teachers are seen as key persons to implement inclusive education. Positive attitudes are therefore argued as playing a considerable role in implementing this educational change successfully. The aim of this study was to examine what attitudes Macedonian preschool teachers hold towards early inclusive education; which variables are related to their attitudes. We examined the impact of the teaching experience, age of the teachers, and experience of work with children with special needs. The Opinions Relevant to Integration of Students with Disabilities (ORI) was administered to 94 preschool teachers at 2 preschool institutions. The results of this study showed, in general, that the preschool teachers’ attitudes were more negative than positive towards the inclusion of students with disability (meaning of students with intellectual impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, autism spectrum disorder, physical impairments and ADHD). No significance was found in relation to the grade level of education of preschool teachers, occupational experience and previous teaching experience with students with disability.

Les enseignants du préscolaire sont considérés comme des personnes clés dans la mise en œuvre des politiques éducatives intégratrices. Les attitudes positives jouent donc un rôle considérable dans la réalisation des changements éducatifs. L’objectif de cette étude était d’examiner les attitudes qu’ont les enseignants du préscolaire de la Macédoine face à l’éducation préscolaire inclusive et de déterminer quelles variables influençaient leurs attitudes. Nous avons examiné l’impact de l’expérience en enseignement, l’âge des enseignants et l’expérience de travail avec des enfants ayant des besoins spéciaux. Quatre-vingt-quatorze enseignants de deux institutions préscolaires ont répondu à un questionnaire portant sur leurs avis quant à l’intégration d’élèves présentant des handicaps. Les résultats indiquent que, de façon générale, les attitudes des enseignants du préscolaire étaient plus négatives que positives face à l’inclusion des élèves avec des handicaps (c’est à dire, ayant une déficience intellectuelle, visuelle, auditive ou physique; souffrant de troubles du spectre autistique ou atteints de TDAH). Nous n’avons pas trouvé de liens significatifs entre les attitudes et la scolarité des enseignants du préscolaire, leur expérience professionnelle et leur expérience avec des élèves présentant des handicaps.

Author Biographies

Daniela Blagoj Dimitrova-Radojichikj, Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje

Daniela Dimitrova-Radojichikj is a Professor at the University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”, Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, at the Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation.She obtained her Master’s degree in 2001 at the Department for Visual Impairments (typhlology) Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation in Belgrade, Serbia. In 2007, she obtained her PhD in the field of visual impairments at the Institute for Special Education and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje-Republic of Macedonia. In 1994/1995 year she was working as Special Educator and Rehabilitator (typholopedagogic) in State school for rehabilitation of children and youth with visual impairments “Dimitar Vlahov” in Skopje. In 1996, she started to work at the Faculty of Philosophy. 

Natasha Chichevska-Jovanova, Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje

Natasha Chichevska-Jovanova is a Professor at the University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”, Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, at the Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation. In 1994 year she graduated from the Faculty of Special Education andRehabilitation in Belgrade, Serbia. She completed her Master’s degree in the field of motor impairments (somatopedy) in 2001, at the same faculty. She obtained her PhD in the field of motor impairments in 2008 from the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje – Republic of Macedonia, Institute for Special education and Rehabilitation. From 1994-1996, she worked as Special Educator and Rehabilitator in the special primary school for children with intellectual disabilities “Idnina” in Skopje. In 1996, she started to work as a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje.

Olivera Rashikj-Canevska, Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje

Olivera Rashikj-Canevska is an Assistant Professor at the University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”, Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, at the Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation. In 2006, she graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy-Skopje, Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation with the BA thesis Sexual abuse of the persons with intellectual disabilities. She obtained her Master’s degree in 2009, with the thesis topic Sexual development, education and sexual abuse of person with disabilities in the Republic of Macedonia. In March 2013, she obtained her PhD on the topic Assessment of the independence in performance of daily activities and the need of the occupational therapy in persons with multiple sclerosis. From 2007 until 2012, she worked as a Demonstrator at the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje, Institute for Special Education and Rehabilitation. In 2012, she was elected as Assistant at the Institute for Special Education and Rehabilitation. In 2013, she was elected as Assistant Professor at the same Institute. During 2010 and 2011 she was working as Special Educator and Rehabilitator in special primary school for children with intellectual disabilities “Dr. Zlatan Sremec” in Skopje. 

Published
2016-12-07
Section
ARTICLES