Co-Education Of Future Teachers And Psychologists Of Inclusive Education

Abstract

The author has elaborated and presented a new integrative approach to HEI training in “Pedagogical Education” (2015) and “Special (defectological) Education” (2015). The aim of coeducation of students from different programs is to provide efficient interaction of future specialists in the process of psychological and pedagogical support for junior school-children with development delay (DD) who study in inclusive education. The general education teacher became more aware of real problems of DD children which proves the efficiency of co-teaching students to technology of monitoring individual development of junior school-children with DD. In conditions of inclusive education the future teacher acquires productive cooperation with the psychologist who has special training in the sphere of correctional psychology because the aims and content of work of both specialists cross in practice. Monitoring of individual development of DD children is the central part of individualization in the process of inclusive education of school-children and its efficiency is provided with professional interaction of primary education teachers and special psychologists. The author’s approach to teaching monitoring of individual development of junior school-children with DD to future primary general education teachers and special psychologists is described by the example of joint practice of students from different programs which allowed to define the content and ways of professional interaction in the sphere of psychological and pedagogical support for junior school-children with DD.

Keywords: Inclusive educationHEI trainingmonitoring of individual development

Introduction

Today, a sustainable focus on the development of inclusive education is one of the most promising vectors for the transformation of traditional educational theory and practice, in the light of which the new school appears as a space of complex interactions that take place in conditions of diversity (Indenbaum, Korobeinikov, & Babkina, 2019). The way the modern school works with different children determines its socio-educational potential, which opens up in the category of education quality (Malofeyev & Shmatko, 2016; Vayrynen, 2016).

The transformations of the Russian school in the context of the inclusion idea reflect the need of both the state and society to respond promptly and productively to contemporary challenges. In our country the development of an inclusive education model for children with disabilities is accompanied by a no less stable manifestation of the initially predicted problems, one of which is the lack of willingness among general education teachers to work with such children (Kuzmicheva, 2017, 2018). The modern practice of inclusive education for children with disabilities necessitates the convergence of systems of general and special education.

The model of inclusive education for children with disabilities, especially at its initial stages, imposes special requirements on the professional training of teachers, who must ensure not only the possibility, but also the proper quality, of these children’s mastering the content of primary education programs. In addition, the teacher must have reliable practice-oriented knowledge to reliably assess the reasons underlying the learning difficulties and behavior of a particular child with disabilities, and create special pedagogical conditions based on this assessment to overcome these difficulties and implement the corrective component of the educational process (Korobeinikov & Kuzmicheva, 2016, 2018).

The most numerous group of students in conditions of inclusive education among all children with disabilities are junior schoolchildren with DD (Korobeinikov & Babkina, 2016). In addition to the significant prevalence of this type of mental dysontogenesis, the category of children with mental retardation has a pronounced polymorphism and heterogeneity of composition - from options approaching the age norm of mental development to states of borderline intellectual insufficiency (Lubovsky, 2013; Babkina & Korobeinikov, 2019). Such heterogeneity of learners with DD causes differences in their educational needs, taking into account which the educational routes of these children and the corresponding learning conditions are differentiated. A reference point for differentiation can be typological variants of delayed development, elaborated in connection with solving problems of psychological support for children with DD who study in conditions of integration and inclusion.

To assess the dynamics and quality of the individual development of a child, it is obligatory to carry out special monitoring, which requires the necessary professional competencies from both an elementary general education teacher and a special psychologist (Korobeinikov, 2004, 2012). However, in reality, the joint work of an elementary general education teacher and a special psychologist is rarely productive due to the known autonomy of the ideas about the possibilities and methods of correctional and pedagogical activity, which were originally laid down in the content of their professional training.

Problem Statement

It becomes obvious that there is a contradiction between the urgent need to improve the quality of inclusive education of primary school children with DD and the unrealized resources to meet it, which exists in modern formats of higher education specialists. Integration of individual professional competencies among students in Pedagogical Education. Primary Education Profile and Special (defectological) Education creates opportunities for complementarity and mutual adaptation of the education content, contributes to their acquisition of proper readiness for timely inclusion in meaningful and productive interaction with the goal of developing an inclusive education for younger schoolchildren with DD.

Research Questions

What is the content and ways of interaction of future primary general education teachers and special psychologists in the field of monitoring the individual development of children with DD? What are the targets of the technology of joint training of primary general education teachers and special psychologists; what are the forms, methods and forms of its implementation in an inclusive education?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study consists in developing and testing technology for teaching students of different areas of training to monitor the individual development of a child based on their professional interaction as a factor and condition for successful educational inclusion of younger schoolchildren with DD.

Research Methods

Participants

As a theoretical experimental solution of the problem of interaction between an elementary general education teacher and a special psychologist in inclusive practice, we have been developing an experimental model for joint teaching them in the process of university training at Murmansk Arctic State University, Institute for Psychology and Pedagogy for several years. The subject field that unites students of both areas of training is their mastering the technology of monitoring the individual development of primary school children with DD, the quality assessment of which was carried out during the 3rd and 4th years in two structural components of professional competences: cognitive and practical. In different years, 70 students of the 2nd – 4th years were involved in the experiment: 35 future teachers of primary general education and 35 future special psychologists. In addition to this, 15 teachers from MASU and 30 employees of educational organizations took part in the study as small council participants.

The experimental group (EG) was represented by 15 future teachers and 15 future special psychologists. Their training under the experimental conditions (that is, under the conditions of joint training) was carried out for 3 years (from 2016 to 2018).

The control group (CG) included 20 students enrolled in the program “Pedagogical Education”, and 20 special psychologists enrolled in the program “Special (defectological) Education”. The educational process for students of these areas of training was carried out separately, in accordance with the profile of their training.

The process of formation of professional competencies among students of different areas of training “Pedagogical Education” and “Special (defectological) Education” in the field of assessing the individual development of younger schoolchildren with DD was carried out by us both on the theoretical level (in separate and joint formats of their training) and in the course of an integrated manufacturing practice.

Methods of research

Methods of research included: theoretical analysis, systematization and synthesis of literary sources, regulatory documents; analysis of statistics on the practice of meeting the special educational needs of younger students with DD in the context of inclusive education; video recording of lessons and their analysis; analysis of teachers' self-reports as a form of professional reflection, their solving case-tasks; diagnostic examination of younger schoolchildren based on observation of the educational behavior of younger schoolchildren with DD and a natural experiment, reflecting the situation of educational activity, stating, forming and controlling stages of the experiment.

Stages of Experiment

The process of formation of professional competencies among students of different areas of training “Pedagogical Education” and “Special (defectological) Education” in the field of assessing the individual development of younger schoolchildren with DD was carried out by us both on the theoretical level (in separate and joint formats of their training) and in the course of an integrated manufacturing practice.

The process of analyzing and evaluating the quality of training was carried out in accordance with the content of the structural components - cognitive and practical.

The cognitive component includes the following constituents:

•theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the problem of DD;

•age and individual development peculiarities of cognitive, emotional and communicative spheres of the younger schoolchild's personality;

•common to all categories of children with disabilities and special educational needs of primary school children with disabilities;

•general pedagogical and general defectological principles for the construction of educational activities for children with DD, taking into account the priorities of FSES;

•provisions of the functional diagnosis concept in mental disorders of childhood;

•principles, goals and objectives of diagnostic and correctional work with a primary school age child with DD;

•the procedure and methods of psychological and pedagogical diagnostics of the individual development of a younger school child with DD;

•principles of analysis, interpretation and presentation of the results of diagnosis of individual development of learners with DD;

•the subject, purpose and objectives of monitoring the individual development and social adaptation of younger schoolchildren with DD;

•principles of organization and stages of monitoring the individual development of younger schoolchildren with DD, the criteria and parameters for analyzing its results.

The quality of the cognitive component formation was assessed upon completion of the theoretical disciplines study on the basis of:

- testing aimed at identifying the completeness and quality of mastering the theoretical aspects of the problem of diagnosing mental retardation, primarily in the context of monitoring activities (the test task included 30 interdisciplinary questions; test results were evaluated by the total points gained);

- solving case studies aimed at assessing the readiness for the application of theoretical knowledge for analyzing educational practice specific situations of younger schoolchildren with DD (the teacher evaluated: the completeness of the case analysis carried out, proficiency in professional terminology, proof and accuracy of reasoning, that was ranked in points).

- The practical component of professional competencies reflects the development of skills in the field of monitoring, involving the acquisition of necessary information about the child, their interpretation, synthesis and transformation of diagnostic data into pedagogical tasks.

The practical implementation of the technology of joint training in monitoring for future teachers and special psychologists was represented by the following steps:

1. At the first stage, students mastered the method of complete non-included observation. Teaching future teachers and special psychologists to objectively record the facts that reflect the child’s learning behavior in the natural situation of a lesson using the rules and criteria of diagnostic dynamic observation; selection of facts by the teacher and psychologist and their comparison; joint interpretation of the facts and the formulation of the primary general hypothesis of the survey allowed to increase the level of formation of the above mentioned skills of students on the basis of their joint training.

2. At the second stage, future special psychologists conducted a learning experiment with a younger school child with DD, while teachers made a synopsis and conducted a lesson in order to obtain the missing and / or clarifying information about the learner. In both cases, the main goal was to test the primary hypothesis about the nature of the training and behavioral difficulties observed in a child with DD.

For psychology students, the assessment of their ability to interpret the obtained data about schoolchildren with DD was carried out on the basis of the analysis: protocols and video recordings of the child’s examination, a self-report describing the examination procedure, facts confirming or refuting the primary hypothesis of the child’s development difficulties and their hierarchy.

For teacher education students, assessments were made on the basis of the analysis: lesson outline, video recording of the lesson, self-report on the progress of the lesson; arguments in favor of confirming or refuting the hypothesis put forward by them about the difficulties of the child’s development and their hierarchy, which was also reflected in an orderly manner in the corresponding pedagogical conclusion.

3. At the third stage, future teachers and psychologists worked together to draw up a final conclusion summarizing the data on the diagnostic work of students. They used uniform criteria for assessing individual development, differences in the content of psychological and pedagogical conclusions, determined mainly by differences in the methods of obtaining diagnostic information.

The formation of skills to transfer the received information into the pedagogical domain (stage IV) made it possible, on the basis of joint, coordinated activities of the teacher and psychologist, to draw up joint work plans for them. At the request of the primary general education teacher special psychologists have developed recommendations for teachers on the individualization of training and education of learners with DD. Students presented projects of psychological and pedagogical support individual programs and evaluation of the effectiveness of their implementation.

Findings

Further on is the qualitative and quantitative analysis assessing the levels of cognitive and practical components in realizing technologies of joint teaching monitoring to teachers and psychologists (table 1 ).

Table 1 -
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Getting data about the child

It should be stated that the future teachers and psychologists of the experimental group as fully as possible fixed and objectively described the facts of the educational behavior of children with DD. The technology of joint monitoring training allowed them to get quite clear ideas about the “portraits” of children with DD, reflecting the completeness, accuracy and variety of options for their individual development. The high level of development of the practical component of monitoring among teachers was 80%, and among psychologists 87%.

Interpretation of data

The majority of future teachers and psychologists of the experimental group showed a high level of professional competences formation in the field of interpretation of data on the difficulties of educational behavior of younger schoolchildren with DD (80%). Especially important here is the fact that the students point out information in the protocols about the individual characteristics of the child, which prevent them from obtaining a completer and more objective picture, and therefore they noted the need for an additional diagnostic examination.

Data generalization

On the basis of the quality assessment of the final conclusions made by the students, the experts judged the formation of the ability to generalize diagnostic data. Thus, the majority of students of the experimental group, future teachers and psychologists, demonstrated a high level of formation of this component (80% and 87%, respectively). In the conclusions presented by them, the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the behavior and activities of a child with DD were accurately reflected, and a hierarchy of identified difficulties of individual development was established.

Transformation of diagnosis data into pedagogical tasks

Proof of the effectiveness of joint training of teachers and special psychologists in monitoring individual development is their ability to offer specific methodological samples of joint, integrated solution of educational tasks, taking into account the peculiarities of the individual development of a younger schoolchild with DD. Thus, with the transformation of diagnostic data into pedagogical tasks, 80% of future teachers and 87% of future special psychologists showed a high level, and only 20% and 13% - the average, respectively. The students of the experimental group did not have any difficulty in adapting educational material, planning the results of educational activities of learners with DD according to the principle of “small steps” in teaching with the obligatory consideration of data from both psychological and pedagogical diagnostics.

Conclusion

Thus, the focus on the inclusive education of children with disabilities has set a new trajectory for training primary education teachers and special psychologists at the university, the benchmark for which is the individualization of educational activities of younger schoolchildren with DD. The theory and practice of inclusive education require not only “recognition” of the rights of children with disabilities to accessible education from all participants of educational relations, but also “inclusion” in interaction with each other. The practice of joint training of future teachers and special psychologists gives them the opportunity to learn to be more open to communication, to see the need to change themselves, to be able to accept the characteristics of children and individualize the route of students taking into account their educational opportunities and needs. The author's technology of joint training of future primary general education teachers and special psychologists in the field of individualization of education of learners with DD is specified by the idea of the collegiate professional competences structure. It contributes to the accuracy and efficiency of corrective actions and establishment of hierarchical structure of difficulties of younger schoolchildren with DD in terms of their inclusive education.

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2019.07.38

Online ISSN

2357-1330