The paper justifies the relevance and demand for tutorship as a form of interaction and assistance to families raising children with special needs. Considering modern social conditions, many parents insist on educating their children with special needs in mass educational institutions defining them as priority for receiving educational services. But there are a number of difficulties that affect the education of children with special needs. These include the issues of socialization, problems of acceptance and attitude of the society to persons with special needs, difficulties in obtaining a comprehensive education and integrated corrective and pedagogical assistance at a general secondary school. All the above made it possible to define the problem of our study, which is to choose practice-oriented technologies for the training of future teachers for tutorship support to families raising children with special needs that study at general educational institutions in the conditions of inclusive education. Based on the theoretical and practical experience of tutorship, the authors identified practice-oriented technologies that may be used to train students for tutorship activities to support families raising children with special needs in an inclusive school. The methodological foundations of the study include humanistic, cultural and historical, active approaches to the education and upbringing of children with special needs, socio-cultural, competent approaches to the training of students for further professional activities and tutorship support of families.
Keywords: Tutorship, inclusive education, children with special needs, family support, general educational institution
The change of the educational paradigm at the beginning of the 21st century, modernization of the Russian educational system and introduction of new federal state educational standards into the practical activities of educational organizations are aimed at improving the quality of education for children with special needs. The existing problems in the field of the protection of healthy childhood, the interests of the future of the country and its security require the state authorities of the Russian Federation, local self-government authorities, civil society, and the pedagogical community to take urgent measures to improve the current status of children with special needs and their protection.
However, many problems in educating children with special needs are still far from being resolved. These include the problem of tutorship support for families raising children with special needs in general educational institutions in the conditions of inclusive education. According to the Federal Law No. 273 (Art. 44) “On Education in the Russian Federation”, parents (legal representatives) of juvenile students have the right to choose the form of education for their child taking into account his opinion, as well as taking into account the recommendations of the psychological, medical and pedagogical commission (Federal Law No. 273…, 2012).
Considering modern social conditions, many parents insist on educating their children with special needs in mass educational institutions defining them as priority for receiving educational services. But the existing difficulties in building the educational process for children with special needs in a general educational school force parents to search assistants for their children among teachers. Students of defectologic education who know the theoretical and practical aspects of providing tutorship assistance to parents and children with special needs are most actively responding to this challenge (Borodina et al., 2017; Gnatyshina et al., 2019).
Educational practice, personal experience, practical achievements of teachers in accompanying children with special needs in an inclusive school confirm the need for professional training of students, future special needs teachers in tutorship activities that will enable them to provide professional assistance and support to families raising children with special needs (Tsilitsky, 2018). The problem of the study is to choose and equip students with practice-oriented technologies for the implementation of tutorship support to families raising children with special needs studying at general educational institutions in the conditions of inclusive practice.
This problem is caused by the contradiction between the existing difficulties in the development of the general educational system and the psychological and pedagogical support of children with special needs, on the one hand, and the lack of scientific research and methodological developments to support them using practice-oriented technologies of tutorship support within inclusive education, on the other (Kovaleva, 2010; Kuzmina, 2012).
Thus, the stated problem of study is relevant for the educational system in the context of the implementation of an inclusive approach to teaching children with special needs (Borodina, 2018; Serebrovskaya & Rud, 2017).
The subject of the scientific research is to choose practice-oriented technologies for students in order to apply them in practical professional activities for tutorship support of families raising children with special needs that get education at general educational institutions.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to discuss tutor the issues of tutorship in order to determine effective practice-oriented technologies for training future teachers for further tutorship support to families raising children with special needs and studying at general educational institutions.
To achieve this purpose, the authors conducted a theoretical and practical study. The method of theoretical analysis of scientific literature and regulatory support of the educational system, the study of the state of the problem was chosen as the theoretical stage of the study. The practical methods included the analysis of literary sources on the research topic, study of the history of development of children with special needs, their personal and medical records, observations, conversations, ascertaining, monitoring, training experiments, analysis and synthesis of results, analysis of obtained information. To study the professional readiness of students for tutorship, the authors used the methodology of professional samples (E.A. Klimov, G.V. Rezapkina), clarified the development of professional interests based on specially modeled situations and conversations (Bespalova, 2018; Borodina et al., 2017; Karpenkova, 2010; Tsilitsky, 2018).
From the pedagogical point of view tutorship is a professional position that ensures psychological and pedagogical support of a tutor to a child with special needs, development of individual educational programs for children with special needs, selection of forms, methods, and approaches to the interaction between all participants in the educational process. The tutor accompanies the individual education of a child at school, in the system of additional education (Kovaleva, 2017; Movchan, 2017).
The interest in this phenomenon in Russia is associated with the names of O.S. Gazman, P.G. Shchedrovitsky. We find the initial ideas of tutorship in the works of L.S. Vygotsky, D.B. Elkonin. It is D.B. Elkonin who says that when a child moves from one stage of education to another without the special help of a tutor, the most important psychological neoplasms that were formed at the previous stages of development are lost. According to T.M. Kovaleva, G. Bardier, N. Romazan, T.D. Cherednikova, T.I. Chirkova, A.P. Tryapitsyna, L.N. Berezhnova, E.I. Kazakova, M.R. Bityanova, et al., the presence of a tutor teacher close to a student during this difficult period considerably facilitates the efforts of the child in assimilating the educational program and increases the quality of his further entry into adult independent and professional life (Karpenkova, 2010; Kuzmina, 2012; Zybareva, 2018).
K. Walstrom, K. McLaughlin, P. Zvaal, D. Romane and others understand assistance of a student “as the assistance so that he learns to independently solve his problems and cope with everyday difficulties, which implies knowing himself and an adequate perception of the environment” (as cited in Karpenkova, 2010, p. 18).
The practice-oriented technologies in the tutorship support of families raising children with special needs imply that a student in his professional activity has the opportunity to take into account the individual development features of the accompanied child, the features of family upbringing and interaction of family members, the features of designed educational activities for the child with special needs at school, and is able to master various forms of interaction with family members of a child with special needs (Borodina, 2018).
The practical basis of our study was an inclusive school – the Municipal Autonomous Educational Institution “Secondary Public Educational School No. 73 of Chelyabinsk”. This is the site of the South Ural State Humanitarian and Pedagogical University for student pedagogical practice.
A tutor today is defined as “the person accompanying the process of mastering the activity”. Thus, tutorship support consists in organizing the educational trajectory of a child, which is based on continuous reflexive correlation of his achievements with interests and aspirations. Our observations showed that at the first stages of training the tutor acts as a guide for a child with special needs into the educational school space. He also helps to prepare the child for leaving this educational space.
Today, family tutorship at the educational institution is implemented through the following sequential steps-stages: diagnostics of the essence of the problem of interaction of family members and attitudes towards a child with special needs related to his education; information search of methods, technologies, means to solve it; discussion of options to solve the problem and choose the most appropriate solution; providing primary assistance at the stage of implementing the plan to tackle the problem, reflection in the process of executing or completing the task (A.P. Tryapitsyna, L.N. Berezhnova, E.I. Kazakova, M.R. Bityanova, etc.). T.M. Kovaleva identifies the grounds for assessing tutorship activity (Borodina et al., 2017; Guzeev, 2012; Kovaleva, 2010, 2017).
While ensuring the family support the tutor is able to perform the following functions: mentor, organizer, interaction coordinator, diagnostician, attendant, intermediary, controlling person, consultant and others. A tutor in an inclusive school is reforming the educational space for the task of individualizing the education of a child with special needs. Thus, the tutor is primarily a consultant to a family, a student: he is able to help the child develop an individual educational program, gain independence in the learning process and in certain elements of this process, he can help to answer the question of how to use the results of training in further professional self-determination, organize training activities for the individual development of a particular student with special needs. It will be important for parents that a tutor builds a forecast for the development of their child (P.G. Shchedrovitsky). The task of the tutor is to help designing an individual educational space as a condition, a means for providing the opportunity to manifest cognitive initiatives and the interests of each particular child with special needs (Tsilitsky, 2018; Zaitsev, 2018).
Summarizing the classifications of technologies proposed by G.K. Selevko, V.G. Gulchevskaya, V.T. Fomenko, T.I. Shamova, T.M. Davydenko, etc., we came to the conclusion that the most effective practice-oriented technologies in the implementation of the tutorship of families, which a student of the defectologic education shall be aware of, are as follows: technologies of individual and group consulting of parents, technologies of individual and group tutorship, technologies of tutorship practice, technologies for recording portfolios and journalling, educational events, technologies of support of cognitive interests, technologies of creative and intellectual workshops, technologies of educational tourism, sociocultural games and case studies, training technologies. The main goal of using such technologies is to develop a child with special needs, to form parents’ adequate perception, acceptance and understanding of their own child (Andreeva, 2011). The choice of a certain technology for the professional activity of the tutor is justified by the individual characteristics of the child development, depends on the age and personal characteristics of the child, on personal and professional preferences of the tutor himself, on the characteristics of the family understanding of the tasks of education, upbringing and interaction.
The results of our study showed that in order to implement the tutorship support to children with special needs in an educational institution, the following conditions must be met: regulatory provision of tutorship support (at the level of local regulatory acts); methodological support; individualization of the educational process, which is ensured by providing the independent choice of place, forms of education, independent determination of topics and directions of research, project and creative activity of children while assimilating various academic subjects within the educational program; expansion of the social activities of students, which is ensured by their inclusion in various forms of extra-curricular and leisure activities; organization of a reflection space, which is implemented in the framework of consultations and discussions of educational objectives and life prospects, educational stories and events with students and their parents.
The main tool of education, upbringing and the basic functional responsibility of the tutor in supporting families and children with special needs is the development and implementation of an individual educational program, which is constantly updated and corrected due to changing academic and corrective tasks of education. It is for this purpose that it is necessary to teach students to use necessary practice-oriented technologies. Changes are made depending on the joint analysis of the student’s academic success and learning progress.
The individual program of tutorship support of a child implies various tasks and functions of specialists in the implementation of psychological and pedagogical support of a student with special needs in an inclusive school as a whole. A special-needs expert set the norms, content, route and pace of the educational program for children with special needs. An educational psychologist works in the direction of studying and developing the mental processes of schoolchildren. A class teacher organizes the interaction of schoolchildren in the classroom. A social teacher organizes work with the child and his family, carries out diagnostics, correction, works for a single result in mastering the educational program. A tutor works on the formation of self-acceptance, takes into account the personal preferences of a child, his cognitive and creative interests, and accompanies the implementation of an individual educational program. The tutor bases his activity on the interests of a student, on preferences in receiving educational services of his parents (Andreeva, 2011; Kovaleva, 2017; Kuzmina, 2012).
The tutorship of families raising children with special needs involves the use of practice-oriented technologies for the transition in the education of children with special needs from subject content to inter-subject content, from an adaptive form of behavior of a child with special needs to creative activity, in order to make children with special needs ready for personal-creative and innovative activities, as well as creative, educational, communicative self-realization (Tsilitsky, 2018; Zaitsev, 2018).
In a modern educational institution the functions of a tutor may be performed by a qualified teacher, a social teacher, a special-needs expert, and sometimes a parent. However, the preference in the tutorship of families raising children with special needs shall be given to a professionally trained qualified specialist as a bearer of special knowledge on the ways of stimulating communication between an adult and a child. In our study, such specialists were the students of the Department of Inclusive and Correctional Education of South Ural State Humanitarian and Pedagogical University, which passed their teaching internship at the Secondary School No. 73 of Chelyabinsk, organized their own research as part of the qualification studies at bachelor and master levels.
The study made it possible to draw the following conclusions. The tutor supporting families and children with special needs helps to implement individual corrective educational programs developed for them by the school specialists of psychological and pedagogical support service, provides a child with assistance not only in educational activities, but also coordinates diagnostic, corrective, advisory activities of support specialists thus actively involving parents. Practice shows that it is only possible to successfully master the curriculum, adapt and socialize children with special needs in the society with the use of practice-oriented technologies of tutorship support for families. We see how the main goal of family tutorship is fulfilled, which is to ensure that a child with special needs achieves as much as possible in education with the abilities and opportunities that he has despite his development problems and deficiencies.
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06 December 2021
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Uncertainty, global challenges, digital transformation, cognitive science
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Reznikova, E. V., Vasilyeva, V. S., Borodina, V. A., Salavatulina, L. R., & Kolotilova, U. V. (2021). Practice-Oriented Technologies For Tutorship Of Families Raising Children With Special Needs. In E. Bakshutova, V. Dobrova, & Y. Lopukhova (Eds.), Humanity in the Era of Uncertainty, vol 119. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 112-118). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.12.02.14