Children with mild learning difficulties in an integrated and in a special school: comparisons of behaviour, teasing and teachers' attitudes.

Abstract

Comparisons were made between children and teachers in two schools, one a mainstream school with an integrated resource unit for children with mild learning difficulties, the other a special school. Seventeen children with mild learning difficulties from the special school and ten children with mild learning difficulties from the mainstream school, matched with ten mainstream children for age and sex, took part in the study. Observations were made on children in the playground and their social proximity and positive and negative behaviours were categorised. Self-reports on teasing, bullying and friendships were also collected from children in the mainstream school. Teachers from both schools completed a questionnaire on their attitudes to integration. There was no difference in amount of social contact children with mild learning difficulties had in the mainstream and special school nor were there significant differences in total positive and negative behaviours. Mainstream children, however, played significantly less frequently with children with mild learning difficulties and this was more marked in the older than the younger children. Self-reports from children in the integrated school indicated that the children with mild learning difficulties were teased/bullied more and made fewer friends than the mainstream children. Teachers in the mainstream were more positive and teachers in the special school were more negative towards integration. The special school teachers' expectations fitted more with the findings of the study than did those of the mainstream teachers.

Cite this paper

@article{Martlew1991ChildrenWM, title={Children with mild learning difficulties in an integrated and in a special school: comparisons of behaviour, teasing and teachers' attitudes.}, author={M Martlew and James Hodson}, journal={The British journal of educational psychology}, year={1991}, volume={61 ( Pt 3)}, pages={355-72} }