Social skills critical for success in elementary school: teachers and special educators’ perspective
Keywords:social skills, autism spectrum disorder, teachers, special educators, inclusive education, importance rating
Introduction Students with more advanced social skills are more likely to meet teacher expectations in terms of classroom behaviour and participation in the teaching and learning process. On the other hand, students with special educational needs (SEN) often have difficulties in developing these skills. Insight into social skills that teachers consider critical for the success of students in their classes enables better preparation of SEN students for inclusion in a mainstream environment. The purpose of this study is to determine which social skills are considered critical for classroom success by regular teachers who teach students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in inclusive classrooms and special educators in special schools.
Method The sample consists of 33 regular teachers and 57 special educators. The Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS) Teaching Form was used for data collection.
Results Both participant groups attributed the highest value to Cooperation skills, however skills related to Responsibility and Self-Control were also highly valued. Ratings of teachers and special educators differ significantly only for Empathy skills, with significantly lower values attributed by special educators. Significant differences between participants who teach in lower and upper elementary grades were found only for special educators, with a higher value for Assertion attributed by special educators in upper grades.
Conclusion Teachers and special educators place significant emphasis on social skills such as Cooperation, Responsibility, and Self-Control, which facilitate unhindered teaching and learning processes.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Slobodan Banković, Brojčin Branislav, Ivana Vasilevska Petrovska, Marina Antonijević, Aleksandra Bukovica
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