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Young children's understanding of disabilities: the influence of development, context and cognition

Magiati, Iliana and Dockrell, Julie and Logotheti, Anastasia-Eleni (2002) Young children's understanding of disabilities: the influence of development, context and cognition. Applied Developmental Psychology, 23. pp. 409-430. ISSN 0193-3973. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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Throughout Europe, educational support for children with disabilities has moved towards a model of inclusive education. Such policy changes mean that for all children there will be an increased likelihood of working with and encountering children with differing disabilities and difficulties. Previous research had indicated that children had poorly differentiated views of developmental differences. The present study investigated children?s representations of different disabilities. Seventy-nine 8-9 and 10-11 year old Greek children from an urban school and a rural school completed an attitudes toward school inclusion rating scale and a semi-structured interview. Responses to the attitude scale provided generally positive views of educational inclusion. However, children were less positive about activities that might directly reflect upon themselves. Children?s responses in the interviews indicated that they were developing rich representations of differences and diversities. Children had the greatest understanding of sensory and physical disabilities, followed by learning disabilities. There was limited knowledge of dyslexia and hyperactivity and no child was familiar with the term autism. Both groups of children identified a range of developmental difficulties, with older children being more aware of specific learning disabilities, their origin and impact. Results are discussed in terms of children?s developing knowledge systems and the implications for educational practices.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (1)
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2010 11:58
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 07:44
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