Publication 2176

Gash H. (1993) A constructivist attempt to promote positive attitudes towards children with special needs. European Journal of Special Needs Education 8: 106–125. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/2176
A research programme was initiated to promote positive attitudes towards children with special needs. Fifteen students each taught 4 lessons to children from second to sixth class in Primary Schools. Their approach was constructivist involving discussion and activities designed to provide opportunities for the children to reconsider their ideas. A post-test was given to 465 experimental and 326 control children. Experimental children were different from controls in being more prosocial in a number of ways. Children who knew somebody with a mental handicap were affected by the programme differently in comparison with inexperienced children, largely by becoming more aware of the difficulties of children with special needs. There were a number of age and gender differences in the ways children think about mental handicap. Relevance: This paper shows how constructivist classroom techniques can be used to facilitate children’s thinking about children with a disability

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