Publication 2189

Gash H., Guardia Gonzales S., Pires M. & Rault C. (2000) Attitudes towards Down Syndrome: A national comparative study: France, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain. Irish Journal of Psychology 21: 203–214. Fulltext at
This study investigated children’s attitudes towards children with Down syndrome in Ireland, France, Portugal and Spain. A sample of 805 children divided approximately equally by country, sex, grade level (9 and 11 years of age), and school type (inclusive or non-inclusive) participated in the study. Differences are reported for each independent variable on three dependent variables, sociability, attitude to inclusion and use of negative words to describe a child with Down syndrome. The study is one of a series that examined empirically how children construe their ideas about children with learning difficulties. Some used constructivist approaches in classrooms with a view to seeing if such experiences led to differentiation of the children’s ideas. The approaches were inspired by Jean Piaget’s and Ernst von Glasersfeld’s work. Relevance: This article shows how children think about children with Down Syndrome with different ideas. It provides ideas for teachers who want to work with children with fixed ideas about children with Down Syndrome


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