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Helen Phtiaka

Helen Phtiaka

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Helen Phtiaka

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  1. Helen Phtiaka Department of Education University of Cyprus

  2. Helen Phtiaka Department of Education University of Cyprus

  3. ParentsThe daily routine European Conference Larnaca 12-14/5/11

  4. The background 1929: School for the Blind 1979: 47/79 Law for the Education of Children with Special Needs 1999: 113(I)/99 Integration Law 2001: Implementation of the Law

  5. The Research Project 2004-2006: Evaluation of the implementation of the new legislation 2006: Research Report Phtiaka, Michaelidou, Tsouris & Vlami

  6. Research Goals • Attitudes towards inclusion • Adequacy of the current context of inclusion • Effectiveness of the implemented model of inclusion

  7. Target groups • General school teachers • Special school teachers • Educational Psychologists • Ministry officials • Parents

  8. Why talk to parents? • Their views are often overlooked in research • Very limited relevant research information in Cyprus • They are the most important part of the children’s life • They influence policy and practice

  9. Families participating Children with diagnosed special needs Various types of disability Attend ordinary schools 47 children 45 families 2 nursery schools 7 primary schools

  10. General Findings maintain positive attitude towards inclusion overall aim for inclusion as early as possible face many difficulties with the implementation of inclusion as practiced today

  11. Parents’ voice ‘It was terrible in the special school… If you visit there you will need a month to recover…’ ‘Of course I believe in inclusion! A special school bus passes every day in front of our house. The children in the bus have a strange look in their face, as if they were dead!’

  12. General findings Theyseem to face particular problems with: curriculum daily programme general teachers’ attitudes

  13. Parents’ voice ‘At the beginning teachers were afraid to have Costas in their class… they did not know how to teach him…’ ‘John is left in a corner playing… He hates going to school… The teacher does not help him at all…’

  14. General Findings There are also problems with procedure: Initial referral Evaluation Re-evaluation Delays

  15. Parents’ voice ‘Nobody knows what to do! Everything is unprofessional and really difficult…’

  16. General Findings Most importantly however, parents seem to face problems with the daily home routine which is imposed upon them by the demands of the school and the inclusion practices adopted. Lack of support and understanding on behalf of educators and professionals seem to create a lot of psychological pressure.

  17. Parents’ voice ‘Look! Everybody is waiting for their child’s birth, to take it in their arms, to feel peace! We never had that! It was a struggle from the beginning!’

  18. General Findings There is also –still- an awful lot of social pressure.

  19. Parents’ voice ‘I used to have a problem that everybody was watching him as if he were an alien… People here have a problem with these children…’

  20. General Findings All this leads to serious psychological and social problems in the family, a high divorse rate in families with disabled children and requests for support

  21. General Findings when none of this is available there is a complacentand calm disappointment

  22. Parents’ voice ‘Our time extension in the primary school is now over… The SENCO suggested to take him to a special school or a special unit, but I rejected both of them, because when my child goes there he sits many hours and ‘our’ legs have started to shrink and ‘we’ shall need surgery. Therefore, I prefer him to go to his therapies, so I told her I am not interested in the secondary school… He will stay at home with me… He will go to his therapies and we shall do at home whatever we used to do before…’

  23. Ending question What is our role as educators? What is our role as teachers? What is our role as researchers? in this situation…