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Through the eyes of the beholder

Unfolding social participation "from within" the classroom
PhD ceremony:Ms R.R. (Renske) de Leeuw
When:February 27, 2020
Supervisor:prof. dr. A.E.M.G. (Alexander) Minnaert
Co-supervisor:dr. A.A. (Anke) de Boer
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Behavioural and Social Sciences
Through the eyes of the beholder

With the implementation of the act for “Befitting Education”, the aim is that within the Dutch education, every student has the right to be included in regular schools. Students should be supported to reach their academic potential and should feel that they belong in the class. Students with behavioural difficulties, however, experience problems with their social participation, such as being excepted by peers.

In this study, the perspectives of the primary school teacher, students with behavioural difficulties and scientific literature are unfolded, in order to gain more insights in how social participation is facilitated and perceived “from within” the classroom.

One of the conclusions is that the students’ perspectives are underrepresented when facilitating social participation in the classroom. Due to the different needs of students on how social participation is facilitated, it is essential to include their perspectives; otherwise, their needs cannot not be met. At the same time, teachers apply a limited repertoire of strategies to facilitate the social participation of students. This is a worrisome finding because this could lead to a one-size-fits-all approach. An explanation for this finding is that intervention programs provide limited hands-on strategies that can be applied individually to realise a needs-based approach for all students.

In the move towards realising the intentions of inclusive education and social participation, the identified strategies and created interview should be implemented in practice. By doing so, the needs of students with and without behavioural difficulties could be fully promoted.