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Class Climate from the perspective of students with migration background and special educational needs.

One oft the hidden mechanisms that make inclusive education work is the perceived class climate by students. There is some evidence that students with special characteristics have problems to participate satisfactorily in school lessons and at school (e.g. Chang, 2004).

Apparently especially students with migration background and special educational needs belong to this group (Van de Vijver, Helms-Lorenz, & Feltzer, 1999; Huber & Wilbert, 2012; Bakker & Bosman, 2003).

For this reason this cross-section study examines the class climate from the perspectives of students with migration background and special educational needs and controls.

Objectives: Does migration background or special educational needs lead to a more negative perception of class climate?

Methods: For this, 1520 girls and boys from grades 4 to 8 in Germany were surveyed by a standardized questionnaire (Eder, 2000).

Results: Multivariat Analyses show diverse results. The perception of class climate differs between students with and without migration background and special educational needs depending on school type, grades and gender. Even more differentiation can be found on class climate subscales like teacher and peers relationships.

Conclusions: Implications for the schoolbased support of students perceiving a bad class climate are to be discussed – especially considering climate factors as important for successfull teaching in inclusive school settings.

 

Bakker, J. T. A. & Bosman, A. M. T. (2003). Self- image and peer acceptance of Dutch students in regulary and special education. Learning Disability Quarterly, 26 (1), 5-14.

Chang, L. (2004). The role of classroom norms in contextualizing the relations of children's social behaviors to peer acceptance. Developmental Psychology, 40 (5), 691-702.

Eder, F. & Mayr, J. (2000). Linzer Fragebogen zum Schul- und Klassenklima für die 4.-8. Klasse (LFSK 4-8). Göttingen u.a.: Hogrefe.

Huber, C. & Wilbert, J. (2012). Soziale Ausgrenzung von Schülern mit sonderpädagogischem Förderbedarf und niedrigen Schulleistungen im gemeinsamen Unterricht. Empirische Sonderpädagogik, 4 (2), 147- 165.

Van de Vijver, J. R., Helms-Lorenz, M. & Feltzer, M. J. A. (1999). Acculturation and Cognitive Performance of Migrant Children in The Netherlands. International Journal of Psychology, 34, 149 –162.