The effect of intervention on the social interaction of pupils in integrated basic schools
Phiri, John Tox J.N.
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The study investigated the social interaction between pupils with intellectual disabilities in special units and their mainstream peers. Observations were carried out in two situations. One was the experimental situation where the peer tutoring intervention was implemented in order to increase interaction. The other was the natural situation where no interventions were implemented. Separated by baselines, the peer tutoring intervention was tested. In addition a questionnaire to mainstream pupils was administered and guided interviews were conducted with teachers and head teachers. The results showed that peer tutoring led to a significant increase in social interaction in both situations. These gains were maintained in both situations at one-month follow up. In addition, the attitudes towards special unit pupils of the peer tutors who had interacted with the special unit pupils in the peer-tutoring programme were compared to a comparable group of mainstream pupils who had not been in regular contact. The peer tutors showed significantly more positive attitudes than a comparable group of mainstream pupils who had not been in regular contact. This was particularly significant with males in the two groups. Lastly, special education teachers, mainstream teachers and head teachers in the schools observed that the peer tutoring intervention had a significant increase on the social interaction between special unit pupils and their mainstream peers. The results of the study are discussed in the light of their implications for the design of intervention programmes for pupils with intellectual disabilities in Zambian basic schools. Based on the above findings, recommendations to promote social interaction between unit pupils and their mainstream peers are made to the Ministry of Education and school managers.
- Education