The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

The Relationship Between Democratic Attitudes and Social Acceptence Level toward Students with Disabilities of Elementary School Students

Deniz Gokce Erbil, Dokuz Eylul University (Turkey)

Ahmet Bilal Ozbek, Ankara University (Turkey)

Halil Ozturk, Dokuz Eylul University (Turkey)


Inclusive education, defined as education of children with special needs with their non-disabled peers, has many benefits for children with special needs and their peers. Social acceptence in inclusive education benefits to children with special needs, supports their self acceptence. The benefits of inclusive education to non-disabled peers such as sensitivity for individual differences, understanding the culture of living together, increase on their social acceptence and developing democratic attitude. It is observed that there are many positive changes happening for inclusive education and inclusive settings. However the results of the studies shown that non-disabled peers has low social acceptence levels toward children with special needs. Recently done studies had investigated the relations between social acceptence and gender, age.

Democratic attitude is defined as the ability of a person’s understanding the terms respect to rights, respect to personality, justice, responsibility, equation, open mind, honesty, tolerance, cooperation, appreciation, guide, helpfulness and behaving according them (Demirsöz, 2010). With this definition it is an expected result to see that children with higher democratic attitudes might have higher social acceptence toward their peers with disabilities in their classrooms. Teaching consciousness of democracy and democratic attitudes in elementary schools are highly important. Attitudes and behavior gained in early ages will lead students to show positive behavior and on the other hand it will be possible for society to accept democratic values. Because of this it is believed that its an urgent requirement to understand relations between inclusive education process and democratic attitudes.

Aim of this study is investigating the relations between social acceptence and democratic attitudes of non-disabled 3rd Grade Elementary School Students. Data collected in 2014-2015 education year from over 200 non-disabled students who has at least one friend with special needs in their classrooms in İzmir/Turkey. In this research Social Acceptence Scale developed by Siperstein (1988) and adapted to Turkish language by Civelek (1990) and Democratic Attitude Scale developed by Erbil (2014) used. Analysis of datas on process and discussion of findings will be presented on final report.

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