Social participation of children with disabilities in inclusive preschool settings

Reaserch Team:

Cecília Aguiar (Project Leader)
Júlia Serpa Pimentel
Ana Figueiredo
Ana Rita Moiteiro
Marta Machado
Tânia Boavida

Project's Summary:

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (WHO, 2001) includes participation, defined as involvement in a life situation, as a component of every individual’s functioning and health. For children with disabilities attending mainstream preschool settings, interpersonal interactions and relationships constitute both challenging social processes and desirable social outcomes associated with their inclusion in such educational contexts. This research project focuses on the social dimensions of preschool inclusion, aiming (1) to empirically test hypotheses related with the conceptual structure of the construct of meaningful social participation and (2) to study both the facilitators and barriers that influence children’s social experiences in inclusive preschool settings. A broad array of early childhood education, early childhood special education and social experience variables are considered, namely preschool global quality, quality of individual inclusive experiences, parental involvement, quality of intervention goals, participation in classroom activities, social competence, friendship, social acceptance, etc.

Project’s aims:

1.To determine the quality of preschool settings attended by children with disabilities;

2. To determine the quantity and quality of social participation of children with disabilities in child care activities and interactions;

3. To determine the factors that facilitate social participation of children with disabilities in inclusive preschool settings.

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