Characteristics and professional competencies of teachers of special educational needs

Configuration of knowledge, skills, ability to understand and support in the teachers work play the critical role in student learning and achievement. Therefore, it is worth asking what the features are, of those who teach and care of students with SEN in different types of schools. The research comprised of teachers working with SEN students: 55 supporting teachers, 51 regular school teachers, 52 special school teachers (those with ID and autism). The data was collected using a questionnaire, the Social Competence Questionnaire and the Two-dimensional Emotional Intelligence Inventory (DINEMO). The regular school teachers is particularly difficult to apply special educational requirements to pupils with SPE, especially students with MID and other severe disabilities. They feel incompetent in working with this group and would prefer not to have such a student in their classroom. The supporting teachers have closer interpersonal contact with children with difficulties and better skills in getting into their situation. In their opinion, they know how to integrate students with less severe disabilities in the classroom. Special school teachers are better than other groups in situations of requiring assertiveness, for ex. towards parents. Whereas, it is the most difficult for this group of teachers to open up and understand the situation of students from national and ethnic minorities. Teachers’ characteristics were found to be strongly influenced by the nature and severity of students with SEN and less by teacher-related variabls.

dr Monika Skura

Monika Skura is a PHD professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Warsaw. She is a graduate of Warsaw University and Academy of Special Education in Warsaw. Her current scientific interests are psychosocial and educational aspects of relationships between disabled and non-disabled.