Enhancing Peer Interaction : An Aspect of a High Quality Learning Environment in Finnish Early Childhood Special Education

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/309344

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Syrjämäki , M , Sajaniemi , N , Suhonen , E , Alijoki , A & Nislin , M 2017 , ' Enhancing Peer Interaction : An Aspect of a High Quality Learning Environment in Finnish Early Childhood Special Education ' , European Journal of Special Needs Education , vol. 32 , no. 3 , pp. 377-390 . https://doi.org/10.1080/08856257.2016.1240342

Title: Enhancing Peer Interaction : An Aspect of a High Quality Learning Environment in Finnish Early Childhood Special Education
Author: Syrjämäki, Marja; Sajaniemi, Nina; Suhonen, Eira; Alijoki, Alisa; Nislin, Mari
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Education
University of Helsinki, Department of Education
University of Helsinki, Department of Education
University of Helsinki, Department of Education
University of Helsinki, Department of Education
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: European Journal of Special Needs Education
ISSN: 0885-6257
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/309344
Abstract: The aim of this article is to investigate the pedagogical learning environment in early childhood special education (ECSE). The theoretical framework is based on a conception of interaction being as well a basic human need as, according to sociocultural theories, the basis of learning. Our study was conducted in ECSE kindergarten groups (N = 17) in the area of Helsinki, Finland. We were interested in the overall quality of the pedagogical environment, the quality of enhancing peer interaction (EPI) and the pedagogy for EPI amongst children with diverse characteristics and needs. Quality was evaluated using the quantitative Learning Environment Assessment, completed with qualitative data, which consisted of the researcher's observations and interviews. The quantitative data were presented with descriptive statistics. Qualitative content analysis was used to make a closer examination of EPI pedagogy. The study indicated good pedagogical quality. EPI quality was predictably good due to high overall quality. Our findings highlighted ECSE professionals' versatile pedagogical modes in structuring activities and space and intensive methods in EPI and participation, especially in scaffolding communication (with augmentative or alternative communication systems when needed) and supporting social competence.
Subject: 516 Educational sciences
YOUNG-CHILDREN
PRESCHOOL
DIMENSION
BEHAVIOR
early childhood special education
pedagogical environment
peer interaction
scaffolded communication
guided social competence
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