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ERIC Number: EJ846196
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-4
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-1696-2095
Towards an Ecological View of Special Education for Rural and Indigenous Areas
Acle, Guadalupe; Roque, Maria del Pilar; Contreras, Eduardo
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, v3 n1 p57-76 Apr 2005
Introduction: Ecological models which address educational phenomena assert that students are involved in multiple environments where they play different roles. In each environment they are expected to show certain behaviors; sometimes this can create conflicts, perhaps due to a discrepancy between the individual's skill in meeting the requirements of that environment, or because the environment does not meet the individual's needs. From this perspective, this study seeks to determine how special educational needs are manifest in indigenous children at the beginning of their formal schooling, as well as to analyze the relationship between such needs and the various environmental forces surrounding the youngsters. Method: Our methodology was in part qualitative, using ethnographic techniques through which we recorded data from the cultural, family and school contexts. Quantitative methodology was used in application of a psychological instrument to 96 Otomi children, 50 boys and 46 girls. Results were correlated with different variables such as parents' occupation, parents' literacy, and the child's gender and age. Results: We describe discrepancies between the child's skills acquired at home and those required at school. Both quantitative and qualitative data which we collected document the difficulties exhibited by the Otomi children when entering primary education: significant differences in use of skills were found in those who were repeating grade and those who had attended preschool. The cultural and family environment limits educational expectations as well as how long the children remain in school. Discussion: Using an ecological approach in screening for special educational requirements in children from rural and indigenous areas, and in addressing those requirements, reveals the need to include other variables for analysis. The interaction of these variables with the child makes it possible to gain a better understanding of this particular issue. Clearly the task is not easy, but responsibility for these difficulties should not continue to be focused on the child, particularly in these populations where improper application and interpretation of tests can add yet another element of marginalization: that of disability. (Contains 2 tables.)
University of Almeria, Education & Psychology I+D+i. Faculty of Psychology Department of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 LaCanada de San Urbano, Almeria, Spain. Tel: +34-950-015354; Fax: +34-950-015083; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Primary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico