Attitudes of high school students to special need pupils: Comparison between students in Jewish day schools with and without special education programs
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The transmission of knowledge, a key factor of the yeshiva curriculum is based upon the teacher being a positive role model of sensitivity and respect. Another stated goal of education is the need for an exposure to diversity. The question is, will exposure to the special need population facilitate the goal of Judaic moral education?---Can diversity be effective in a unique system that has significant stress on cognitive academics? Although D. Goleman felt that an environment of tolerance and diversity could be beneficial even to the academic facet of a classroom---is this true for the Yeshivot ? If the conclusions are negative, then either one needs to rethink the findings cited throughout the research, or one must postulate a reason why the Yeshivot are different.;The researcher conducted a scientific investigation in which a total of 1168 11th grade mainstream students of "centrist" yeshiva high schools were tested. There were 12 different schools involved. 4 were co-ed, 4 were all boys, and 4 were all girls. The schools consisted of those with special education programs contained within them vs. those that did not. Within the special education programs there were gradations that ranged from self-contained to resource rooms. The schools serviced populations that were all roughly similar in terms of religious outlook and social economic status. In terms of the survey "special needs" was defined as any condition that without modification prevented a student from reaching his or her intellectual potential. The style of the seven questions asked was taken from substantiated sensitivity surveys, and was adapted for the tested population. The survey dealt with the special need students' ability to handle a yeshiva high school curriculum and lifestyle, their opinions of what constitutes a disability, and family background. The names of the schools were taken from both the Torah Umesorah and BJE directory. The research and researcher were introduced through a letter by Dr. Schiff. The testing took 12 days and was given in classrooms that consisted of between 20 and 30 students. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).
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