Understanding Future Special Education Teachers Think About Their Profession and the Using of Assistive Technologies: A Mixed-Method Study
Understanding Future Special Education Teachers Think About Their Profession and the Using of Assistive Technologies: A Mixed-Method StudyMustafa BAHAR & Abdullah Yasin GÜNDÜZ
Children with special educational needs face difficulties in school and social activities during the day. Assistive technologies can be used in learning environments to overcome these difficulties. On the other hand, it is thought that the attitude towards the profession plays an important role in using assistive technologies. Therefore, we examined the attitude toward using assistive technologies in special education teaching and the attitude towards the profession of special education teachers. We also looked at the relationship between them. A sequential explanatory mixed-method research approach was used, consisting of a quantitative phase in which the scale data are analyzed and a qualitative phase in which the interviews are conducted. As a result, it has been determined that male teacher candidates who choose the special education teaching profession consider the economic conditions, while female teacher candidates are mostly affected by emotional factors. It was found that the participants' desire to learn and their emotional closeness to the profession regressed over the years. Therefore, it has been observed that the attitudes of pre-service teachers towards their profession have moved away from the pedagogical context over the years. On the other hand, it has been concluded that with the use of assistive technologies in this field, productivity in education/teaching environments can increase. It has been observed that there can be positive developments in the life skills of individuals with special needs with assistive technologies. It has been determined that pre-service teachers' awareness of these technologies was low in the beginning, but this awareness increased in line with the lessons taken about assistive technologies in the following years. In addition, it has been determined that pre-service teachers who have a positive attitude towards the profession can be more successful in using assistive technologies effectively.
DOI : [PDF]
KEYWORDS: special education, assistive technologies, professional attitude