Pre-Service Special Education Teachers’ Discourse during Shared Reading

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2022)
Title: Pre-Service Special Education Teachers’ Discourse during Shared Reading
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education, Special Education, Learning Difficulties & Disability
Presentation Type: Poster Presentation
Yael Roth-Barkai, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Dorit Aram, Tel-Aviv University, Israel


The study presents pre-service special education teachers’ attitudes and how they read books to children with seen or unseen disabilities. Forty students from special education training programs completed questionnaires on their attitudes towards people with disabilities. Additionally, each pre-service teacher read twice, two books, to three 2nd grade students: a child with no disabilities, a child with learning disabilities, and a child with Cerebral Palsy. 480 transcriptions were analyzed and evaluated for discourse style. To analyze the shared reading discourse, non-linear GEE regressions were conducted, controlling for length of discourse, which had high variability between teachers. While the pre-service teachers reported positive attitudes towards people with disabilities, they reduced their discourse with the students with disabilities. There were more utterances that went beyond the actual text in the discourse with children without disabilities. More statements and fewer questions were directed towards children with disabilities. Similarly, more expansion utterances and reinforcements of all types were directed towards children with CP. Regarding questions, more open-ended questions were directed to children without disabilities, and more factual questions were directed to children with CP. The study emphasizes the need to deepen our understanding of pre-service teachers’ attitudes and expectations from their students, for their own awareness and for those who teach in education programs.

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