UNIVERSITY OF THESSALY GREECE. JURE 2012 A Learning Odyssey: Exploring new Horizons in Learning and Instruction 23-27 July 2012 Regensburg, Germany. THE DESIGN OF AN INTERVENTION PROGRAMME THROUGH BIBLIOTHERAPY MARINA LOUARI ([email protected]). INTRODUCTION
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UNIVERSITY OF THESSALYGREECE
A Learning Odyssey: Exploring new Horizons in Learning and Instruction23-27 July 2012 Regensburg, Germany
THE DESIGN OF AN INTERVENTION PROGRAMME THROUGH BIBLIOTHERAPY
MARINA LOUARI ([email protected])
Bibliotherapy has a long history as therapeutic technique. The use of stories can deal not only with emotional and developmental needs of children but also provide them the opportunity to learn about disability.School is a place where children meet each other, whichever is their ethnicity, language or any other kind of diversity. It has the responsibility to sensitize and improve interaction among typical students and those with disabilities. Social integration is a long lasting process which depends on acceptance and interaction (Buch & Valeo, 2004; Laws & Kelly, 2005; Lewis, 1995; Skar, 2010). Behavioral and emotional problems are emerged because of rejection but acceptance and friendships with peers influence positive children’s behavior (Criss, Pettit, Bates, Dodge and Lapp, 2002; Laws & Kelly, 2005; Skar, 2010) and contribute not only to successful inclusion but also improve their social and emotional development (Laws & Kelly, 2005). The results of previous research are ambiguous, as some of them reveal a positive impact on typical students’ attitudes after inclusion and others that there is no impact (McGregor & Forlin, 2005; Roberts & Lindsell, 1997). However, after the implementation of a well-designed intervention, positive attitudes are developed (McGregor & Forlin, 2005), which are important factors for inclusion (Laws & Kelly, 2005).
Bibliotherapy is a multidimensional technique which provide an interaction among reader and mediator through a literature text. Children can find out that others may face the same problems and they may be encouraged to think alternative ways in order to
confront with difficult situations. It can be used in a wide range of issues, such as teasing, bulling, aggression, anxiety, and even more death. Noticeable is the fact that it can be implemented not only as a treatment but also as prevention, as well (McWhirter et al., 2004; Prater et al., 2006).
Bibliotherapeutic technique is a competent method (Pardeck & Pardeck, 1984) and effectiveness is highlighted by follow-up activities (Heath et al., 2005).
Stages: Identification. When the reader find out that there are common points between himself and the character of the plot (Hebert & Furner, 1997).
Catharsis. The reader can find out that there are other persons with the same problems and experience vicariously relief of his/her emotional pressure (Olsen, 2007)
Insight. The reader comprehends that his/her problem is not static, it can be approached and he/she starts seeking alternatives ways in order to reach the appropriate solution (Hebert & Furner, 1997).
Generalization. The reader conceptualizes intuitively that people may confront similar problems all over the world (Hebert & Furner, 1997) and experience same feelings (Kramer & Smith, 1998)
This is a pilot study. The aim is twofold: a) the assessment of students’ awareness about disabilities and the investigation of their attitudes towards a peer with disability b) the design of an intervention programme in order to improve not only students’ awareness but also their attitudes toward disabilities.
The sample in the pilot study is 85 students 9-11 years old, randomly chosen. Parents’ consensus will be asked and participation is going to be voluntary. We have chosen this group of children because attitudes are formed before contact (Allbaracin, Johnson & Zanna, 2005) and younger children tend to have more flexible attitudes (Diamond & Hestens, 1996) than adolescents whose attitudes may be turned in negative (Nowicki, 2006) and they hardly change in more positive aspect.