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Active role of students for more successful integration into work and life

Our school's mission is to educate children and adolescents with special needs. When working with students we use special forms and methods of work, individualized approach to students, we ensure balanced physical, mental and social growth of the individual in accordance with their needs.

The article presents work with students with moderate intellectual disabilities who are enrolled in a special education program (continuing program for students, age 18 to 26 years). I have been teaching in this program for many years, so this paper is an example of our good practice.

In my research, I started from the principle that the student is the subject of the educational process, which has an active role and the right to co-form, co-decide and self-realize its potentials. Achieving this goal is not an easy task, as students with intellectual disabilities often take a passive role, so they need many different and clear stimulations to achieve optimal development.

The paper presents how our students, with the help and guidance of teachers, actively participate in the planning and implementation of activities in a compulsory and extended program, school projects in relation to the wider social environment. We encourage them to express their opinions, positions, wishes, initiatives, and decide on certain things independently, coordinate ideas in a group and by entering into social interaction with the wider environment.

Based on interviews with students and observation of their behavior, I realized that in the activities where they have an active role, the students are more motivated to work and express satisfaction with the performed activities.

Positive experiences and student's progress encourage us, teachers, to continue with this way of work and look for new opportunities for our students to spend their time in school as active and satisfied as possible. Most of all, we encourage that they are as independent as possible and that they are successfully integrated into fields of work and life.

Janja Žnidarčič
Osnovna šola Kozara Nova Gorica


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