An important aspect of inclusive education and educating pupils with specific learning
difficulties (pupils with SpLDs) is found in the peers that they have without specific
learning difficulties (peers without SpLDs). Pupils with SpLDs who learn together with
a peer without SpLDs achieve better results and develop their social-emotional skills.
Practice and theory indicate that peers without SpLDs have insufficient knowledge
about specific learning difficulties, which can lead to negative points of view towards
those pupils with SpLDs. It is accordingly important to raise awareness among peers
about special needs (SN), adjustments, and strong suits of pupils with SpLDs. The
attitude of those peers without SpLDs depends on the standpoints that are shaped and
change under the influence of diverse factors (educational environment, domestic
environment, broader environment, age, experience, etc.).
The research in my Master's thesis examines which standpoints pupils without SpLDs
have towards adjustments received by pupils with SpLDs. Additionally, I wanted to
determine the attitudes of pupils without SpLDs towards pupils’ with SpLDs and
teamwork, or towards the cooperation of peers without SpLDs in a group with a pupil
that has SpLDs. I was also interested in whether there are differences amongst them
according to the grade average in core educational subjects (Slovene and Math).
Further, I was interested in the sociometric status of pupils with SpLDs within the class.
The sample consists of 124 pupils from sixth to ninth grades. Amongst them were eight
pupils with distinct SpLDs. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the attitude towards
pupils with SpLDs and standpoints towards the adjustments that pupils with SpLDs
get, alongside with a sociometric questionnaire.
The research tested the identification of a pupil with SpLDs. It was discovered that
pupils without SpLDs could recognize a pupil with SpLDs. The results have shown that
the majority of questioned pupils express a positive attitude towards pupils with SpLDs.
Pupils included in the study describe pupils with SpLDs as nice, honest, creative, and
at the same time also as slow, different, lonely, fearful, sad, and awkward. It can be
observed that they are not described as aggressive, lazy, or dumb, which shows that
pupils without SpLDs recognize a pupil with SpLDs and are aware that such pupils
have certain deficits. I also determined that academic performance has no influence
on attitudes towards pupils with SpLDs. It was established that the majority of pupils
without SpLDs gladly participate in group activities with pupils that have SpLDs. Mostly
students with lower grade averages like to work in groups that include a pupil with
SpLDs. Pupils included in the study showed an understanding of the fact that pupils
with SpLDs need additional time when taking exams and in evaluations, as well as an
adjusted reading segment. It is also understood that they leave class so that the special
education teacher can adjust their work and activities, and explain the topic and
instructions to them. They also think it is right that these pupils receive more help from the teacher. Pupils included in the study have positive standpoints towards such
adjustments made regardless of their academic performance (more/less successful
pupils). The study showed that pupils with distinct SpLDs have a lower sociometric
status in comparison to their peers without SpLDs, whereas the pattern cannot be
generalized for the entire population of pupils with SpLDs, because of the small sample