FACTORS INFLUENCING SECONDARY SCHOOL CHOICE IN STUDENTS WITH SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITIES

I. Marova

Masaryk University, Faculty of Education (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Presented study deals with factors affecting secondary school choice in students with special educational needs. The aim of the study was to define differences in perceiving of diverse factors affecting secondary school choice from the view of mainstream students and students with specific learning disabilities. The research sample consisted of 237 students of junior secondary school (9th graders) from which 110 were mainstream students and 127 students with specific learning disabilities educated in mainstream schools. Within the quantitative research strategy the questionnaire technique was used. The questionnaire consisted of 5 sections focused on diverse factors such as school environment, involvement of pedagogical staff, peer relations, social background and personal factors. Questionnaire structure was based on literature analysis and preliminary research in the Czech schools. For each part several assertions were created which students evaluated on 4 point scale expressing consensus, rather agreement/disagreement and decisive disagreement. Students’ perception of selected factors was firstly evaluated from the point of view of entire research sample and further the results between the groups (mainstream students/student with specific learning disabilities) were compared.

The results of the research survey showed that the involvement of teaching staff during the secondary school choice from the perspective of the involved students was low. Crucial, in the decision-making process, is a parents’ opinion, with the predominance of mother's opinion. Secondary school choice is also discussed with peers, although their opinion in the final choice has low impact. The distance of secondary school from residence and leisure time activities weren’t evaluated in relation to secondary school choice as significant. A statistically significant difference between the groups was observed only in terms of selected personality factors (mainly in connection with self-condifence).