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Concentration Difficulties in the School Environment - with focus on children with ADHD, Autism and Down's syndrome

Tufvesson, Catrin LU (2007)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Det övergripande syftet för den här avhandlingen var att identifiera miljöfaktorer som påverkar barn med ADHD, autism och Downs syndrom och deras förmåga att koncentrera sig i sin lärmiljö i skolan. Målet med den forskning som gjorts här är inte att avskriva några av de extraresurser som barnen ifråga behöver, utan i stället att ge förslag på hur man kan utforma deras lärmiljöer på ett sätt som är så stödjande som möjligt utifrån deras särskilda behov. En uttalad ambition i den svenska utbildningspolitiken är att skapa en skola för alla, det vill säga en skola som ska kunna uppfylla alla barns behov oavsett deras förmåga och förutsättningar. Det finns dock inga specifika riktlinjer för skolmiljön... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Det övergripande syftet för den här avhandlingen var att identifiera miljöfaktorer som påverkar barn med ADHD, autism och Downs syndrom och deras förmåga att koncentrera sig i sin lärmiljö i skolan. Målet med den forskning som gjorts här är inte att avskriva några av de extraresurser som barnen ifråga behöver, utan i stället att ge förslag på hur man kan utforma deras lärmiljöer på ett sätt som är så stödjande som möjligt utifrån deras särskilda behov. En uttalad ambition i den svenska utbildningspolitiken är att skapa en skola för alla, det vill säga en skola som ska kunna uppfylla alla barns behov oavsett deras förmåga och förutsättningar. Det finns dock inga specifika riktlinjer för skolmiljön som lärmiljö med utgångspunkt i de här barnens behov eller behoven hos barn med koncentrationssvårigheter. The Human Environment Interaction-modellen (modell för interaktion mellan människa och miljö) har använts för att skapa en struktur för avhandlingens metodik, i synnerhet när det gäller genomgång av tidigare forskning och utveckling av frågeställningarna, men också som en holistisk metod för att fylla eventuella luckor i tidigare forskning.



Forskningen delades in i fyra empiriska studier. De första två studierna fungerade som ett underlag för att formulera generella principer och specifika slutsatser för varje typ av handikapp ifråga om påverkansfaktorer i skolmiljön. I studie I kontaktades personliga assistenter och lärare som arbetade dagligen med barn som fått någon av de tre diagnoserna. I studie II kontaktades personal som arbetade på Barn- och vuxenhabiliteringen och som därmed hade en annan relation till barnen än personalen i den första studien. I båda studierna användes frågeformulär. Responsen från de 125 lärarna och personliga assistenterna samt de 137 personerna som arbetade på Barn- och vuxenhabiliteringen pekade på skolrelaterade miljöfaktorer som påverkade barnen ifråga och deras förmåga att koncentrera sig. Resultaten visade ibland på olika slags påverkan beroende på vilket handikapp barnen hade. Det påvisades att aspekter såsom fasadöppningar, passager mellan rum, utsikt, akustik, inredning, utsmyckningar, hur sittplatserna var arrangerade samt storleken på klassen och klassrummet kunde påverka barnens förmåga att koncentrera sig, både positivt och negativt.



I studie III utförde man sex observationer av grupparbete, som pekade på behovet av individuellt anpassade lösningar. Resultaten av denna studie belyste också svårigheterna med att använda befintliga klassrum till barn med nedsatt kognitiv förmåga i syfte att stödja deras olika behov. Till slut demonstrerade studie IV tillämpningen av principerna i byggprocessen, och att de olika parterna i skolbyggnadsprojekt har möjlighet att implementera ny kunskap med hjälp av den cykliska byggprocessen. En slutsats som kan dras är att de här barnens förmåga att koncentrera sig påverkas av faktorer i deras lärmiljö, som behöver tas med i beräkningen vid planeringen av skolbyggnadens utformning. Vidare kunde slutsatsen dras att denna kunskap bör implementeras i byggprocessen. (Less)
Abstract
The overall aim of this thesis was to identify environmental factors that affect children with ADHD, autism, and Down's syndrome and their ability to concentrate in their learning environment at school. The issue of this research is not to dismiss any of the additional resources these children are in need of; instead it is to suggest how to arrange learning environments in the most supportive way possible based on the initial needs of these children.



A pronounced ambition concerning the educational policy in Sweden is to organize an all-inclusive school, meaning that schools should be able to meet the needs of all children, irrespective of their capacities and conditions. However, there is no specific guidelines for the... (More)
The overall aim of this thesis was to identify environmental factors that affect children with ADHD, autism, and Down's syndrome and their ability to concentrate in their learning environment at school. The issue of this research is not to dismiss any of the additional resources these children are in need of; instead it is to suggest how to arrange learning environments in the most supportive way possible based on the initial needs of these children.



A pronounced ambition concerning the educational policy in Sweden is to organize an all-inclusive school, meaning that schools should be able to meet the needs of all children, irrespective of their capacities and conditions. However, there is no specific guidelines for the school environment as a learning environment considering these children's needs or the needs of those with concentration difficulties. The Human Environment Interaction-model was used to establish the structure of the approach of the thesis, especially concerning the review of previous research, the development of the questions at hand, but also as a holistic method way to fill possible gaps in earlier approaches.



The research has been divided into four empirical studies. The first two studies served as a basis for possible principles of generalization and specifics for each disability concerning influences found in the school environment. In Study I, personal assistants and teachers working on a daily basis with children diagnosed with one of the disabilities were approached. In Study II the professionals approached were working at the Child and Adolescent Habilitation Services, thus having a different relation to the children than the informants in the first study. In both studies questionnaires were being used. The response from the 125 personal assistants and teachers, and 137 professionals at the Child and Adolescent Habilitation Services, revealed school-related environmental factors influencing the children in question and their ability to concentrate. The results sometimes showed different influences depending on which disability the children had. It was shown that aspect, such as, façade apertures and room passages, the view, acoustics, interior furnishing, seating arrangements, size of class and classroom, and decoration could influence the children's ability to concentrate, both positively and negatively.



In Study III six group-work observations were carried out, revealing the need of individual adjustments. The results from that study also highlighted the difficulty in allocating already built classrooms to children with diminished cognitive abilities for the purpose of supporting their different needs. Finally, Study IV demonstrated the application of the principles within the building process, and that the participants tied to school projects in accordance with the cyclic building process has the potential to implement new knowledge.



It may be concluded that these children's ability to concentrate are influenced by the features of their learning environment, which needs to be considered in the allocation of them in the school buildings. It was further concluded, that this knowledge should be implemented in the building process. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Docent Nordström, Maria, Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Down's syndrome, concentration, children, building process, ADHD, the Human Environment Interaction-model, individual adjusment, learning, indoor environment, school environment, Psykologi, Psychology, Humanities, Humaniora, autism
pages
173 pages
publisher
Environmental and Energy Systems Studies, Lund university
defense location
Fullskalelaboratoriet, A-building, Sölvegatan 24, Lund University Faculty of Engineering
defense date
2007-09-28 09:15
ISBN
978-91-628-7260-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
73f986bf-e5e5-4542-a311-8b81d0d53df7 (old id 598853)
date added to LUP
2007-11-13 09:11:48
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:06
@phdthesis{73f986bf-e5e5-4542-a311-8b81d0d53df7,
  abstract     = {The overall aim of this thesis was to identify environmental factors that affect children with ADHD, autism, and Down's syndrome and their ability to concentrate in their learning environment at school. The issue of this research is not to dismiss any of the additional resources these children are in need of; instead it is to suggest how to arrange learning environments in the most supportive way possible based on the initial needs of these children.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
A pronounced ambition concerning the educational policy in Sweden is to organize an all-inclusive school, meaning that schools should be able to meet the needs of all children, irrespective of their capacities and conditions. However, there is no specific guidelines for the school environment as a learning environment considering these children's needs or the needs of those with concentration difficulties. The Human Environment Interaction-model was used to establish the structure of the approach of the thesis, especially concerning the review of previous research, the development of the questions at hand, but also as a holistic method way to fill possible gaps in earlier approaches.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The research has been divided into four empirical studies. The first two studies served as a basis for possible principles of generalization and specifics for each disability concerning influences found in the school environment. In Study I, personal assistants and teachers working on a daily basis with children diagnosed with one of the disabilities were approached. In Study II the professionals approached were working at the Child and Adolescent Habilitation Services, thus having a different relation to the children than the informants in the first study. In both studies questionnaires were being used. The response from the 125 personal assistants and teachers, and 137 professionals at the Child and Adolescent Habilitation Services, revealed school-related environmental factors influencing the children in question and their ability to concentrate. The results sometimes showed different influences depending on which disability the children had. It was shown that aspect, such as, façade apertures and room passages, the view, acoustics, interior furnishing, seating arrangements, size of class and classroom, and decoration could influence the children's ability to concentrate, both positively and negatively.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
In Study III six group-work observations were carried out, revealing the need of individual adjustments. The results from that study also highlighted the difficulty in allocating already built classrooms to children with diminished cognitive abilities for the purpose of supporting their different needs. Finally, Study IV demonstrated the application of the principles within the building process, and that the participants tied to school projects in accordance with the cyclic building process has the potential to implement new knowledge.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
It may be concluded that these children's ability to concentrate are influenced by the features of their learning environment, which needs to be considered in the allocation of them in the school buildings. It was further concluded, that this knowledge should be implemented in the building process.},
  author       = {Tufvesson, Catrin},
  isbn         = {978-91-628-7260-1},
  keyword      = {Down's syndrome,concentration,children,building process,ADHD,the Human Environment Interaction-model,individual adjusment,learning,indoor environment,school environment,Psykologi,Psychology,Humanities,Humaniora,autism},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {173},
  publisher    = {Environmental and Energy Systems Studies, Lund university},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Concentration Difficulties in the School Environment - with focus on children with ADHD, Autism and Down's syndrome},
  year         = {2007},
}