Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice

ISSN: 2630-5984

Examining the Student-Teacher Relationships of Children Both With and Without Special Needs in Preschool Classrooms

Pervin Naile Demirkaya
Ankara University, Institute of Educational Sciences, 06540 Cebeci, Ankara, Turkey
Hatice Bakkaloglu
Ankara University, Faculty of Educational Sciences, 06540 Cebeci, Ankara, Turkey


The purpose of this study is to comparatively examine the student-teacher relationships of preschool children with and without special needs (SN) and to identify the variables which predict student-teacher relationships. In order to collect data from 40 preschool teachers regarding 54 students with and 54 students without SN, the Student and Teacher Information Form (developed by the researchers), the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale, and the Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scale (for the validity and reliability studies) were used. The student-teacher relationships of students in the two groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney Utest, and the variables predicting student-teacher relationships were analyzed using stepwise regression. The results showed that students with SN had more conflict (U = 1034.50; p = .009) and less closeness (U = 982.50; p = .003) with their teachers than their peers without SN, ho wever, there was not a significant difference between the two groups in terms of dependency (U = 1362.50; p = .556). It was found that social skills predicted closeness with teachers, conflictual student-teacher relationships were predicted by problem behaviors, and dependent student-teacher relationships were predicted by teacher experience and classroom size. The findings of this study are discussed in line with the national and international literature.

Preschool, Mainstreaming, Students with special needs, Students without special needs, Student-teacher relationship.