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Inclusive Pre-School Education in Latvia: Problems and Solutions

Agrita TauriņaTija Zīriņa
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract. Cabinet Regulations No. 556 of November 19, 2019 titled ‘On Education Development Guidelines 2021–2027’ state the importance of targeted support measures for ensuring inclusive education in Latvian educational institutions. However, the evidence in pre-schools indicates an insufficient understanding and interest in using these support measures to find solutions to the challenges of inclusive education. This empirical study investigates the problems in carrying out evaluations of children with special needs, establishing an individual plan and receiving support measures, and it also explores pedagogical solutions to these problems. Thanks to the European Social Fund (ESF) Project No. ‘Improving the support system for children with communication difficulties, behavioural disorders and domestic violence’, teachers are now able to receive qualified specialist support on how to cooperate with parents or legal guardians and how to organise the pedagogical process. The aim of this research is to assess teachers’ awareness of what is stipulated in regulatory enactments for ensuring inclusive education, the challenges to inclusive education and the available solutions. Literature analysis, teachers’ surveys, an analysis of student behaviour in pre-schools and pedagogical documentation are used. The research results reflect the level of awareness among teachers of the education guidelines, the content of regulatory enactments and the willingness of teachers to accept diversity, seek support measures and cooperate with parents or legal guardians to ensure an education that is appropriate to each child’s abilities.

Keywords: inclusive education, individual plan, pre-school age child, special needs, support measures

About the authors

Agrita Tauriņa, Dr. paed., is a docent in the Department of Pre-school and Elementary School Education, Faculty of Pedagogy, Psychology and Arts at the University of Latvia. Her research interests are in early child development and language acquisition, the facilitation of dialogue speech and inclusive education. She is an active researcher in projects about children’s early development and pre-school institution management.

Tija Zīriņa, Dr. psych., is a professor in the Department of Pre-school and Elementary School Education, Faculty of Pedagogy, Psychology and Arts at the University of Latvia. Much of her work has been done in training students and teachers in developmental psychology and educational psychology. She has also initiated and coordinated international scientific projects in pre-school education. She has been involved in international project activities (EEA and Norway Grants, ERASMUS) for more than 10 years and has developed skills of working in a multicultural research environment.

To Be or Not to Be a Great Educator, 2022. Proceedings of ATEE Annual Conference
Riga: University of Latvia Press, 2023. 985 p.
EdL. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-019-0