Inclusive Education of Mentally Retarded and Handicapped Pupils Based on the Use of Psychophysiological Passport

Inclusive Education of Mentally Retarded and Handicapped Pupils Based on the Use of Psychophysiological Passport

ˑ: 

V.A. Vishnevsky, professor, Ph.D.
N. Kaleda, A. Pavlov, Kh. Khanmurzaeva
Surgut State University KhMAR-Yugra, Surgut

Key words: inclusive education, children with mental retardation and disabilities, psychophysiological passport of student.

Relevance. The integration of children and students with special educational needs into mass educational institutions is the key factor that contributes to the implementation of social inclusion. To realize the objectives of inclusive education it is necessary to detect deficiencies in the development of children as early as possible and design individual educational and development trajectories of a child basing on preserved functions. In this connection special psychophysiological passports should be developed for this group of pupils. Assessment of the effectiveness of such passports is the subject of this study.

Materials and methods. The study involved pupils of primary and secondary education levels of Beloyarskaya secondary school № 3 of the Surgut region having mental retardation and disabilities. All the subjects were subject to a special examination before and after the experiment, basing on which individual psychophysiological passports were designed that included learning activity parameters, physiological state (variational pulsometry method using the diagnostic complex “ORTO Expert” and the software package “Science”), the level of mental and emotional stress, psychophysiological characteristics of the participants of the educational process (the software and hardware complex “Activaciometer”), mental performance parameters (the Toulouse-Pieron Test).

On the basis of the psychophysiological passports individual learning trajectories were created to meet needs special by their nature, such as: the earliest possible initiation of special education in case of identification of primary developmental disorders; introduction of special sections into the content of education that are not present in the work programs addressed to regular pupils; the use of special methods, techniques and learning tools that ensure implementation of “workarounds” of specially designed education; individualized education to the maximum possible extent; provision of special spatial and temporal organization of the educational environment; maximal extension of the educational space.

The findings were subjected to univariate and multivariate statistical analysis using the program Statistica_6 (StatSoft, USA). The values of the arithmetic mean and standard deviation were calculated, statistical hypotheses were checked using chi-squared test, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Student’s t-test, Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test, correlation analysis was performed.

Results and discussion. According to the findings in case of traditionally designed inclusive education the level of mental and emotional stress in the studied group was 154.3±90.9 standard units, which is characterized as excessively high. The high level of mental and emotional stress correlates with progress in studies of the subjects such as literature (r = 0.506, p < 0.01), mathematics (r = 0.518, p < 0.01), technology (r = 0.427, p < 0.05) and with the average score of studies (r = 0.451, p < 0.01).  Stress index at rest is 209.8±201.1 standard units, which also corresponds to the high level of stressing. Satisfactory physiological adaptation was characteristic of only 28.9% of the studied group of pupils, 44.7% of the pupils were identified with the tension of adaptation mechanisms, and 26.4% had unsatisfactory adaptation.

The results of the assessment of the initial psychophysiological parameters suggest that children with mental retardation mostly have weak and inert nervous system with low lability and predominance of dextrocerebral thinking. At the same time, the integrative function of the brain in the perception of time and space is by no means different from that of the pupils with the normal rate of mental development.

Information processing speed in the studied group was equal to that of healthy children (49.2±9.4 good level). At the same time the accuracy of the information processing corresponded to the pathological level (0.886±0.092).

Although their grade point average (GPA) was lower than that of healthy children, it had no direct correlation with the indicators of mental performance. The highest GPA was demonstrated by children with high total activity of the cerebral hemispheres (r = 0.451, p < 0.01), and especially pupils with a predominance of the left brain activity (sinistrocerebral – r = 0.494, p < 0.01, dextrocerebral – r = 0.381, p < 0.05). Among the other psychophysiological indicators of the link with GPA the lability of the nervous system can be noted (r = 0.374, p < 0.05). Higher academic performance scores were demonstrated by pupils who had a better functional state of the body (r = 0.371, p < 0.05).

The best results in mathematics were demonstrated by pupils with high total activity of the cerebral hemispheres (r = 0.518, p < 0.01), and especially that of the left brain (sinistrocerebral – r = 0.518, p < 0.01, dextrocerebral – r = 0.491, p < 0.01). Mainly achieved by pupils with lower activity level of the sympathetic centers of the medulla oblongata (r = -0.654, p < 0.01) and lower systolic blood pressure (r = -0.366, p < 0.05) had a progress in Russian language.

The most extensive links with psychophysiological and physiological indicators were revealed for the subject of Art. In this subject success was achieved mainly by girls (r = 0.472, p < 0.01), pupils with high lability of the nervous system and good hand coordination (r = 0.505, p < 0.01), children having increased parasympathetic activity (r = -0.495, p < 0.01) and decreased sympathetic activity (r = -0.607, p < 0.01) of parts of the autonomic nervous system, lower activity of central ergotropic and humoral-metabolic mechanisms of heart rate regulation (r = -0.463, p < 0.01), increased activity of the humoral regulation channel (r = 0.446, p < 0.05).

Success in physical education was achieved by children who had better cardiac contractility (r = 0.450, p < 0.01), higher activity of parasympathetic (r = 0.484, p < 0.01) and lower activity of sympathetic (r = -0.393, p < 0.05) parts of the autonomic nervous system, higher activity level of central ergotropic and humoral-metabolic mechanisms of heart rate regulation responsible for adaptation (r = 0.452, p < 0.01), with high lability of the nervous system and good hand coordination (r = 0.375, p < 0.05).

The absence of the correlation between academic performance and age indicated that the primary issue of correctional education associated with overcoming mental retardation was not solved efficiently enough.

Repeated studies after a year of using psychophysiological passports suggest clearly positive results of the study (Table). Thus, the overall level of neurohumoral regulation increased, excessive activity of the sympathetic nervous system decreased while that of parasympathetic increased. Centralization of blood circulation decreased. Stress index returned into the normal values range. At the same time the level of mental and emotional stress did not change significantly, although there was a downward trend. Activity of the energy-metabolic level of heart regulation increased. This suggests that adaptation to the conditions of thus designed inclusive education has its own cost energy wise and requires additional health-protection support of pupils. 

Psychophysiological indicators progressed most significantly: attention switch, accuracy and variation range of the reaction to a moving object, simple motor reaction time improved. This created prerequisites for improving mental performance, effectiveness of the educational process and formation of a rational style of studying activities.

Table. The effect of inclusive education based on psychophysiological passports onto the state of the pupils, M±σ

Indicators

Control group,

n = 23

Experimental group, n = 21

Before

After

Before

After

Overall level of neurohumoral regulation

SDNN, ms

0.058±0.034

0.064±0.022

0.046±0.019

0.062±0.022*

TP, ms²

4487±3457

5939±4007*

3661±3073

5602±4703*

Autonomic balance

LF / HF, standard units

2.04±1.46

2.16±0.77

2.38±1.57

2.38±2.50

State of the sympathetic nervous system

Amo, %

34.0±9.5

44.3±21.1*

45.2±14.4

35.7±13.6*

State of the parasympathetic nervous system

rMSSD, ms

0.068±0.025

0.066±0.050

0.049±0.028

0.065±0.029*

Variation range, ms

0.303±0.091

0.256±0.103*

0.221±0.092

0.307±0.122*

State of the energy-metabolic level

VLF, ms²

1695±1535

2052±1612

1244±825

2198±2048*

Stress Index, standard units

183±129

174±166

182±111

100±75.5*

Psychophysiological indicators

Attention switch, sec

240.9±101.6

220.7±91.1

259.6±98.7

191.6±61.8*

Accuracy of reaction to a moving object, standard units

47.4±31.0

41.1±21.3

49.3±27.6

36.5±10.4*

Variation range of reaction to a moving object, standard units

91.6±55.1

78.7±46.7

92.8±61.8

65.4±34.4*

Motor reaction time (left arm), milliseconds

283.4±61.1

260.2±29.0*

337.8±74.5

285.0±42.1*

Motor reaction time (right arm), milliseconds

269±41

256±29

337.8±63.9

304.7±29.1*

Activity of the left brain, standard units

71.1±30.7

73.8±43.0

80.3±40.6

69.4±43.7

Activity of the right brain, standard units

74.5±44.1

73.2±38.9

78.3±38.2

81.9±40.8

Level of mental and emotional stress, standard units

202.6±87.9

190.4±98.4

158.6±75.9

151.3±75.9

Mental performance

Speed of information processing

45.01±17.87

49.12±14.16

48.96±9.65

59.47±12.67*

Accuracy of information processing

0.940±0.078

0.959±0.055

0.876±0.080

0.912±0.064*

Learning activity indicators

Academic performance, scores

4.32±0.41

4.29±0.49

3.57±0.37

3.87±0.33*

* – differences are significant at p < 0.05.

Conclusion. The integration of children with special educational needs into mass educational institutions is a global social process. According to our studies, at first coeducation can cause additional physiological and psychoemotional stress in handicapped children. Thanks to the use of psychophysiological passports the condition of children can be partially optimized. At the same time, the increased activity of the energy-metabolic level and the continuing high level of mental and emotional stress indicate the need to make further efforts to reduce the cost of adaptation of this group of pupils.

References

  1. Vishnevsky, V.A. Dynamic characteristics of the body as a system at different stages of school ontogenesis. Statistical and synergistic approaches / V.A. Vishnevsky // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2010. – № 8. – P. 99–104. (In Russian)
  2. Vishnevsky, V.A. Effectiveness of individual wellness programs in special medical groups in a university / V.A. Vishnevsky, E.N. Lopatnikova, A.N. Mikhaylova // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2013. – № 8. – P. 91–93. (In Russian)

Corresponding author: apokin_vv@mail.ru