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2015 | 7(51) | 314-324

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The main topic of the paper is focused on the possibilities of improvement of inclusive educational environment where is educated a pupil with Down syndrome. Through longitudinal participative observation (2 school years) and ethnographically oriented research, we identified as a useful tool for this aim-creating and improving opportunities for his active participation and learning, peer tutoring/ learning and his participation in the cooperative peer group, which is organized during afternoon activities in school club of pupils. During his participation in the cooperative peer group he is doing his homework together with his classmates. If pupils have a problem, or they do not understand task request, we are there for offering an assistance and supervision. During these activities every pupil in the cooperative peer group has an opportunity to teach each other, help each other with homework. Our findings about benefits of using peer learning/ tutoring, creating cooperative peer groups in the inclusive education, confirm claims and conclusions of European agency for developmnet of special and inclusive education [3, 4, 5]. Another important tool, we used to applicate during learning in peer group, is Mediated Learning Experience based on Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment [6]. We believe, that the way of mediation of knowledge is the base for creating pupil’s active approach to learning ant this is one of the aims of organization of cooperative peer groups [10]. According to findings of researches focused on academic achievements and social status of pupil with Down syndrome educated in the mainstream classroom [2, 8], which describe peer learning as an effective strategy in both sides of education (achievements, social status) we decided to verify this through sociometric test. The test included two positive questions (1. With whom would you like to sit in the school-desk? 2. Whom would you invite to your birthday party? and one negative question (3.Whom would you not invited to your birthday party?). Pupils should write 3 names of classmates into each question. Results of sociometric test in the class, where was educated pupil with Down syndrome and where were peer cooperative groups organized regularly, shown his social status as a popular. The same result we gain in the repeated test. The main finding: pupil with Down syndrome received only positive nominations and these nominations awarded classmates who were participating in cooperative peer group regularly. Practical importance and prospects of the use of peer learning is perceived as a unique opportunity for achieving better academic results and as well as a possibility to improve the social status of pupils with disabilities, so we recommend this as an effective inclusive strategy.



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