Fun and the benefits of Sign Supported Big Books in mainstream Indonesian kindergartens

Khofidotur, Rofiah; Sheehy, Kieron; Widayati, Sri and Budiyanto (2021). Fun and the benefits of Sign Supported Big Books in mainstream Indonesian kindergartens. International Journal of Early Years Education (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09669760.2021.1956440

Abstract

Inclusive kindergarten provision remains relatively rare in Indonesia. This article indicates factors that contribute to this situation (stigmatisation, lack of resources and training) and reports on an approach to begin to address it. Sign Supported Big Books were evaluated in mainstream kindergartens (i.e. classes without children with special educational needs ) as a way of enhancing their inclusive affordances. These books used Signalong Indonesia, a keyword signing approach, to support whole class stories with 76 children in five kindergarten classes. Four classes used books with signs, and one used a book without signs as part of their everyday activities. Five teacher interviews suggested that the approach enhanced pupils’ engagement and was enjoyable and fun for pupils and teachers alike. There were also positive effects for children’s story comprehension and sign learning. The findings of this study support the novel position that having a disabled child in a class is not necessary in order to justify using an inclusive keyword signing approach. The implications of these findings are discussed for developing a proactive approach to facilitate inclusive practices in Indonesian kindergartens.

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