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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Abstract

Inclusive education requires that teachers not only teach academic knowledge and skills, but also consider the individual needs of all pupils, especially with respect to their social-emotional status. All teachers (including science and biology teachers) have to promote the well-being of their pupils by helping them develop social-emotional skills. The positive impact of these skills has been widely researched and documented. There is no doubt that academic achievements and social-emotional skills go hand in hand. However, only very little research data are available on how biology lessons and biology teachers can facilitate inclusive education in everyday school. The purpose of this qualitative study is to find out how teachers perceive an integrated approach in biology classes. This study reports on the experiences of five biology teachers with an integrated approach in which learning about the human body was intertwined with socio-emotional learning to address all pupils’ needs. Overall, the teachers considered the use and implementation of the approach a success. They observed that the pupils were motivated and showed a high level of active involvement and participation. However, it became obvious that the teachers did not fully realize all elements of the approach—the intertwined biological and emotional learning in particular—although they liked it. Finally, our findings show that a practical way to teach science and emotional learning can be realized in common, but teachers need further support and professional development.

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