Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a wave of social distancing, and the activities of many educational institutions became limited. This situation has also affected children, especially the vulnerable ones – those with emotional and behavioral disorders and those who have special educational needs. Even though there is little research on the impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health, there is evidence that being locked up at home causes a number of mental health problems such as anxiety, stress, depression, and sleep disorders (Jefsen, 2020; Van Lancker, 2020). The changed roles of pre-school educators require ever higher qualifications and new competencies (Tristani, 2000). In Lithuania, there is a lack of research that would reveal what competencies of a pre-school educator are important in order to ensure the successful education of children with emotional and behavioral disorders. The aim of the research was to reveal pre-school teachers’ attitude towards competencies needed to ensure the successful education of children with emotional and behavioral disorders. The analysis of the questionnaire survey data showed that pedagogical, communicative, and socio-psychological competencies were important for pre-school teachers in their professional work. However, the teachers found managerial and research competencies to be less important. The study showed that the teachers who participated in the study lacked the knowledge and skills needed to work with children with emotional and behavioral disorders. However, some educators were not motivated to acquire new knowledge and skills related to the education of children with attention and behavioral disorders.
Liudmila Dulksniene, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania
Giedre Širvinskiene, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania
Dalia Antiniene, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania
Ausra Griciute, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania
Rima Kregzdyte, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania
Vaida Asisi, Kinderpsychologisches Zentrum Mödling, Austria