Browsing by Subject "erityisopettaja"

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  • Seppälä, Mia (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Aims. Changes in society and educational development of the school have brought new challenges to the teacher's work. Studies in the past have shown that special education teachers experience stress more than other teachers. The aim of this study was to gain information on special class teacher's experiences of the succeeding and the challenges they encounter in their job in the special class and how they cope with the challenges. This study also examines the kind of views that special class teachers have towards the changes of their work. Methods. Themed interviews were used as a method of this qualitative research. The research material comprised of five interviews with special class teachers who had at least ten years' experience in teaching pupils at the special education class. The data were collected and transcribed in January 2017 and analyzed by using theory-based content analysis. Results and conclusions. The results showed that the special class teacher's work involves a wide range of challenges, but also the experiences of success. The experiences of succeeding were related mostly to the interaction between the special class teacher and the student. The main advantage of special class teaching was seen as a better chance of taking individuality into account and the challenges associated with socialization problems. The challenges of the special class teacher's work was seen ia pupils' heterogeneity and problem behaviour, increased non-teaching tasks and too demanding parents. Special class teachers felt that pupils have changed more challenging in recent years and the valuation of their work has weakened. With inclusion special class teachers' work was seen lying ahead of co-teaching in the future. Coping at work was seen to vary depending on a range of one's own life or the work strains. Special class teachers showed up a wide variety of ways to cope with the challenges and to improve their coping at work.
  • Makkonen, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Goals. The purpose of the thesis was to find out the professional development of already em-ployed teachers studying to become special teachers, “more than as teachers”. As a back-ground theory, I look at teaching, the profession and career of a teacher, especially from the perspective of a special education teacher. The aim of this research was to find out why an already qualified teacher wants to go to study special education, what are the goals for study-ing and how those goals were achieved. Since it is possible to train as a special education teacher both as a degree student and by completing separate special education teacher´s studies, the research also looked at the difference between the two study methods. Methods. The research was carried out as a qualitative interview. The informants were kin-dergarten teachers, classroom teachers or vocational teachers who studied special education as master’s degree students, completed separate special education studies, or studied spe-cial education at the Open University. The interviews were supplemented with an email sur-vey. The interviews were transcribed and the material was analyzed by content analysis. Results and conclusions. The development of teachers into special educational teachers was described by two paths, which were “alternative” and “goal”. The “alternative” path was the choice of students majoring in special education as a Master of Education, and they had not specifically pursued the teaching profession but rather drifted into teaching. Those who com-pleted separate special education studies were on the “goal” path and were already oriented to the field of education after their secondary education. The special education studies aimed at eligibility and competence for the position of special education teacher, community spirit and knowledge and understanding of meeting special needs students in school. Studies in special education were found to be useful, although there is room for improvement in their or-ganization and practical implementation. Informants saw master’s studies in special educa-tion and separate special needs teacher studies as an important part of professional growth and development.
  • Korpi, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Goals. The purpose of the thesis was to survey expectations and ideas before and after education of separate special education teacher's studies who started study in Helsinki university in autumn 2016. The background theory was the special education teacher's profession. The purpose of the thesis was to clarify why teachers want to qualify to special education teachers and how important professional growth and specialty teacher's profession and expertise are to them. In addition the thesis also clarified if the education was in accordance with the preconceptions and if there were differences in this themes. The research aims at providing a general view of the development needs of separate special education teachers from a students point of view. Methods.The research was carried out as a quantitative survey and the research subject was 100 students from three groups (ELO, EO and VEO), according to the previous degree. The initial survey was carried out in autumn 2016 and it's participants were 63 students whose average age was 40 years. The final survey was carried out in spring 2017 and it's participants were 48 students whose average age was 38,6 years. The statistical analysis of the data was carried out with PASW Statistics 24 –program and the open questions were analysed in a qualitive way. Results and conclusions. The professional growth and expertise / aptitude to special education teacher's work were very important to all the participants measured as a sum variable. There weren't statistically significant differences in age and teaching experience, which would have had impacted the results. The participants wanted to get qualification for special education teachers work and better employment opportunities, through their education. Special pedagogical knowledge and practical tools to strengthen vocational skills were also wanted. The impact of the education was examined as a sum variable, which concluded that expectations weren't always fulfilled in all respects. A small significant difference came out between two groups. Special early childhood educators felt that the education gave little means for supporting pupils compared to special education class teachers. Yet special education teacher's profession was seen as significant with all the participants especially with teachers with the least amount of teaching experience but it wasn't statistically significant.
  • Sahlström, Teija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The purpose of this study is to examine supervision experiences of special education teachers and how supervising affects their ability to carry on in their duties and how their pro-fessional development. The main reason for this subject was the lack of previous studies on the matter and also my own history in the field of supervision.Working as a teacher in special education is often very taxing and for the employees because the work itself requires buil-ding individual relationships with students in a work environment as hectic and yet bureauc-ratic as schools are. Special education teachers are taking care of students and children who are in the most vulnerable positions of society and need the most care and affection in their lives. But who cares for the teachers themselves? Professional supervision is the key in supporting special education professionals in their daily life both mentally and professionally. Regular and accessible supervision services should be viewed as the primary method to se-cure the well being of the special education teachers, which in turn would help to maintain a healthy workforce in the field. The study was conducted as online research through social media. The background survey and research invitations were conducted in the Erityisopettajat Facebook group. The actual study was then conducted in closed Facebook group called “Erityisopettajien pohdintaa” by interviews of the focus group of seven (7) special education teachers. The materials gathe-red from the studies were the analysed by using content analysis methods. The final results of the conducted research enforced my understanding that supervision should be instituted as a regular part of the support structure of special education professi-onals. Based on the results the study, the accessibility of supervision varies a lot between workplaces. The availability of supervision appears to depend mostly on the employers un-derstanding of its benefits for the employee and the work environment itself. The survey succeeded in covering both the good and the challenging parts of special education. The fi-nal conclusion from the study is that the teachers in special education felt that the supervisi-on as a direct impact on their well being and professional development.
  • Rönkkö, Ella (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Education arranged by activity areas is a form of teaching meant for those students, who cannot fulfill basic education syllabus even if the syllabus is adjusted. There are five activity areas: communication skills, social skills, motor skills, cognitive skills and day-to-day skills. These activity areas have stayed the same for over 30 years, even though education arranged by activity areas curriculum has otherwise been reduced. Education arranged by activity areas is highly individualized and only applied to a marginal group of students. The aim of this study is to find out, how a typical day in education arranged by activity areas is structured. The material of this research was interviews of 96 special education teachers across Finland. The interviews were carried out in 2018-2020. This thesis used a qualitative research approach and qualitative content analysis was used for the analysis. The results show that school days are typically built around five basic pillars. These basic pillars are morning circle, recess, school meal, rest and ending circle. The contents of these basic pillars varied. It was also found that teachers had different orientations in their teaching. There were five different orientations: subject orientation, activity areas orientation, shared orientation, creative orientation and treatment orientation. These orientations represent which types of contents the teachers emphasized in their narration. In addition, the results showed that there were two types of exceptions that disturbed the daily structure: regular and irregular exceptions. Based on the results, it can be concluded that education arranged by activity areas curriculum gives teachers much autonomy to plan and execute teaching their class. In education arranged by activity areas a significant portion of the day is spend carrying out day-to-day tasks, which affects the realities of teaching and its planning. The teachers may be in danger of seclusion, if the arranged by activity areas curriculum and teacher education do not provide teachers with enough support to design their teaching.
  • Ikonen, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    With the amendment to the Act on Upper Secondary Education that came into force in 2019, students have the right to receive special needs education in upper secondary school, which is why the need for upper secondary school special education teachers will increase in the future. In the last decade, there have been only little research on special education in upper secondary schools in Finland. The purpose of this study was to find out the work assignment of upper secondary school special education teachers and the challenges they experienced in carrying out their work. The aim of the study is to look at high school special education from the perspective of high school special education teachers and to create an overall picture of what kind of tasks the job description of a high school special education teacher consists of and what kind of challenges they face in their work. This is a qualitative study, where was interviewed six high school special education teachers who worked in three different municipalities. The research material was collected through semi-structured thematic interviews, which were analyzed using content analysis. Based on the results of the study, the job description of special education teachers consisted of three broad areas, which were collaboration, student support, and written work. In the job description of a high school special education teacher, the most employment-related tasks emphasized issues related to supporting reading difficulties, making reading statements and writing learning support plans. The most challenging things for high school special education teachers were the lack of resources and time in their work, as well as the ambiguity of their own job description. According to special education teachers, these results show that current resources are not sufficient to provide ongoing and adequate support in upper secondary school. In order to organize special education in upper secondary school, clearer frameworks would also be needed to make the provision of support more uniform and equal in every upper secondary school throughout Finland.
  • Kaarto, Raisa (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Aims. The study examined teachers' self-compassion in relation to burnout, work engagement and the meaning of work. Previous studies have shown the positive effects of self-compassion on well-being. Little is known about the teachers' self-compassion and how it is related to work well-being. Studies have shown that a self-compassioned teacher has more positive attitudes towards inclusion and they are socio-emotionally more capable. Methods. The data was collected via an online questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent to special education students at the University of Helsinki. All the students had a degree in education, and at least three years of work experience in the education sector. Answers were received from 85 students. The questionnaire measured self-compassion, work engagement, meaning of work and burn out. The analysis of the data was done by statistical methods using the SPSS program. Results and conclusions. More than half (61.2%) of the respondents (N = 85) were in the group's average self-compassion level. The high self-compassion level was 14.1% of the respondents, and the low self-compassion level was up to about one quarter of the respondents (24.7%). A comparison between the three groups showed that the average level and high self-compassion level groups had better protection against burnout and higher work engagement than the low self-compassion teachers. The study showed that the meaning of work was in relation to self-compassion. High self-compassion level is in relation to lower burnout levels and higher work engagement. Teaching self-compassion skills to future teachers improves the well-being of teachers and could lower their levels of burnout. Teachers' well-being also increases the well-being of students.
  • Virkkunen, Noora (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Because of inclusive school system a wide group of pupils with different challenges are met in craft education groups. Inclusive craft groups will also have an influence on teachers’ job descriptions. Theoretical literature and previous research suggests co-teaching as one way to support inclusion in schools. The aim of this study was to illustrate craft teachers’ experiences when teaching inclusive craft groups. The study also illustrates the assistance needed by the craft teachers. In addition to teachers experiences the purpose of this study is to describe craft teachers’ opinions about co-teaching with special education teachers. This study was fulfilled as a qualitative survey research. The research call and the questionnaire were distributed to craft teachers via the Internet. The survey contained both closed and open questions as well as a section on teachers' background information. Altogether 46 craft teachers participated in the study. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze teachers' responses. Teachers felt that inclusive craft groups were challenging in terms of the quality of teaching and the well-being of pupils and teachers. Additional support was rarely available in the inclusive craft groups. Teachers felt that they could use the assistance provided by special education teachers during and outside lessons. Craft teachers saw many benefits when co-teaching with special education teachers, however collaboration between craft teachers and special education teachers was uncommon/unusual. Limited special education resources in craft education is a major challenge for co-teaching and special educators support in the craft lessons. Based on the results of this research, the real inclusion in the craft education where students get needed support, is rarely true and the situation will not change without additional resources and support in craft education.