Browsing by Subject "erityisopetus"

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  • Palmu, Emmi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Previous research proved that problem behavior is related to academic success and dropping out from school. (Kauffman 1997, Goldstein 1995; MacMillan & Reschly 1998). Sup-porting studying of this dropout group is a vital part of preventive action against social exclusion. In Finland Education law enables support and special education in schools for those in need. There are students in special education whose teaching take place out of the school with special scheme. This small marginal of students will be educated by the school. Studying take place in extracurricular time. This study surveys this specific phenomenon and terms it home schooling. Its purpose is to clarify the process of home schooling from the teacher's point of view.This study will resolve what kind of goals do the teachers set for this kind of teaching activities. Additional purpose is to gather information of the reasons teachers name to be significant to process of home schooling. The research is qualitative by nature and can be characterized as a qualitative case study. Research data consist of five theme interviews. Two of the teachers were from elementary school and three from the Finnish primary school. All of them had experience of the process of home schooling. The stories describe overall home schooling of twenty-one students. Material was collected in Southern Finland 2012. Transcribed interviews were analyzed by using content analysis. This study clarifies that the aims of home schooling are different in elementary school and in the upper comprehensive school. Upper comprehensive school priorities are to secure getting graduation diploma from primary school and prevent social exclusion. In elementary school the main goal was to secure the child itself and its surrounding. The prior reason for home schooling in elementary school teacher named outwardly oriented behavior. Behaving was directly aggressive. Upper comprehensive school the main problem was inwardly oriented behavior. Students did not come to school or did not do school work. This scientific research reveals that in the teacher's point of view problem behavior, unstable home environment, weak academic performance and problems in social skills were the reasons that led to home schooling. Problems were often multifarious and imbricated. The teachers experience was that home schooling made studying possible, when the support in the school system was not enough. The information offered will further the process of developing home schooling.
  • Koistinen, Saara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Aims. The aim of this study was to investigate how two special needs teachers who had completed an equine-assisted social pedagogy instructor® training experienced the implementation of equine-assisted social pedagogy activities as a school intervention. Social pedagogy combined with animal and equine assisted activities served as the theoretical frame guiding this study. The research questions were: (1) What are equine-assisted social pedagogy activities from a special needs teacher's perspective, (2) What impacts have the equine activities by a special needs teacher had on individual pupils or pupil groups, and (3) Which factors emerge at the core of the implementation of the equine activities? Methods. This study was implemented using a qualitative approach applying a semi-structured interview. The data comprised the experiences of two special needs teachers. The collected data were processed using dialogical thematization. Four main themes emerged from the analysed data and were used as the basis for presenting the findings. Results and conclusions. The equine-assisted social pedagogy activities were well-suited as a school intervention and as part of special needs education, as the curriculum supports the implementation of the activities in all levels of the three-tier support model. The equine-assisted activities were perceived as a comprehensive form of social rehabilitation that promotes issues such as building a pedagogical relationship between the pupil and the teacher, and the emergence of interpersonal relationships between pupils. The teachers felt that the success of the activities was supported by the experiential features of the stable environment, opportunities for collaboration provided by the stable community, and peer support. The stable environment was perceived as a learning environment different from the traditional school environment that improves pupils’ motivation, concentration and obedience. Highlighting the interactive relationship between the pupil and horse also emerged as a significant feature of the equine-assisted social pedagogy activities. The horse was perceived as a mirror of the pupil’s emotional expression and behaviour. The pupils were observed to learn to understand their own emotions and behaviour through the horse and adapt their new behaviours from the stable to the school environment. The study revealed what sorts of experiences special needs teachers had of implementing equine-assisted activities as a school intervention. In turn, this raises awareness of the potential of using equine-assisted social pedagogy activities as part of school activities and special needs education.
  • Immonen, Waltteri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The special education reform and development to support in learning and school attendance has resulted in major changes in the job description of Finnish special education teachers (SET). The distribution of resources to schools has also changed. Previous researchers have found a lack of resources in special education. Teachers also experience a lack of time in their work. To date, barely any quantitative research has been conducted on the challenges SETs face in their job in Finland. The aim of the study was to answer two questions: (1) What challenges do special education teachers find to have the biggest effect on their job? (2) Was there a connection between certain background variables and the teachers’ experiences of these challenges? All persons working as SET from early childhood education to secondary education were considered suitable respondents. The responses were collected via electric questionnaires. The first research question was answered by compiling the questionnaire answers and comparing their answers based on the means and frequencies. The second research question was answered using multivariate methods (one-way analysis of variance, Kruskal-Wallis test, two-way analysis of variance, t-test, Post Hoc test, Analysis of Simple main effect). In the questionnaire, SETs (N = 339) assessed how much each challenge affected their work. Judging by the responses, SET’s find that their work is affected by the expansion of their work as well as excessive differences between municipalities. In addition, several answers related to the inadequacy of time received high values in the responses. Because of this, SETs feel that collaboration does not work well enough and that there are not enough resources for supporting students. Students’ individual characteristics and behaviour is also considered challenging. Of the background variables, the level of education clearly distinguished the respondents most effectively. The SETs also experienced challenges in different ways depending on the age group they were in charge of. The experience with special education and the job title had an impact as well. Differences were also found based on the method of education and the population of the municipality the teacher worked in. However, the effects accounted for by these factors were small. The study also found synergies between variables. These included synergy between the level of education and the professional title, as well as the professional title and the education route. However, the effects of these factors were also small. On the other hand, no connection was found between experiences of the challenges and the teacher’s overall teaching experience.
  • Dammert, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The aim of the study was to analyze the debate on special education in the context of social decision-making. The purpose was to find out how special education comes up in the discussions of the Helsinki City Council and whether any topic related to special education comes up more in the speeches of the delegates. The research focuses on the discussion of special education in preschool education, primary and secondary education, as well as interprofessional collaboration. The city council decides on the municipality's policies and priorities, so the topics of discussion and contents arising from the speeches of the delegates are very interesting from the point of view of the residents. The approach of the study was a case study. The Helsinki City Council consisted of delegates representing different political parties and their deputies. The public speeches of the members of the Helsinki City Council were approached through a qualitative, material-based content analysis. The subject of the study was the minutes of the discussion of the public council meetings of the Helsinki City Council from 2011–2019. The content of the speeches of the Helsinki City Council delegates on special education emphasized three perspectives: the resource perspective (52%), the quality perspective (31%) and the value perspective (17%). The resource perspective was divided into three levels: support for learning, availability of preschool education and study places, and targeting of support. The quality perspective, in turn, was divided into two levels: teaching and the organization of preschool education and training (equity). The value perspective was divided into two levels: inequality and integration and inclusion. In this perspective, the jointly agreed goals of the council delegates and the parties' own values were reflected in the speeches of the delegates. The views and policies of the parties were also largely in line with the stated educational policy guidelines. There were differences in the number of speeches and the emphasis on the subjects of the discussion. Inclusion was mentioned in Helsinki's stated goals for education and training. However, there is still a long way to go before inclusion is achieved.
  • Lintuvuori, Meri (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    The number of Finnish pupils attending special education has increased for more than a decade (Tilastokeskus 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005a, 2006b, 2007b, 2008b, 2008e, 2009b; Virtanen ja Ratilainen 1996). In the year 2007 nearly third of Finnish comprehensive school pupils took part in special needs education. According to the latest statistics, in the autumn of 2008 approximately 47 000 pupils have been admitted or transferred to special education and approximately 126 000 pupils received part-time special education during the 2007-2008 academic year. (Tilastokeskus 2008b, 2009b.) The Finnish special education system is currently under review. The Reform, both in legislation and in practice, began nationwide in the year 2008 (e.g. Special education strategy document, November 2007 and the development project Kelpo). The aim of the study was the statistical description of the Finnish special education system and on the other hand to gain a deeper understanding about the Finnish special education system and its quantitative increase, by analysis based on the nationwide statistical information. Earlier studies have shown that the growth in special education is affected by multiple independent variables and cannot be solely explained by the pupil characteristics. The statistical overview and analysis have been carried out in two parts. In the first part, the description and analysis were based on statistical time series from the academic year 1979-1980 until 2008. While, in the second, more detailed description and analysis, based on comparable time series from 1995 to 2008 and from 2001-2002 to 2007-2008, is presented. Historical perspective was one part of this study. There was an attempt to find reasons explaining the observed growth in the special needs education from late 1960s to 2008. The majority of the research was based on the nationwide statistics information. In addition to this, materials including educational legislation literature, different kind of records of special education and preceding studies were also used to support the research. The main results of the study, are two statistical descriptions and time series analysis of the quantitative increase of the special needs education. Further, a summary of the plausible factors behind the special education system change and its quantitative increase, is presented. The conclusions coming from the study can be summarised as follows: the comparable statistical time series analysis suggests that the growth in special education after the year 1999 could be a consequence of the changes in the structure of special education and that new group of pupils have been directed to special needs education.
  • Vesander, Jaakko (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Aims. The number of students with special needs in mainstream classes in Finland has been steadily rising in recent years. The purpose of this study was to determine how well the class teachers, subject teachers and special education teachers feel that they succeed in their work when dealing with students with special needs and what are the things that impact their level of competence. Particular attention was paid to how the special education studies and teaching experience affect teachers' skills in relation to teaching special need students.The research was carried out as a part of a project focused on clarifying the state of teaching students with special needs in Finland today, and later to take advantage of this knowledge to arrange further training and education for teachers. Methods. The study was conducted using quantitative research methods. The data was a random sample collected with a questionnaire from schools in a Finnish city. The questionnaire was responded by class teachers and subject teachers (N= 118), responses were analyzed using SPSS-software. Statistical parameters were used in describing the teachers' level of competence in different areas of teaching students with special needs. The impact of special education studies on teachers competences were tested using one-way variance analysis. The impact of general teaching experience on teachers' competences was examined with Mann-Whitneys U-test and the impact of special teaching experience on teachers' competences was examined with independent samples t-test. Results and conclusions. The results showed that teachers who had completed basic studies in special education or extensive special education studies, rated their skills significantly stronger than the teachers who had completed only the basic course in special education or who hadn't completed any special education studies at all. The mere completion of the special education basic course didn't seem to have almost any effect on teachers' competences when compared with the teachers' who hadn't completed any special education studies at all. The amount of general teaching experience had only little effect on teachers' competences. However special teaching experience had a significant impact on teachers' competences.
  • Vilhunen, Milla Helena (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The aim of this master's thesis is to examine the formation of special in the speech of teachers. The theoretical framework is based on the stance that people try to make sense of the world by perspective of normal. However, to be normal is possible only if something is deviant from it. When it comes to schools, these lines between normal and deviant have been seen to be linked to the relation of mainstream education and special-education. The interest of this study is to analyse, how the special is formed in the speech of teachers when there is more and more students in special education and when the official direction is to bring mainstream education and special-education together by constructing teaching of all students in the same classroom. The research data is formed by interviewing special- and class-/subject-teachers. The interviews were constructed as groups, one included special -teachers and the other one class-/subject-teachers. There where total of seven interviewees. The interviews followed the rules of theme interview. I have analyzed the data by using discourse analysis. According to my results the special were formed as maladjustment, certain problems, imperfection and change. The lines between normal and special operated on the other hand between all students and on the other hand the lines were situated only between certain students, them being the students in the special education class and the students in the mainstream class. When it comes to the consequence of special it was the situation of the student that were concerned. The conclusions of this research suggest the persistence of some categories in schools and the place as an essential component for defining the lines between normal and special. Worth noticing is also the ways that showed the possibility of negotiation.
  • Laaksonen, Linda Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This master’s thesis focuses on the experiences of girls with immigrant background in general upper secondary school and preparatory programme for general upper secondary school focusing on foreign languages, support practices and study counselling. Previous research suggest that students with im-migrant background apply for upper secondary schools with lower grades and have a higher probability of dropping out of education than the majority (eg. Kilpi-Jakonen 2011, Valtiontalouden tarkastusvi-rasto 2015). Also in spite of academic orientation young people with immigrant backgrounds have been guided to vocational schools instead of general schools - especially girls with immigrant back-grounds (e.g. Kurki 2008a & 2008b, Souto 2016, Kurki & Brunila 2014). Finnish education system and the current educational policy discourses creates the frame of reference for this study. This study aims at producing fresh data and findings from the field about support practices and education of girls with immigrant backgrounds in the upper secondary school. This study is educational ethnography contextualized to the current educational policies (Troman, Jeffrey & Beach 2006). The analytical interest is in the structural factors defining general upper secondary schools as well as in the everyday life and how people make sense of it. The data for this study has been produced in one general upper secondary school and in one group of preparatory programme for general upper secondary education in the spring term of 2017. Data consists of field notes, interviews (n=23) and educational policy documents. The study is part of EMED-research project. The structure of Finnish school system, support practices and study counselling were important factors that affected student’s educational choice making. Experiences of given counselling, need of support and language proficiency varied. The current educational policy discourse highlights freedom of choice and possibilities. This was also emphasized in the girl’s narratives. In reality educational educational transitions constructs in relation to given counselling, Finnish language proficiency and in relation to structures of the school system and what seems realistic.
  • Parkkinen, Kimmo (Helsingfors universitet, 2002)
    Tutkimuksessa selvitettiin autismiluokan oppilaiden fyysisen väkivaltakäyttäytymiseen yhteydessä olevia oppilas- ja opetusympäristötekijöitä. Tutkimuksen kohderyhmänä oli kaikki Suomen autismiluokkien oppilaat ja vertailuryhminä oli EHA1- ja EHA2- luokan oppilaita. Tutkimusote oli kvantitatiivinen, tutkimusaineisto kerättiin kyselylomakkeilla. Tutkimuskyselyyn vastasivat luokkien opettajat. Aineiston käsittelyssä pääasialliset analyysimenetelmät olivat faktori-, varianssi- ja regressioanalyysi. Tutkimuksen pääongelmat: 1. Millaista on tutkituilla oppilailla esiintynyt fyysinen väkivaltakäyttäytyminen? 2. Millaiset oppilastekijät ovat yhteydessä fyysiseen väkivaltakäyttäytymiseen? 3. Miten luokkatoiminnot ja autismiluokan henkilökunnan toiminta ovat yhteydessä oppilaiden fyysiseen väkivaltakäyttäytymiseen? Tutkimustulokset osoittivat, että autismiluokan oppilaiden fyysinen väkivaltakäyttäytyminen oli huomattavasti vertailuryhmien (EHA1 Ja EHA2) oppilaita runsaampaa. Autismiluokan oppilaiden yleisimpiä fyysisen väkivaltakäyttäytymisen muotoja olivat toisiin kohdistuneet lyömiset, puremiset, raapimiset tukistamiset ja tönimiset. Itseen kohdistui eniten puremista ja lyömistä. Autistien akateemiset taidot olivat tutkimuksen mukaan selvästi heidän sosiaalisia taitojaan paremmat. Runsaimmin fyysistä väkivaltakäyttäytymistä raportoitiin olevan niillä autismiluokan oppilailla, joilla oli hyvät akateemiset, mutta heikot sosiaaliset taidot. Väkivaltakäyttäytymistä edeltävissä tilanteissa ja toiminnoissa korostui yleisimmin yllätys-, siirtymis- ja odottamistilanteet. Väkivaltaa edeltävät vuorovaikutustilanteet olivat pääosin henkilökunnan johtamia käskynantotilanteita. Näissä tilanteissa oppilasta ohjattiin vaatimuksilla tai kielloilla. Fyysiseen väkivaltatilanteeseen puuttumiseen käytetyistä välittömistä interventiomenetelmistä yleisin oli fyysinen ohjaaminen. Tällä ohjausmuodoilla oli heikoin oppilaan rauhoittumista edistävä vaikutus. Parhaimmat intervention vaikutukset saatiin huomiotta jättämisellä tai huomion siirtämisellä muualle. Tutkimuksen teoreettinen viitekehys perustui pääosin Kauffmanin sosiaalis-kognitiiviseen väkivaltateoriaan ja Schoplerin autistien häiriökäyttäytymistä kuvaavaan malliin. Kokonaisotos autismiluokan oppilaista antoi hyvän kuvan koko Suomen autismiluokilla esiintyvästä fyysisen väkivallan ilmiöstä. Tutkimuksen käytäntöön sovellettavuus liittyy autistien opetuksen kehittämiseen, fyysisen väkivaltakäyttäytymisen ennaltaehkäisyn suunnittelutyössä ja opetushenkilökunnan väkivallan kohtaamisen tukemiseen
  • Riihimäki, Tuomas (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    This thesis is about determine the meaning of inclusion in Finnish education system and policies. Defining inclusion is culturally challenging, because it has its own forms in every country and every country has their own educational system with their own history in education policies. Inclusion is the latest newcomer in modern educational discourse and has not yet been generally accepted by common consent. Topic is hot potato in education field and there is a lot of demand defining inclusion in educational sciences, to deeper the understand behind it. My research is founded on valued Finnish scientific publications. My data is collected from Kasvatus- lehti, from which I picked 10 articles among approximately 400 publications. My research methods rely upon content analyse, hermeneutical and phenomenological approaches. Use of my methods require proper review of my background as a researcher to make my study credible, which can be found in this thesis. This way reader can justify my results. The results of this study made even clearer the challenge of defining the word inclusion in Finland is a challenge. Results showed that it is in clear relation to word integration, almost acting as synonym. This confusion of between different ideology and concept has big impact on educational policy, wasting time and resources on developmental projects towards inclusive education in Finland. In brief, in through my comprehensive data, inclusion in Finland would constite to be democratic, accessible and social construct, that welcomes everybody to join in multiprofessional work community, no matter their qualities or disabilities. Importance of this study is to bring definition and continue the debate about inclusive education in Finland and internationally, and how inclusive education would progress in Finnish education system.
  • Alervo, Annika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The phenomenon-based teaching began to be implemented in schools to an increasing extent when the latest basic educational curriculum (2014) entry into force in 2016. The aim of phenomenon-based teaching is to respond to targets in basic educational curriculum on the integration of teaching and interdisciplinary as well as the transversal competence that students will need in the future. However, phenomenon-based teaching is not explicitly mentioned in the curriculum. There has also been only little research on the subject so the concept of phenomenon-based teaching is not clear and unambiguous. Especially from the point of view of special needs education, the subject has not been so much researched. The purpose of this Master´s thesis is to find out experiences from special needs teachers in the phenomenon-based teaching. The aim is to study how special needs teachers observe phenomenon-based teaching, what role special teachers play in the implementation of phenomenon-based teaching and what benefits and challenges special teachers experience in the implementation of phenomenon-based teaching. The research material was collected through a questionnaire in spring 2020, which was published in social media meant for professional groups of special needs teachers. The amount of answers to the survey was in total 18. Respondents included both special class teachers and part-time special needs teachers. The responses were analysed using a phenomenographic approach. The results of the study showed that special need teachers´ observations of phenomenon teaching were fragmented. The role of special needs teachers in the implementation of phenomenon teaching was most often either an active planner and implementer, a differentiator and supporter or a learning facilitator; the way phenomenon teaching is implemented in school, the professional title and place of employment of the teacher contributed to the implementation of phenomenon teaching and the role of special need teacher. Special needs teachers experienced the benefits of phenomenon teaching as, among other things, deepening student´s knowledge, increase in motivation and disappearance of anxiety. In Special needs teachers work the benefits were reflected in the use of time and cooperation with other teachers. As challenges for students in need of support were experienced deviation from structure and routines, as well as challenges related to self-direction and group work. In daily work of special needs teacher the challenges were especially evident in the adoption of a new role, the amount of work and cooperation between teachers.
  • Pasanen, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The aim of this study was to examine what sort of challenges and other matters special class teachers notice in studies of youth in foster care, and how they can support these youth. The number of children and youth in foster care has increased for a long period of time (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, 2020). Comparing to their peers, youth in foster care have lower academic achievement and they struggle more with psychosocial problems (Berlin et al., 2011). These problems have an effect on these youth also later in their life (Brännström et al., 2017). Consequently, it is important to examine what kind of issues these youth struggle with and how special class teachers can meet these issues. The study is qualitative case study and was conducted by interviewing five special class teachers from two special schools in Finland. The interviews were thematic. Qualitive content analysis was used as a method of data analysis. Special class teachers mentioned a great amount of issues that are related to studies of foster youth. Firstly, the teachers brought up problems in multiprofessional cooperation. They mentioned differing practices, distrust, lack of cooperation and insufficient flow of information between professionals. Special class teachers also brought up the challenges these youth have faced in their past; for instance inadequate upbringing. The teachers supported foster youth by collaboration, consistent and individual support and discussion, for instance. They also supported youth by showing that they care and by setting boundaries. Despite the challenges, the special class teachers mentioned positive matters as well, especially when comparing foster youth to other children involved in the child welfare system. For instance, as stated by the special class teachers, youth in foster care received a lot of support from child caring institution. In addition, child caring institutions helped teachers with network cooperation.
  • Kainulainen, Julia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Cognitive abilities, native language and mathematical skills in primary school children: is there a relationship? Introduction Mathematical abilities are important for the future of the individual, as they are related to for example education, employment and exclusion. Previous research has shown that cognitive abilities are related to mathematical skills, although the results are contradictory. According to literature, visual and verbal reasoning skills have independent effects on different areas in mathematics. In addition, working memory seems to play a major role in mathematical abilities. This study examines the relationship between visual and verbal reasoning skills, working memory and mathematical skills. In addition, we were interested in how the mathematical abilities of the children developed during this two-schoolyear-long follow-up period, as well as the impact of special education, home language and gender on mathematical abilities. Methods A total of 73 students, of whom 34 were girls, participated in this follow-up study. At the beginning of the study they were in the third grade of primary school. The data is part of the Arts@School project. The children’s cognitive abilities were assessed with the block design, comprehension and digit span subtests of the WISC-IV -test battery. Mathematical abilities were assessed using the MATTE test which includes verbal mathematical problems and the RMAT test which consist of basic arithmetic tasks. Three measurement points of the tests were used in the analyses. Linear mixed models were used in the statistical analyses. Results and conclusions Cognitive abilities were found to be related to mathematical skills. Visual and verbal reasoning skills predicted performance in verbal mathematical problems, while working memory predicted performance in the basic arithmetic test. Special education status was associated with poorer performance in the mathematical tasks. No gender differences were found in this data. Language had no independent effect on mathematical skills, but language influenced the development of mathematical skills. Finnish-speakers developed steadily throughout the study, while the development of foreign language-speakers subsided between the second and third measurements. The difference between Finnish-speakers and foreign language-speakers was statistically significant at the last measurement point. The results are in line with previous studies, with the difference that in this study, working memory predicted only performance in the basic arithmetic test and not in the more complicated word problems
  • Leppänen, Katri (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    The importance of reading and writing skills in everyday life has increased continuously. Previous research has also shown that reading skills are associated with success in other school subjects. Three-tier model introduced in 2011 focuses on early intervention, identification and support. The main purpose of this study was to gather information about teacher's supporting methods at first school year. How they work with dyslectic students and struggling readers. What is the relevance of three-tier model and how three-tier model affects the support services. Attention is paid to evaluation, strategies, methods, tools and follow-up measures. The aim is to highlight concrete examples. The study was conducted by interviewing four special teachers. Teachers work in primary schools and teaching to read is a big part of their work. Data has been recorded and transcribed. Analysis was based on transcribed data and research questions. The study showed that all respondents evaluate student's basic reading skills soon after the start of school. Support is offered to those who need it the most. There were school-specific differences in evaluation methods, arrangements and group formation. All four teachers accomplished small-group teaching and part-time special education. Three teachers made flexible groupings. None of the respondents carried out individualized instruction. One respondent carried out co-teaching approach. Teachers used well known and research based tools and materials. They also made materials by their selves. Teachers were aware the important aspects of learning to read. They paid attention to phonological awareness, syllable awareness, letter knowledge and working memory. All four teachers made evaluation during the year. However the study reveals that 1-graders are rarely sent to psychological tests or moved to tier 2 even if their reading skills don't proceed.
  • Kivistö, Elina (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Objectives. Support for learning difficulties has not been made available to students in an equal manner in different parts of the country. Earlier research shows that there are regional differences in the percentages of comprehensive school students receiving support, as well as in the forms of support made available to them. The purpose of this Master's thesis was to study how many ninth grade students participating in the Learning to Learn Assessment in 2012 had received support for learning during the past academic year in different parts of Finland. Another objective was to analyse the realisation of educational equality, i.e. whether there are regional or municipal differences (between urban, semi-urban and rural municipalities) in the support made available to students. Methods. The Learning to Learn Assessment was carried out in spring 2012. A total of 7,222 ninth grade students from different parts of Finland participated in this assessment. Among the participants, 4% were recipients of intensified support and 7.9% recipients of special support. Five task categories developed for the Learning to Learn Assessment were included in the present study. The material was analysed by variance analysis in order to identify possible geographical differences. Results and conclusions. The study discovered regional differences in the definition of recipients of general support. With regard to general support, there were significant regional differences. Intensified support and special support were made available to students least frequently in the regions of Lapland and Southwest Finland. There were also differences between the regions in how effectively they employed the different levels of support included in the three-tier support system. The results indicate that large, urban municipalities in particular have succeeded in amending their support system faster than semi-urban and rural municipalities, and they have also succeeded in re-evaluating students' needs for special support.There were also differences in the use of the individually adjusted syllabus as a form of special support. Using the individually adjusted syllabus may lead to less ambitious learning objectives and weaker learning outcomes, possibly also negatively influencing students' pursuit of further study.The present study concludes that although there are regional differences in the availability of support, it seems that there are no differences between students: students receiving support are similar when it comes to their academic performance and learning to learn competence.
  • Jussila, Tiia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Studying by activity areas is less examined topic in the field of special education. Students’ educa-tion can be arranged by activity areas if the pupil is unable to meet the subjects’ objectives. There are five activity areas: communication skills, social, motor, cognitive and day-to-day skills. These areas have retained their form for tens of years, while the core curriculum has been updated. Because of that, it was necessary to find out what the teachers think of it. The need for this research was created through the InTo -project. The project was justified e.g. by the lacks in the activity areas curriculum. It was possible to notice perspectives in teachers’ conceptions, which related to equality. The purpose of this study is to interpret, through the conceptions of the teachers who are working with the activity areas curriculum, how the activity areas curriculum embodies equality. Equality has been examined via both teachers’ and pupils’ perspectives, reflecting it to activity areas curriculum. I examine the equality of activity areas curriculum from four perspectives: The curriculum as a tool for teaching, the teaching goals of the student, the recognition of diversity of the pupils in the activity areas curriculum and the teacher’s role as an interpreter of the curriculum. My material consisted of 18 interviews from teachers who work with activity areas curriculum. The interviews were conducted during the spring and autumn of 2018 in four different Finnish municipalities. My re-search is a qualitative study. I used phenomenography in the analysis of the data. To visualize my results, I adapted Attride-Stirlings (2001) thematic network system. The results showed that, according to the teachers’ perceptions, the activity areas curriculum needs to be sharpened and concretized. Its areas of activity are good, but it is not functional teachers working tool. The role of the teacher in the activity areas education includes a great deal of power and responsibility because of the different possibilities to use and interpret curricula. The students’ goal-oriented learning is not secured through the current activity areas curriculum, as it is challenging to find goals from it because of its generality. Goals are also developed under teachers’ consideration. The results also showed that the inclusion of the spectrum of pupils in the activity areas curriculum is challenging.
  • 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.
  • Tornberg, Enni-Greta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Goals. Along inclusive thinking ever more students’ equality and participation has been higlighted in Finnish education system. Finland like numerous other countries has signed many international agreements, such as Salamanca statement and United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilites. The development of education according to these agreements has been exposed in many public records in last decades. Variable school culture sets new challenges to teachers and above all requires collaboration between teachers. Co-teaching is one way to react to the challenges of school culture. Goal of this study is to set co-teaching into larger context and investigate what kind of meanings class teachers give to co-teaching and how they react to co-teaching. The purpose of this study is in co-teaching between special education teacher and class teacher. Methods. This research is qualitative research. Research material has been obtained by interviewing three elementary school teachers in Oulu area. Interviews were carried out as theme interviews. The duration of interviews varied between 25 minutes to 45 minutes. The material has been analyzed with qualitative content analysis. Results and conclusions. In this study class teachers’ attitude for co-teaching was found positive. They saw co-teaching to be compatible with inclusive teaching. Teachers emphasized the role of pedagogical leadership in executing the co-teaching. School’s pedagogical administration can support co-teaching by structural arrangements, changing the working culture and by increasing awareness of co-teaching. Co-teaching also caused contradictions. The teachers saw, that disagreements were induced by division of roles as well as interactional contradictions. Conflicts were mainly clarified by discussing. The key points of solving contradictions had been changing the way of acting, self-improvement and support from principal.
  • Snellman, Johanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Home-school collaboration has become a truism in educational policy and practice. Cooperation between home and school is considered particularly important when a child has challenges with school attendance. However, not much critical research has been conducted on the quality of that cooperation. The point of view of the parents, in particular, has often been overlooked. In my study I examined how negotiations between school and parents are seen from the parents' perspective in cases in which a decision concerning special support is being considered. I interviewed eight parents with children in special education. I analyzed the data by drawing from discursive theories. In my analysis I asked how the parents position themselves in the interview talk when they tell about negotiations between home and professionals. I also explored how "special needs" and special education are seen and made understandable from the positions available to the parents. The negotiations between parents and professionals were described as strained in the parents' narration. The parents described experiences of having been set aside in decision-making processes and told that getting information about the support system was difficult. The interviewees also talked about experiences of having been evaluated as parents. In their narration, the parents also constructed resistance in relation to the definitions and positions offered to them by the professionals. On the basis of my analysis, I suggest that it is hard for the parent to achieve the position of a knowing subject in the power/knowledge relations between the parents and the professionals. The professional knowledge produced within medical and psychological discourses is considered as predominant at school, whereas the parents' knowledge is understood as informal and inferior. I suggest that schools should critically examine their practices of labeling children as "having special needs" and locating challenges with school attendance primarily within the individual. In addition, the asymmetric nature of the power relations between professionals and parents should be recognized. In my view, this would contribute towards a home-school cooperation in which parents feel that they are heard better.