Browsing by Subject "special needs"

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  • Ang, Lynn; Lipponen, Lasse; Lim, Sirene (2021)
    The early childhood years are pivotal as they mark the beginning of a young child’s life journey into education. This paper offers critical reflections of the early childhood care and education landscape in Singapore as it has evolved over the last decade. The discussion will draw on findings of the study Vital Voices for Vital Years 2 (2019) to explicate the issues, debates and challenges facing the early childhood care and education sector. It argues that recent developments in the sector with stepped increases in government funding and strategic policy development, augmented by the establishment of national agencies committed to improving the quality of care and education, have achieved significant milestones in the country. However, a more critical perspective of the role of early childhood in policy and practice to meet the diverse needs of young children and families is necessary for envisioning education as a pathway to inclusion and social equality, and for building a truly inclusive society.
  • Peltonen, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The current Act on Upper Secondary Education does not provide any specific information on the organization of special education. This is why the special education programs vary between upper secondary schools. Not all secondary schools have special education teachers and this might place students with special needs at a disadvantage. There have been only a few researches on special education in upper secondary schools in Finland during the last decade and the studies have focused on the need of special education in upper secondary education or, the job description of a special education teacher. The purpose of this study is to describe the perceptions of the students’ regarding the challenges that they face in their studies and the support they have received. The aim is also to look at the special education from a student point of view and clarify, how the need for support is recognized, what kind of challenges does the student with special needs meet and who provides the support and how. The data for this qualitative study was collected by inteviewing 14 upper secondary school students over the age of 18 with special needs. They all studied in the same upper secondary school in southern Finland under the guidance of the same special education teacher. The topic was approached by using phenomenography which enables clarification of variations in individual views and investigates different understandings of reality. Students view on the recognition process of special needs in upper secondary school was based on a reading assesment and diagnostic evaluation done by the special education teacher. The recognition of reading difficulties was a relief for most of the interviewed students. They felt that early recognition gives them more time to benefit from the support. The interviewed students found it hard to work with the subject teachers, because they felt that the teachers could not offer them enough support. The results showed that the amount of the support depends on the attitudes and skills of the subject teacher. Other challenges were problems with concentration, reading difficulties and fatigue. Students found the special education teacher to be the keyperson that provides them support. The new Act on Upper Secondary Education secures everyone´s right to special education and the services of a special education teacher. In the future, special education teachers will have an important role as consultants or intermediators between the students and subject teachers, so that students with special needs get the help they are entitled to.