School problems or individual shortcomings?: A study of individual educational plans in Sweden
2007 (English)In: European Journal of Special Needs Education, ISSN 0885-6257, Vol. 22, no 1, 75-91 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In 1995 it became mandatory to establish individual educational plans (IEPs) for children with special educational needs in the Swedish compulsory school. On the basis of the pupils' needs, such a plan should contain information about the pupils' school situation and performance, the class, teaching etc. The aim of this article was to study how special educational needs are defined and described and what support measures the school is suggesting, using IEPs from a sample of Swedish compulsory schools. Our study is based on an analysis of IEPs for pupils with special educational needs in the nine-year compulsory school in a municipality in northern Sweden. A strategic selection of three compulsory schools was made and we restricted the study to grades 3, 6 and 9. The method used to analyse the IEPs was content analysis. Using different theories within the field of special education and disability studies, we have tried to discern to what extent the problems described, and the proposed measures (intervention), are related to predetermined theoretical models of disability and special needs education. Our analysis indicates that difficulties are predominantly attributed to the pupils' shortcomings and individual characteristics, and the same holds for the recommended measures. Another interesting finding is that a number of the plans were established without involving the parents, and many of them did not even know that their child had an IEP. Finally, we discuss our findings in relation to different research traditions within the field of special education.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge Taylor & Francis Group , 2007. Vol. 22, no 1, 75-91 p.
Individual educational plan (IEP), Special educational needs, Special education, Compulsory school, Inclusion
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-6696DOI: 10.1080/08856250601082323OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-6696DiVA: diva2:146366