umu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Spänningen mellan normalitet och avvikelse: om skolans insatser för elever i behov av särskilt stöd
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, an increasing number of pupils are defined as having some form of difficulties in school. In order to receive special support measures in school, these difficulties must have been subject to a pedagogical examination that state that the pupil is in need of special support measures. This work of identifying and defining difficulties implies that questions about normality and deviance inevitably come into play in school. There has been an increasing demand in school politics to identify these difficulties as early as possible, and this demand has placed further pressure on school personnel in this issue. Furthermore, the personnel’s perspective on the difficulties is also important, i.e., in terms of their origin, because this has importance for the design and content of the special support measures.

The overall aim of this thesis is to analyse the tension between normality and deviance that is manifested in the school’s work procedures for pupils with special educational needs. Related to the overall aim, four overarching research questions are addressed. How have pupils with special educational needs and special education been articulated in national policy documents during recent decades? What perspective on school difficulties are being portrayed in schools’ individual educational plans for pupils with special educational needs? How do school personnel identify and differentiate pupils with special educational needs from “normal” pupils? How do pupils with special educational needs and their parents experience the special support measures that they receive in school and what seems to be the main concern of such support measures?

The thesis consists of four studies that are based on different empirical materials such as policy documents, individual educational plans (IEPs) and qualitative interviews with school personnel, pupils and parents. The methods that are used for analysing the material are policy analysis, content analysis and grounded theory.

The results show that the target group for special support measures has been ascribed with different meanings (over time) in policy documents, something that has affected the recommendations of the support measures and the choice of actors who are assigned to provide such support. Furthermore, the IEPs, as well as the interviews, reveal that an individual perspective on school difficulties seems to be deeply rooted in school.  The identification process of special educational needs followed three models: a pedagogical model, a social model, and a medical/health model.  However, the process of sorting out and defining these pupils invoked ambivalent feelings in the school personnel and the school class usually became the frame of reference for normal or deviant behaviour. Finally, the pupils’ and parent’ main concern of special support measures in school were described as a struggle for recognition and inclusion. The results are discussed with theoretical perspectives on school difficulties and special education. In the concluding discussion, it is argued that pupils with special educational needs have to balance between normality and deviance in school, but also between a pedagogical and a medical discourse by means of having a medical diagnosis in school.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för socialt arbete, Umeå universitet , 2009. , 102 p.
Series
Studier i socialt arbete vid Umeå universitet : avhandlings- och skriftserie, ISSN 0283-300X ; 64
Keyword [en]
Pupils with special educational needs, normality and deviance, special education, grounded theory, medical diagnoses, compulsory school, special support measures
National Category
Social Work Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26187ISBN: 978-91-7264-857-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-26187DiVA: diva2:240757
Distributor:
Socialt arbete, 90187, Umeå
Public defence
2009-10-23, Hörsal B, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-10-02 Created: 2009-09-29 Last updated: 2009-10-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Articulatory practices on the meaning of special education in Swedish policy documents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Articulatory practices on the meaning of special education in Swedish policy documents
2009 (English)Other (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on how the meaning of special education has been constructed in policy documents and public investigations during recent decades. More specifically, the analysis focuses on acts of articulations regarding the target group for special education, the recommendations about special support measaures and the groups of professionals assigned to deliver such support. The material consists of policy documents, 4 Government Bills and 1 Official report, from the late 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. The documents were selected because of their relevance for special education and pupils with special educational needs. Furthermore, the material was subjected to a policy analysis that was inspired by a discourse theory approach. The results of the analysis shows that the target group for special education, i.e. pupils with special educational needs, have been articulated and attributed with different meanings in the selected documents. Such articulations have ascribed different meanings to the official special education discourse over time and affected the choice of recommended support measures and actors involved in such measures.

Keyword
special education, policy analysis, pupils with special educational needs, special support measures, articulatory practices
National Category
Social Work Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26178 (URN)
Available from: 2009-09-29 Created: 2009-09-29 Last updated: 2011-06-10Bibliographically approved
2. School problems or individual shortcomings?: A study of individual educational plans in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>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, E-ISSN 1469-591X, Vol. 22, no 1, 75-91 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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
Keyword
Individual educational plan (IEP), Special educational needs, Special education, Compulsory school, Inclusion
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-6696 (URN)10.1080/08856250601082323 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-12-17 Created: 2007-12-17 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. 'Pupils with special educational needs': a study of the assessments and categorizing processes regarding pupils' school difficulties in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>'Pupils with special educational needs': a study of the assessments and categorizing processes regarding pupils' school difficulties in Sweden
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Inclusive Education, ISSN 1360-3116, E-ISSN 1464-5173, Vol. 14, no 2, 133-151 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

One important goal of Swedish educational policies is to integrate all pupils within regular education, irrespective of disability or difficulties in school, and to adjust education to individual needs. The aim of this article was to explore how schools ‘socially construct’, i.e. identify and support, pupils with special educational needs. Another aim was to explore if there were any dominant patterns in the schools’ procedures to differentiate pupils with such needs from ‘normal’ pupils, and how such patterns can be understood in a broader context of educational policies. Interviews were conducted with school personnel from two compulsory schools in a municipality in northern Sweden. We chose to use the grounded theory approach for analysing the interview data. The analysis indicated that there were three different patterns or models for identifying and supporting pupils with special educational needs: a pedagogical, a social or a medical model. Various professionals were involved in different ways in each model. Another finding was that school personnel did not find it easy to sort out and assess ‘special educational needs’, and that the identification of such needs were conditioned upon resources available for the schools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2010
Keyword
assessment, special education needs, inclusive education, special education
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26167 (URN)10.1080/13603110802504176 (DOI)000285196700002 ()
Available from: 2009-09-29 Created: 2009-09-28 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. Struggling for recognition and inclusion: parents' and pupils' experiences of special support measures in school
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Struggling for recognition and inclusion: parents' and pupils' experiences of special support measures in school
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 5, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the last decade an increasing use of differentiated support measures for pupils with special educational needs, indicative of a discrepancy between educational policies and practices, has been witnessed in Sweden.  Another trend has been the increased use of medical diagnoses in school. The aim of this study was to explore the main concern of support given to pupils with special educational needs and how pupils and parents experience and handle this. Interviews were conducted with 8 pupils in grades 7-9 – and their parents – at two compulsory schools in a city in northern Sweden. A grounded theory approach was used for analysing the interview data. A conceptual model was generated illuminating the main concern of special support measures for pupils and parents. The core category of the model, struggling for recognition and inclusion, was related to two categories which further described how this process was experienced and handled by the participants. These categories were labelled negotiating expertise knowledge within a fragmented support structure and coping with stigma, ambivalence and special support measures. The developed conceptual model provides a deeper understanding of an ongoing process of struggle for recognition and inclusion in school as described by the pupils and parents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Co-Action Publishing, 2010
Keyword
grounded theory, pupils with special educational needs, special education, special support measures, medical diagnosis, personal experiences
National Category
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26168 (URN)10.3402/qhw.v5i1.4646 (DOI)000281886400001 ()
Available from: 2009-09-29 Created: 2009-09-28 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(754 kB)20427 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 754 kBChecksum SHA-512
e1a93970b7ca21d9ac88a909ff3a52b27a0b1cbca7d5035c5d4e48d27794b648d1022dce29afafd2b91b8493c24478869b418064d65e384287eb57abbdb1d72a
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Isaksson, Joakim
By organisation
Department of Social Work
Social WorkOther Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 20427 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 12272 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf