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  • 1.
    Andreasson, Ingela
    et al.
    Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik, Göteborgs universitet.
    Asp-Onsjö, Lisa
    Institutionen för didaktik och pedagogisk professsion, Göteborgs universitet.
    Isaksson, Joakim
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för socialt arbete.
    Lessons learned from research on individual educational plans in Sweden: obstacles, opportunities and future challenges2013Inngår i: European Journal of Special Needs Education, ISSN 0885-6257, E-ISSN 1469-591X, Vol. 28, nr 4, s. 413-426Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Since 1995 all Swedish compulsory schools have had a legal obligation to establish Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) for pupils with special educational needs. However, previous research shows that there are a number of issues associated with how these plans are used in schools’ overall work, and identifies a discrepancy between educational policy and practice. In this article we review previous research on authentic IEPs in Sweden to clarify issues and obstacles associated with each step of the process of working with these plans. We then problematise and critically discuss the role that IEPs have come to play in the current Swedish education system and Swedish education policy, following recent reforms. Informed by our review of previous research and the transformation of the Swedish education system during recent years, we conclude that the following issues regarding the use of IEPs require particular consideration on both policy and local school levels. Firstly, partly (at least) because guidelines for implementing IEPs are inadequate, schools appear to enact rather than implement these policy demands, without critically considering what an IEP is and how it should be used in practice. Secondly, in contrast to initial intentions, IEPs largely seem to be used primarily as administrative tools rather than to help meet the educational and developmental needs of the pupils concerned. Hence, there is a risk of IEPs being used merely for ‘fabricating’ a sanitised version of the schools’ procedures to demonstrate accountability in national quality audits and give a favourable representation of the schools. Finally, parents and pupils’ participation and involvement in developing IEPs need further exploration in schools. These issues should ideally be critically examined in future studies regarding the use of IEPs both nationally and internationally.

  • 2.
    Herkner, Birgitta
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Specialpedagogiska institutionen.
    Allodi, Mara
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Specialpedagogiska institutionen.
    Olofsson, Åke
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Early identification or broken promises?: a comparison of literacy assessment performance in 112 Swedish third graders2014Inngår i: European Journal of Special Needs Education, ISSN 0885-6257, E-ISSN 1469-591X, Vol. 29, nr 2, s. 237-246Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    The national standardised literacy assessment (NSLA) for Swedish Language was introduced in 2009 as a grade-three compulsory assessment and includes the assessment of reading ability. It was introduced as a measure of relatively early identification of reading difficulties among nine-years old students. The primary objective of this study was to examine whether the NSLA is able to identify students with word decoding problems from a sample of third graders (N = 112; n = 57 girls; n  = 55 boys) attending six schools in a Swedish municipality. Eleven students (10%) performed below the cut-off value for word decoding ability in students of this age group. Only three of these students were identified as not achieving the goals posed by the NSLA. In contrast, eight students with low word decoding ability managed to meet the NSLA requirements. Gender differences were observed, since all of the students who passed the NSLA, notwithstanding having low performance in WD, were boys. Although the NSLA was specifically introduced at this level to identify weakness in reading at an early stage, the results of this study indicate that approximately three quarters of students with poor word decoding ability may remain unidentified by the NSLA. These findings call into question the validity of the NSLA in recognising pupils in need of additional support in reading.

  • 3.
    Isaksson, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för socialt arbete.
    Lindqvist, Rafael
    Sociologiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet.
    What is the meaning of special education?: Problem representations in Swedish policy documents: late 1970s-20142015Inngår i: European Journal of Special Needs Education, ISSN 0885-6257, E-ISSN 1469-591X, Vol. 30, nr 1, s. 122-137Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    In Sweden, as in many other countries, inclusion has been on the political agenda for a long time and has served as a blueprint and guiding principle for practical work in school. However, inclusive education has, by and large, been associated with special education measures, which seriously limit the chances of achieving the vision of inclusion. In this article, we analyse how the meaning of special education is constructed in policy documents from four distinct time periods of Swedish education policy from the late 1970s to 2014. The paper draws on an approach to scrutinise the process of problematisation in public policy making. Based on the analysis, we argue that there are prospects of a hegemonic intervention regarding the meaning of special education during later years in Swedish education policy, emphasising an individual perspective and individual deficiencies. In contrast to inclusive ambitions, this perspective advocate segregated support measures. Finally, based on previous research and tendencies within the field, we present arguments in the concluding discussion why this hegemonic intervention in education policy also might attract the support of school personnel at the local school level and some potential consequences of the expansion of special education in Sweden

  • 4.
    Isaksson, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskaplig fakultet, Socialt arbete.
    Lindqvist, Rafael
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskaplig fakultet, Socialt arbete.
    Bergström, Erik
    Umeå universitet, Medicinsk fakultet, Klinisk vetenskap, Pediatrik.
    School problems or individual shortcomings?: A study of individual educational plans in Sweden2007Inngår i: European Journal of Special Needs Education, ISSN 0885-6257, E-ISSN 1469-591X, Vol. 22, nr 1, s. 75-91Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    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.

  • 5.
    Takala, Marjatta
    et al.
    Faculty of Education, Special Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
    Sume, Helena
    he Faculty of Education and Psychology, Special Education, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.
    Hearing-impaired pupils in mainstream education in Finland: teachers' experiences of inclusion and support2017Inngår i: European Journal of Special Needs Education, ISSN 0885-6257, E-ISSN 1469-591XArtikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Today, in Finland, the majority of hearing-impaired pupils attend regular schools. This is in line with inclusive policy. This study aims to investigate do these pupils receive support from teachers, what kind of support is given and how is inclusion functioning. A questionnaire was used with 109 Finnish teachers, with both closed- and open-ended questions. All teachers taught hearing-impaired pupils in mainstream education, at primary or at secondary stage. According to the results, the main support categories were pedagogical and technical support. However, 48% of teachers gave no support. Inclusion was successful according to teachers. Various forms of support and key areas of teaching are discussed.

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