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ERIC Number: EJ1116466
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1471-3802
From Special Tasks to Extensive Roles: The Changing Face of Special Needs Teachers in Finnish Vocational Further Education
Pirttimaa, Raija; Hirvonen, Maija
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, v16 n4 p234-242 Oct 2016
Following the development of inclusive education in vocational education and training (VET), the discussion about the prevention of marginalisation and dropouts has increased. At the same time, the formal education system has strengthened the position of support services, such as special educational needs (SEN) teachers, social workers and counsellors. However, a confusion of roles in the work of SEN teachers seems evident. The changing work of SEN teachers has not been of great research interest in Finland. The focus has been mainly on SEN teachers at the secondary school level (Kivirauma and Kuorelahti, 2002; Ström, 1999). The work of vocational SEN teachers has been studied by Kaikkonen, 2010 and Hirvonen, 2006. SEN teachers comprise two groups in the field: one group supports vocational subjects and the other group supports general subjects. The aim of this study is to determine how SEN teachers of general subjects define the objectives of their work and how they organise pedagogical support. Ten SEN teachers in vocational colleges were interviewed. A qualitative analysis was performed. The main findings showed, on the one hand, an autonomous position and, on the other, a work model that can be described as a "traditional special needs education model." However, the findings showed that the autonomous role was contradictory. SEN teachers did not emphasise the connection with the VET community or college-based guidelines and directions. Moreover, although the consultative role exists, the findings showed that it is not a regular part of the work of SEN teachers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A