Enacting the role of special needs educator – six Swedish case studies
2016 (English)In: European Journal of Special Needs Education, ISSN 0885-6257, E-ISSN 1469-591X, 1-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
With the increasing focus on inclusion, special needs educators (SNEs) are now expected to share responsibility for pupils with teacher colleagues and to lead school development, but it is a challenge to enact this role in schools. The aim of the study was to explore how professional roles of Swedish SNEs are enacted in local school contexts. From a survey of SNEs in 10 Swedish municipalities, six participants whose work tasks were expected to correspond to the degree ordinances for their university training were chosen. The participants were followed at work, and data were collected through observation of the participants at work, participants’ diaries and interviews with the participants, their teacher colleagues and their school principals. The analysis involved both quantitative and qualitative methods. First, based on the researchers’ observations of the participants at work, categories of SNEs’ tasks were discerned, and the amount of time devoted to those categories of tasks was summarised. Second, case study narratives of the SNEs’ work were constructed to describe how the participants, their teacher colleagues and their school principals view the SNE role and to describe how the work is enacted in various school contexts. The results revealed seven categories of work tasks practised to varying degrees by the six SNEs. The case study narratives exposed large variation in how the SNEs conceptualised their role and how it evolved in relation to local school contexts. The results of the study are discussed with regard to the role of the SNE in relation to policies of inclusion.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. 1-15 p.
case study; narratives; professional role; special needs educator; work tasks
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-34062DOI: 10.1080/08856257.2016.1240343ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84994300415OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-34062DiVA: diva2:1048439