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  • 1.
    Anderson, Lotta
    et al.
    Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society, Malmö, Sweden.
    Möllås, Gunvie
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).
    Ohlsson, Lisbeth
    Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Kristianstad, Sweden.
    Characteristics of independent schools directed at students in need of special support: A study of school website presentation2019In: Problems of Education in the 21st Century, ISSN 1822-7864, E-ISSN 2538-7111, Vol. 77, no 3, p. 317-337Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the research was to explore how 55 Swedish independent schools, directed at (or limited to) students in need of special support (SNSS), describe their organisation, work and visions. The empirical data of the research consisted of the schools' website presentations, which were processed and analysed in consecutive steps. The results showed that the students' complicated school- and life situations were often combined with disabilities mainly in the neuropsychiatric field. The majority of the schools (76%) practiced both schooling and methods for treatment and care, differentiating their role from the mainstream track. Neuropsychiatric and psychological perspectives had a significant influence, reflected in how the schools describe their daily routines, therapeutic methods of treatment and access to specific categories of staff. Small groups, individual instruction and competent staff were described as specific features. Teaching content and didactic aspects were seldom highlighted. The focus on the websites was on socialisation and subjectification while qualification, i.e. knowledge development, had a more limited role. The study points to a need for further research exploring daily pedagogical practice in more depth and calls for a greater focus on student perspectives. Consequences for learning contexts are discussed in the concluding part of the article. The specialist role, the independent schools in the present study tended to take on are most urgent issues to discuss in an educational context striving for equity and inclusive learning environments. 

  • 2.
    Göransson, Kerstin
    et al.
    Department of Educational Studies, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.
    Lindqvist, Gunilla
    Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Möllås, Gunvie
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).
    Almqvist, Lena
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU). School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    Nilholm, Claes
    Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Ideas about occupational roles and inclusive practices among special needs educators and support teachers in Sweden2017In: Educational review (Birmingham), ISSN 0013-1911, E-ISSN 1465-3397, Vol. 69, no 4, p. 490-505Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Special needs educators (SNEs) and their counterparts are expected to play a significant role in schools’ work towards inclusive practices. Studies do, however, indicate a rather diversified picture regarding the occupational groups assigned to work with special support and their workroles, within and between different countries. In Sweden, one can differentiate between two such occupational groups, SNEs with qualifications in special educational needs at advanced level and support teachers (SuTs) with varying teacher education and education in special educational needs. The aims of this article are to investigate the occurrence of SNEs and SuTs within the compulsory school system in 10 municipalities in Sweden and the occupational roles of those SNEs and SuTs in relation to the inclusion agenda. A questionnaire was sent out in 2012 to all SNEs and SuTs in 10 municipalities (n = 511, response rate 61.6%). Main results indicate that: (a) there is wide variation between municipalities regarding the extent to which SNEs or SuTs are assigned to work with special support; (b) the characteristics of the occupational role of SNEs are more in line with inclusive practices than those of the role of SuTs; (c) there is consensus between the two occupational groups regarding what they think should characterize the occupational role of SNEs; (d) SNEs consider, more than do the SuTs themselves, that the role of SuTs should be more in line with that of a “traditional special-education teacher”. Results are discussed in relation to Thomas Skrtic’s theoretical accounts of inclusive education and Andrew Abbott’s notion of jurisdictional control.

  • 3.
    Klang, Nina
    et al.
    Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Gustafsson, Katarina
    Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Möllås, Gunvie
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).
    Nilholm, Claes
    Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Göransson, Kerstin
    Department of Pedagogical Studies, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.
    Enacting the role of special needs educator – six Swedish case studies2017In: European Journal of Special Needs Education, ISSN 0885-6257, E-ISSN 1469-591X, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 391-405Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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.

  • 4.
    Lindqvist, Gunilla
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Pedagogik.
    Göransson, Kerstin
    Mälardalens Högskola.
    Nilholm, Claes
    Malmö Högskola.
    Möllås, Gunvie
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Other School Based Research.
    Cameron, David Lansing
    Universitet i Agder, Norge.
    Hannus-Gullmets, Britta
    Åbo Akademi, Finland.
    Special professions? The role of special educators in the Nordic countries2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Special educators play a central role in schools´ work in relation to special educational needs. They represent, and are expected to represent, specific ways to identify and work with problematic school situations. Despite their important position, very little is known about what constitutes their professional role with regard to knowledge base, professional activities, legitimacy and status within the educational system. Little is also known about the conditions for developing a professional role, for example in relation to state and local policies.

    The purpose of this round table session is twofold: a) to discuss the role of special educators in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark and conditions for developing a shared understanding of the professional role within each country as well as between the countries; b) to discuss possibilities for joint, comparative studies within the field.

    Theoretical points of departure that will guide our discussions are: a) different perspectives on special needs education, the deficit or compensatory perspective (e.g. Ainscow, 1998; Haug, 1998), the relational perspective (e.g. Clark, Dyson & Millward, 1998; Persson, 1998; Skrtic, 1991) and the interactive perspective (Ainscow, 1998); b) different perspectives on professions, the knowledge base, the every-day practice of the profession, legitimacy and status (c.f. Collin, 1990; Gross, 1958; Torstendahl, 1990).

    Empirical points of departure will be preliminary results from three Swedish surveys: one total population survey of special pedagogues and special teachers examined between the years 2003-2011(N=4 252, response rate 75,0%) and one Swedish survey of all teachers working as special educators, resource teachers etc. (N=511, response rate 62,5%), in a sample of municipalities and one survey to all teaching staff and support staff in one municipality (N=1297, response rate 72,5%).

  • 5.
    Malmqvist, Johan
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU). Linnaeus University, Växjö–Kalmar, Sweden.
    Hellberg, Kristina
    Linnaeus University, Växjö–Kalmar, Sweden.
    Möllås, Gunvie
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).
    Rose, Richard
    University of Northampton, United Kingdom.
    Shevlin, Michael
    Trinity College, The University of Dublin, Ireland.
    Conducting the pilot study: A neglected part of the research process? Methodological findings supporting the importance of piloting in qualitative research studies2019In: International Journal of Qualitative Methods, ISSN 1609-4069, E-ISSN 1609-4069, Vol. 18, article id 1609406919878341Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the development of research to compare the processes and impact of inclusive education in Sweden with results obtained from a study undertaken in Ireland, a pilot study was conducted and documented. The pilot study had three aims: (1) to gather data to provide guidance for a substantive study adapted to Swedish conditions through modification of Irish research procedures and instruments, (2) to critically interrogate how we as researchers could most effectively conduct a pilot study utilizing observational and video-recorded data, and (3) to use the Irish theoretical model as a tool of analysis for studying inclusion in two Swedish schools. Although pilot studies are frequently conducted to assess the efficacy of research instruments for use in qualitative research projects, few publications have drawn upon empirical findings related to such studies. Additionally, while methodological texts recommend the use of pilot studies in qualitative research, there is a lack of reported research focusing on how to conduct such pilot studies. We argue that our methodological findings may contribute to greater awareness of the important role that a pilot study may have for full-scale qualitative research projects, for example, in case study research where semi-structured qualitative interviews are used. This argument is based on the assumption that researchers, and especially novice researchers, having conducted a pilot study will be better informed and prepared to face the challenges that are likely to arise in the substantive study and more confident in the instruments to be used for data collection. A proper analysis of the procedures and results from the pilot study facilitates the identification of weaknesses that may be addressed. A carefully organized and managed pilot study has the potential to increase the quality of the research as results from such studies can inform subsequent parts of the research process.

  • 6.
    Malmqvist, Johan
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).
    Möllås, Gunvie
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).
    Enhancing equity through an intervention?2019In: Abstract book, 2019, p. 370-371Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Möllås, Gunvie
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Other School Based Research.
    "Detta ideliga mötande": En studie av hur kommunikation och samspel konstituerar gymnasieelevers skolpraktik2009Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Practically all pupils leaving the nine-year compulsory school continue their studies at the upper secondary school, which consequently faces the challenge of meeting the whole range of varying needs and conditions of students. Daily school practice is constituted by a number of communicative contexts, formal as well as informal. In these social and linguistic contexts, conversations are held about and with students. The dissertation, which focuses on students in need of support, is expected to contribute to the creation of knowledge about how communication and interaction constitute daily work and how this ultimately may be manifested in exclusion and inclusion processes during the upper secondary school education of the young. The research is directed at the organisation of the work of the upper secondary school as well as at students’ experience of and learning from their participation, communication in various contexts and their own learning.

    The dissertation has its point of departure in the communicative relational perspective (KoRP), which is founded on socio-cultural theory formation. In addition, concepts from dramaturgy have been used as analytical tools for deepened analysis and interpretation of interaction. The study is ethnographic and longitudinal in its nature. During slightly more than three years of field work, eleven case study students have been followed on their journey through upper secondary school education.

    The outcome indicates the complexity of the upper secondary school, where communication and actions in a number of communicative contexts not always have the expected effect. To formal contexts that shall have a precautionary and supportive function belong pupil welfare team meetings, transition conferences and class meetings. For the group of case study students, however, these turn out to have limited significance. Among other things, the study uncovers how work organisation, mediational tools and the interaction of participants may become obstacles. Further, waiting for support efforts as well as inadequate collaboration between various communicative contexts have negative consequences for students concerned. For students who prosper in spite of complicated schooling and life situation in general, the experience of participation in a community of friends has a prominent position, but above all participation in one’s own learning process appears to be a decisive factor. This calls for continuous talks and follow-ups, in which teachers and not least class teachers/mentors have a central role.

  • 8.
    Möllås, Gunvie
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).
    Vad formar rollen som specialpedagog?2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Den specialpedagogiska yrkesrollen medför ofta en rik flora av arbetsuppgifter och varierande uppdrag. Det saknas dock tydliga riktlinjer för yrkesrollen, vilket gör att den kan tolkas på olika sätt. Hur skolan identifierar och hanterar skolproblem, blir därför avgörande för hur det specialpedagogiska uppdraget ser ut. Det väcker i sin tur frågan om vilka konsekvenserna blir för utvecklingen av en inkluderande undervisning, som främjar alla elevers optimala lärande och delaktighet.

    Ett forskningsprojekt, bestående av tre olika delstudier, har riktat sitt fokus mot ”Speciella yrken”. Främst har specialpedagoger och speciallärare deltagit, men även resurslärare var involverade i en av delstudierna. Efter två genomförda enkätstudier, valdes sex respondenter ut för fördjupade fallstudier. Observationer, intervjuer, informella samtal, inspelade dagboksanteckningar och dokument utgjorde datamaterialet. Samtliga sex deltagare var anställda eller arbetade som specialpedagoger.

    Det övergripande syftet var att undersöka hur specialpedagogrollen konstitueras i grundskolans vardagliga och lokala praktiker. Följande forskningsfrågor ställdes:

    - Vilka kontextuella villkor och förutsättningar bidrar till att forma specialpedagogers yrkesroll?

    - Vilka strategier använder specialpedagoger sig själva av för att stärka och forma sin yrkesroll?

    - Vilka arbetsuppgifter ingår i specialpedagogers vardagspraktik?

    Resultatet pekar på att flera kontextuella dimensioner (situerade, professionella, materiella och externa) bidrar till att skapa olika förutsättningar för specialpedagogers arbete. Hit hör bland annat skolans historiska, socioekonomiska och kulturella miljö, organiseringen av specialpedagogiskt arbete och inte minst rektors ledarskap och visioner, samt rektors inställning till elever i svårigheter och tilltron till specialpedagogens styrkor.

    Samtidigt visar forskningsresultaten på att specialpedagogerna använder sig av egna strategier för att ta kontrollen över sina arbetsuppgifter. Det handlar om personliga intressen, erfarenheter och kompetenser. Vidare rör det sig om förmågan att bygga relationer, att kunna inta ett självständigt ledarskap och att fungera som en stödjande länk mellan olika kontexter, nivåer och aktörer inom och utanför skolan.

  • 9.
    Möllås, Gunvie
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).
    Gustafson, Katarina
    Klang, Nina
    Göransson, Kerstin
    Karlstads universitet, Institutionen för pedagogiska studier.
    Specialpedagogers/speciallärares arbete i den dagliga skolpraktiken: En analys av sex fallstudier2017Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Vilka arbetsuppgifter ingår i specialpedagogernas vardagspraktik? Vilka kontextuella villkor och förutsättningar bidrar till att forma den specialpedagogiska yrkesrollen samt vilka strategier använder specialpedagogerna sig själva av för att stärka och forma sin yrkesroll? Frågorna ligger till grund för den analys av sex fallstudier som presenteras i den här rapporten. Studien utgör den tredje delstudien inom ett större forskningsprojekt ”Speciella yrken? Ett projekt om speciallärares och specialpedagogers arbete och utbildning”, vilket har finansierats av Vetenskapsrådet. Samtliga respondenter är anställda som specialpedagoger, men har varierande bakgrund och utbildning. Syftet har varit att undersöka hur specialpedagogrollen konstitueras i grundskolans vardagliga och lokala praktiker. Datamaterialet består av dokument, fältanteckningar från observationer, informella samtal och intervjuer samt respondenternas egna dagboksinspelningar. Rapporten riktar sig främst till verksamma aktörer inom grundskolan på olika nivåer (förvaltningspersonal, rektorer, elevhälsans personal, specialpedagoger, speciallärare, lärare m fl), blivande specialpedagoger och speciallärare samt lärarutbildare. 

  • 10.
    Möllås, Gunvie
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).
    Malmqvist, Johan
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Learning Practices inside and outside School (LPS), Communication, Culture & Diversity @ JU (CCD@JU).
    Intensivstöd, en intervention i Jönköpings kommun med syfte att öka fyra skolors måluppfyllelse samt att uppfylla skollagens kompensatoriska uppdrag2019Report (Other academic)
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