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Sector Reforms on Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in Finland

Sector Reforms on Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in Finland

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Sector Reforms on Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in Finland

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  1. Sector Reforms on Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in Finland Matti Kuorelahti, professor University of Oulu Finland Conference on Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities Moscow 29 September 2011

  2. Themes • PISA 2009 international comparativestudy – somenotices • Finland’seducationsystemsuccessfuldue to the lowachievers’ highperformance • Schoolreforms in1968-2010: regulation & pedagogy • Inclusion in Finnish: supportingindividually

  3. StudentsMeanScores in Reading, Mathematics and Science (PISA 2009)

  4. ScoreDifferences (Boys-Girls) in Reading, Mathematics and Science (PISA 2009) Boys better

  5. Percentages of Pupils on Levels 1-6 in Reading

  6. ReadingMeansby National QuartilesPISA 2009 500

  7. ReadingMeanDifferencesComparedby OECD average (=0) by National Quartiles PISA 2009 Lowachievers’ highperformance!

  8. Variation in StudentPerformance in Reading (PISA 2009)

  9. Effects of students' and schools' socio-economic background on student performance in science (OECD 2007) Score point difference Schoolsproducedifferentoutcomes Allschoolsproduce the samequality

  10. Conclusions • Childrenwithdisabilities (learning, behavior, sensory etc.) arebetterguaranteedwithqualityeducation, if the variationbetweenschools is small • Individualneedsshouldberesponded in mainstreamschools • Qualityeducation for all – and allshouldreallymean ALL • Minimising the number of childrenbeingleftbehind

  11. Schoolreforms in 1968 -2010 in Finland

  12. Structuralreform in 1968 • Principalvoting and politicaldebate in parliament in 1963 concerning the changefromtraditional, parallelsystemtowardcomprehensiveschool • 123 vs 68 (out of 200 MEP’s) -> comprehensive, 9 yearsbasicschoolingbetweenages 7 and 16

  13. Structuralreform in 1968 • Significantpedagogicalchanges: • Common academic 9 yearseducation for allinstead of sorting out the ”academicallycapable” from ”practicallyoriented” afterfouryears (as in most Central Europeancountriestoday) • Abilitybasedgroupings in Math and Englishuntil 1985 • Increase of the specialeducationservices • Especiallypart-timespecialeducation (pupilparticipates 2-4 hrs per week in special ed.) • Classroomteachers in grades 1-6, subjectteachers in grades 7-9

  14. The effect of the schoolreform:remarkablechange in learningoutcomes – especiallyamonglowachievers

  15. Reading comprehension of the 9th graders in Finland in 1965 and 2005 (Moberg & Savolainen 2008) Lowachievers Highachievers

  16. Reforms in specialeducationservices: slowlystepstowardinclusiveeducation

  17. Development of special education services by placement of teaching in Finland 1961-2010 (Moberg 2011)

  18. Number of special schools 1985-2010 The proportion of pupils in specialschoolshasdecreasedfrom 2 % to 1,2 %

  19. Specialeducation -> Support • IndividualizedEducationPlan (IEP) Tier 3: 8,5 % • Specialsupport: in regularor SE class/group Tier 2: 23,3 % • Intensifiedsupport: part-time SE • General support: regularteacher & SE teachers (part-time) Tier 1: All, whennecessary Regularcurriculum

  20. Reforms in Education Act • 1978 – teacher’squalification MA also for classroomteachers • 1985 – no moreabilitybasedgroupings of pupils (”best – average – poor”) • 1997 – severallyintellectuallydisabledpersonsbecomepart of educationsystem out of social welfare

  21. Reforms in Education Act • 2000 – IEP only in onesubject, and pupilcancontinuestudying in regularclassroom -> number of IEP pupilsincreased 3 % - 8 % • schoolsearnedmorestatesubsidiesbased on number of IEP’s • 2010 – from ’specialeducation’ to ’support’ • Movingfromtier 1 to 2 ONLY iftier 1 actionswerenotsufficient, and the actionsmustbedocumented

  22. Inclusion – as Understood in FinnishEducation

  23. Inclusion: Access, Participation and QualityEducation for AllChildren • Access • Every child has the possibility to attend the school • Transportation, equipments, accessible environment • Participation • Every child should have the experience of being a member of the society (class/school) • Friends, interaction, equality – despite of the disabilities • Quality education • Learning outcomes, positive expectations • See also Unesco: Policy Guidelines on Inclusion in Education & Inclusion in Practise

  24. Well, Is It a School for All? The AnswerCanBe YES, because… • School attendancerate is high, and the number of drop-outsduringbasiceducation is verysmall (0,04 %) • The idea of ’school for all’ is implisitwritten in the Basic Educationlaw • Specialeducationsupportshouldbeoffered in regularsetting (ifpossible) • Basic school is highlyappreciatedby the citizens (and teachingprofession)

  25. Is It a School for All? The AnswerCanBe NO, because… • Childrenareplaced in segregatedsettings in specialschools and classes • Inclusion in education is notexplicitlywritten in the Basic EducationLaw • Children with SEN arenotalwayswelcomed in regularclasses

  26. However… The results of the systemaresatisfying and strugglesbetween home and schoolappearseldom -> strongtrust on the school in the society And The individualneedsareidentified in the earlystages of schoolingcareer and supported

  27. SomeRemarks on the Challenges to Meet the Diversity in Schools- especially in Finland

  28. Values and attitudes • Issuenotonly to schoolsbutwholesocietyto acceptpersons with disabilities with the samerights and obligations as others • Children with disabilitiesshouldreceivetheireducationamongpeers • On the otherhand: where the peerrelationsarebestguaranteed? • Deafchildren - the use of sign language • Blindchild’sbestfriend is oftenanotherblindchild

  29. Values and attitudescontinued • Where the peerrelationsarebestguaranteedif the child is aggressive, withdrawal or difficult to approach for his/herpeers? • Childwith ADHD canbe a complexpeer • Childwith LD maynotunderstand the social expectationsbyhis/herpeers -> over-/underreactions • ChildrenwithSEN’softenseem to beunhappier in schoolcommunities • Theyhope to getmorefriends, theyexperiencemorebullying • Teachersshouldremember to encouragechildren for tolerance and acceptance

  30. Modes of support • Flexibility of the schoolsystem: notonlyonemode of support (likespecialschool or class) BUT variety of services • Multiprofessionalteams in school • Regular and SNE teachers, principal, psychologist, schoolnurse, social worker • Analysing and intervening the challenges in school • Searching for new and creativemodes in school, classroom and individuallevels

  31. Collaboration and sharedresponsibility • Teachers alsoneedsupport to meet the hugechallengesdue to the diversity of children! • No teachercanstandallone in the classroomwhereindividualneedsarehigh and acute • Co-teachingmodels: regular and SNE teacherworkingtogether and mergingtheirclasses • Educationalleadership in encouragingcollaboration and sharing the responsibility of children’swell-being in school

  32. Role of Parents • Partnership, negotiating, listening • Respecting the parents as the experts of theirchild • Guidingthem to encouragetheirchild’semotional, behavioral and cognitivedevelopment • Guidingthem to search for otherprofessionalsupportwhenneeded

  33. The challenges for teachersareafterallprettymuch the same in alleducationalcultures! I hopethatyoufoundsomeideas for yourfutureefforts to promote the education of childrenwithdisabilities. Сбосибо!