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  • Tjernberg, Catharina, 1953- (författare)
  • Specialpedagogik i skolvardagen En studie med fokus på framgångsfaktorer i läs- och skrivlärande
  • 2011
  • Licentiatavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This is a praxis-oriented case study of written language activities in Forms 1–5 in the nine-year Swedish compulsory school. The emphasis is on pupils at risk of de­veloping reading and writing disabilities. The aim of this study is to analyse the factors underlying successful reading and writing education and the pedagogical conditions promoting re­flective didactic skills, focusing on the students’ develop­ment of reading and writing abili­ties.The praxis-oriented approach is expressed by means of working with classroom ob­servat­ions and reflective communication with the teachers. Four classes at the junior and intermedi­ate levels of the nine-year compulsory Swedish school have been studied for two years. Both the schools and the teachers have been chosen strategically. Quantita­tive and qualitative data indicate that the selected schools have special qualifications. The teachers were chosen because they have proved particu­larly successful in devel­oping reading and wri­ting abilities of their pupils, including those with docu­mented reading and writing disabilities.Reports from the National Swedish Agency for Education, as well as large inter­na­t­ional surveys, indicate that the consensus concerning reading and writing edu­cation achieved by science during the past decade has had very little impact on everyday class­room activities. One of the underlying questions is how research re­sults are suc­cessfully implemented in everyday school work.The results show that the teachers use a wide variety of methods in response to the wide variety of students´ requirements. The lessons are characterized by in­tense activity on the part of both teacher and pupils, and of a high level of interac­tivity in communi­cation, reading, writing and counting. A surprising pattern is that the teach­ers very consciously work with oral presentation in various topics and genres. This gives students with reading and writing difficulties an op­portunity to succeed.The instruction is notable for being well-structured, with a balance between form and function, a high level of challenging tasks and visibilization of individual pro­gress. The special needs education aspect of the instruction appears in the te­achers’ abilities to arrange pedagogical situations in which a wide variety of abilities can be expressed and developed. The teachers show a positive belief in their stu­dents and strive to make them successful in a social context.This study indicates the importance of a solid theoretical background, enabling the te­acher to identify the developmental stage the student is at and to adapt the instruction accordingly. Another important factor is the ability of the teacher to in­stantly see and grasp pedagogical opportunities and to interpret and utilize the diag­nostic signals in the classroom. One im­portant conclusion is that reading and writing education, in order to be successful, must be viewed in a context of lan­guage development as a whole, involving both its oral and its writ­ten aspects.This study also demonstrates that research results are perceived as more acces­si­ble and relevant by the teachers when the researchers’ focus is on applied peda­gog­ics, al­lowing theory and practical applications to interact. This opens up the possi­bility of es­tablishing and incor­porating scientific theories on learning in every­day, practical school work.
  • Ek, Ulla, 1948- (författare)
  • Specialpedagogik – en framtidsvy
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: Barn med funktionshinder. - Lund : Studentlitteratur. - 978-91-44-07187-9 ; s. 327-333
  • Bokkapitel (övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • Allodi Westling, Mara, 1959- (författare)
  • Decline, Crisis and Turnaround in the Swedish School Market: : the case of a school that has come through
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research.
  • Konferensbidrag (refereegranskat)abstract
    • he principles of New Public Management (Adcroft & Willis, 2005, Deifenbach, 2008) have inspired educational reforms in Sweden during the last 20 years with the introduction of a large array of reforms: educational standards, national assessments, new grading system, accountability, vouchers, independent schools, school inspectorate (Allodi, in press, NAE, 2013). One of the assumptions is that the schools will perform better if they are exposed to concurrence from other schools, through the parents’ free choice of school. The system requires therefore that inspectorate reports and various measures of school performance are made publicly available. Measures of students’ achievements, grades, qualification rates, are included in the accountability system, while measures of school performance on other shared educational goals, as inclusiveness, fairness and equity, are usually not considered.  It is inevitable that some schools will be identified as low performers, or as performing less well than expected - in models that take account of school composition. The models employed in the Swedish school accountability system, however, do not take account of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Schools that recruit large numbers of disadvantaged students or that recruit students with special educational needs from the whole districts to special units, risk getting lower results than expected, may get consequently a bad reputation and eventually smaller numbers of students, which may conduce to economic trouble and budget cuts. Schools like these may be penalized and risk ending up in a situation of demoralization and crisis (Allodi, in press).The school’s organizational climate has been identified as a factor that influences school performance and students’ well being and results (Rutter & Maughan, 2002; Leithwood, 2011). The aim of the intervention program Social climate participation and learning was to sustain changes in the schools’ organizational climate, by mean of activities for the staff as workshops, evaluations and planning, in collaboration with a researcher. The broad theoretical framework of the intervention includes theories of learning environments, universal human needs and values (Allodi, 2007, 2010 a, 2010b, Schwartz, 1995), organizational  learning and change (Mintzberg, 1983, Senge, 1995, Kaplan , 2007). The changes were expected to make the school more equitable and inclusive, increasing the number of students that were qualified to secondary education, and also to raise the average qualification value of the students and their well-being. Pinehill school was one of the two schools that participated in the program. Pinehill school is a junior public high school with about 300 students located in a suburban municipality, in a neighborhood of about 16 thousand inhabitants. The employment rate in the area is about 84 % and 17 % of the population have an immigrant background. Pinehill school has a district commissioned special unit for students with special educational needs. The situation of the school at the beginning and some of the development and changes that occurred and were manifested at Pinehill school during three years are described and analyzed in this paper.The study is a case study of a school participating in a program aimed to change the school's organizational climate and performance. The school was recruited through the person in charge for development in the district, who identified it as a school in decline, a school that needed support to start a change. The principals, the teachers, the students and their parents were informed about the program and could avoid participating. The design of the program was approved by the regional ethical committee. The program adopted an approach that combined elements of research diffusion development and evidence-based practices. The key principles were: information on theories and research on social climate and supportive relationships in learning environments, evaluations of students’ experiences, reflection and analysis, flexible adaptations to local issues, long-term, sustainable development. The study has a mixed methods approach (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2010) and analyzes the data collected within the school during a three-year period. The data about the school organization and performance was collected through teacher surveys (organizational climate) student surveys (school climate) participation to meetings and workshops, and includes documents, reports, available official school statistics from the NAE, and the Swedish School Inspectorate.When the program started in Autumn 2009, Pine Hill school was in decline. After a period the crisis accentuated due to internal and external factors. Several developments and changes were introduced in the school organization during the following years. Pine Hill made a turnaround: the school has the best average qualification value among the municipal schools in the district and has consistently reduced the achievement gap between girls and boys. The students have better perceptions of the social climate (creativity, safety, helpfulness, participation and influence). At Pine Hill all the subjects are considered important and the esthetic-practical activities are highly valued. The students' number has increased, which make it possible to recruit new teachers. The mission of inclusive education and participation is important for the staff and they are involved in several new research projects. Besides the special unit for students with special educational needs Pine Hill plans to give place to recently immigrated students, a new commission from the school district. Nevertheless, a recent report of the Inspectorate found reason to yet give criticism to several aspects of the school functioning. The changes and development are analyzed and related to research and theories of organizational change.
  • Allodi Westling, Mara, 1959- (författare)
  • Förbjudet område? : utbildning och kompetensutveckling om högbegåvade barns behov i skola och förskola
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift. - Stockholm : Socialmedicinsk tidskrift. - 0037-833X. ; 91:2, s. 139-151
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Specialpedagogisk utbildning om särbegåvning i skola och förskola finns sedan några år på Stockolms Universitet och har utvecklats utifrån de behov av mer kunskap om villkoren för ett adekvat bemötande och behoven av stöd och stimulans för barn och ungdomar som visar tecken på en brådmogen utveckling och stor kapacitet inom en eller flera domäner. En internationell översikt av utbildningspolicy, resurser, lärarutbildning och kompetensutveckling som avser denna elevgrupp ger en bild av det mångfacetterade internationella utbildningslandskapet. Även om forskningsfältet i det svenska skolsystemet inte är särskilt starkt, har det vuxit ett intresse för dessa frågor i media och bland studenter och lärare. Studier och uppsatser presenteras som ger inblick i den svenska skolsituationen, och ger indikation om angelägna utvecklingsområden. Utifrån erfarenheterna av specialpedagogisk utbildning och insikter från aktuella studier identifieras angelägna pedagogiska frågor att arbeta med och visioner för framtiden.
  • Allodi Westling, Mara, 1959-, et al. (författare)
  • Learning technologies and special educational needs : a liiterature review of empirical research
  • 2013
  • Konferensbidrag (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Learning technologies are used in educational settings as tools to communicate, design learning environments, and stimulate learning processes. Many of these tools are applied in the field of special educational needs.  We have identified several types of applications that have been reported in scientific international journals as technology-enhanced learning, augmentative and alternative communication, computer-assisted instruction,  interventions with computer-based games, multi-user virtual environment  (as virtual case, visualization and simulation activities), web-based inquiry learning, computer-supported collaborative learning, application software, digital literacy, learning platforms, e- learning and mobile learning. These developments in the field of learning technologies should be introduced in teacher training and in particular in special needs education training, since several of these technologies may be momentous in improving education for students with learning disabilities.  This study wants to contribute to synthesize the research in these subjects in order to disseminate knowledge and in order to stimulate to further research in this field in  teacher training. In fact, despite the rapid growth of technological applications in the Swedish schools, where many students have access to an own PC, the contents of the teacher programs are always adapted to the new, technology-enhanced educational conditions that are nowadays common in the schools. A literature review of research is valuable also to investigate which evidence that is available for the efficacy of various methods.  The literature review aim is to encourage a scientific approach on these matters, which means also a rigorous scrutiny of results. Besides the risk connected to a lack of knowledge, in fact, there is also the risk that commercial interests and marketing will influence investments in the educational sector, to a greater extent than research evidence. A comprehensive theoretical framework for the literature review has been Universal Design for Learning (Rose & Gravel, 2010, CUDE, 2012). Under this concept different didactic approaches fit that offer multiple means of representation and communication, using a variety of resources for activities and expression, and create numerous ways of engagement. ULD is based on principles that are fundamental for all learning and teaching activities. It provides the opportunity to explore a wide range of possibilities and processes related to the theme of inclusive education (inclusion) that strives for objectives of an equal education and to reduce barriers to learning. The aims are to investigate a) which  learning technologies have been developed and are reported in research; b) which theoretical models and concepts are employed in empirical studies of learning technologies and special educational needs; c) to make a mapping of the contents of the field; d) to make a synthesis of research results within a specific area e) to develop a database of research literature to identify questions and issues for future research (interventions, replication of quasi-experimental studies).The study has followed the recommended approach for systematic reviews (CRD, 2009, Gough, Oliver, & Thomas, 2012; Roberts & Petticrew, 2006, SBU, 2011). The searches were conducted mainly in databases that collect suitable Journals on special educational needs and learning technologies (EBSCO, Scopus) during the autumn 2012. Other databases at universities, research institutes, national and international authorities were also searched (e.g. OECD, EPPI, EIPPEE, European Agency for Special Needs Education, The Swedish National Agency for Education, Becta). The reference found was exported to an online database established in RefWorks (2012). A title- and abstract review of about 1300 references were performed according to a protocol. Required inclusion criteria concern population, educational context, special educational needs content, type of technology application, language and availability. The included references were sorted and reviewed in full text. The protocol for the full text review include: methods, subjects, type of special educational needs, relevance for the local educational context, quality. The literature review will map the existent research that is relevant for the special educational needs field and will synthesize the research conducted within a more specific area. Possible candidates are: a) serious games for numeracy, prevention of reading difficulties, training of working memory; b) virtual simulations. We expect that the results of the literature review willl be taken into account in teacher training and special educational needs training
  • Allodi Westling, Mara, 1959- (författare)
  • Simple-minded accountability measures create failure schools in disadvantaged contexts : a case study of a Swedish junior high school
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: Policy Futures in Education. - Didcot, Oxford : Symposium Journals. - 1478-2103. ; 11:4, s. 331-363
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The principles of new public management – market mechanisms, accountability and standards – have been applied in the education system. These methods are supposed to increase efficiency, but there is also a risk of negative consequences from the services provided if the measures of performance target a reduced range of goals, ignore relevant variables or are not valid measures. Indicators used to compare schools’ performance are aggregate measures, such as the percentage of students who have access to secondary education and the average qualification value. This study reports how accountability policy and procedures may affect the functioning of the education system through the case study of a school serving a diverse student population. The school organisation was influenced by measures of performance, external events and contextual and selection variables. The average qualification value measure seems to be a limited measure of performance at the school level, since it largely reflects school composition and school segregation. Even the available performance measures adjusted for background variables do not take account of relevant variables that may influence the school’s need of resources and its results, such as students’ language proficiency and special educational needs. Other performances that are not easily measured – such as the prevention of dropout, improvement of school attendance and provision of an equitable education for all students – are disregarded. Schools serving those students with the most needs risk being penalised by an approximate and restricted range of accountability systems because there is a risk that the schools will appear to be failing when they are working with more complex and advanced tasks than average schools. Based on these inaccurate performance measurements, the school may be targeted with wide-ranging, severe and basically unjust interventions.
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