The public defense of Anna-Lena Andersson´s doctoral thesis in Didactics
The public defense of Anna-Lena Andersson´s doctoral thesis in Didiacts will take place at 13.15 on October 9, 2020.
Title: The educational situation of students with mild intellectual disability (MID) through the perspectives of teachers and parents
The faculty examiner is Professor Jonas Almqvist, Uppsala University and the examining committee consists of Professor Mona Holmqvist, Malmö University, Associate Professor Johan Malmqvist, Jönköping University and Professor Karin Forslund Frykedal, University West and Linköping University. Reserve: Professor Per Lindqvist, Mälardalen University.
The doctoral thesis has serial number 320.
The goal of the Swedish educational system is to offer all students a meaningful and equal education in an inclusive classroom environment. At the same time there are parallel school systems in Sweden, comprised by the Compulsory School for Students with Intellectual Disability (CSSID) and Compulsory School (CS). Students who are not able to achieve in accordance with syllabus of CS and who have an intellectual disability (ID) are eligible to receive education according to the CSSID syllabus. The decision of placement in either type of school rests on students’ parents. It can be assumed, therefore, that teachers are expected to offer education adjusted to each student’s individual needs.
The aim of the thesis is to deepen the knowledge about the educational situation of students with mild intellectual disability (MID) through the perspectives of teachers and parents. Teachers’ and parents’ experiences and perceptions are studied: parents offer their stories about their children’s educational situation over time, and teachers’ reason about their work in teaching situations with the target group. Furthermore, pedagogical evaluations are studied to look at how school difficulties in teaching situations are described.
The empirical data was collected in one municipality from the middle part of Sweden. The data constitutes of six interviews with parents of students with MID, and also 21 pedagogical evaluations of students with MID. Additionally, interviews were conducted with 21 teachers: eleven CS teachers and ten CSSID teachers.
All interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis and using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), and manifest contents analysis was used to analyze pedagogical evaluations. Theories used were Biesta’s theory on the dimensions of education, the three levels in education transitions by Griebel and Niesel, and the school didactic theory by Uljen.
The results show that the educational transitions and the educational situation around students with MID are complex. The transition from CS to CSSID means a readjustment for parents and they express the need for support from professionals in these transitions. Pedagogical evaluations contain individual-focused descriptions and focus to a lesser extent on teaching adaptations. Teachers in CS and CSSID outlined both common challenges in provision of support to all students but also described different prerequisites for it in the two school types. The results indicate that the teaching situation in both CSSID and the CS needs to be reviewed with regard to the school's organizational conditions to offer inclusive education.