Consultation in special needs education in Sweden and Finland: a comparative approach

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    Abstract

    The article compares the conditions and implementation of special education professionals' consulting task in Sweden and Finland. The article first describes the background of the consulting teacher role and special education in Sweden and in Finland. Two different perspectives in the continuum on consultation are presented, followed by a description of how the consulting task is implemented and described in educational policy papers, and in research in the two countries. The analysis shows that while there are differences between the implementation of the consulting task in Sweden and Finland, there are also several similarities regarding the challenges faced. Differences can be understood according to traditions, education and educational policy papers. The similarities shows that the consulting task must be clearly defined in policy documents, highlighted in education and understood as a complex activity where both advice and reflection strategies are used. The consulting task can be more successful if the consultation is characterised by collaborative dialogues where the classroom teachers' knowledge and the context are also taken into account.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)297–312
    Number of pages16
    JournalEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education
    Volume29
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • collaboration
    • collaborative consultation
    • consultation
    • inclusive education
    • special education teachers

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