04 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
Research shows that students with special education have poorer learning outcomes in school than other students. They also score lower on several other important variables (Knudsmoen, Løken, Nordahl & Overland, 2011; Rea, McLaughlin & Walter-Thomas, 2002). This puts them at risk of school failure, which is a clear predictor of lack of coping in adult life (Bäckman, Jakobsen, Lorentzen, Österbacka & Dahl, 2011; Frønes & Strømme, 2014). A good overall education can increase the chances that students with learning difficulties and therefore at risk of being marginalized, can function well in society (Markussen & Seland, 2012). In Norway, students who do not benefit satisfactory from general education are entitled to special education, usually part time. Special and general education together shall ensure satisfactory outcome. There has been little focus on what constitutes quality in the overall education for students granted special education (Haug, 2011).
The research question for this poster presentation is: What characterizes the conditions for academic learning in the classroom for students with special education in the 5th - 10th grade?
This study has the intention to contribute to more knowledge about what is actually practiced in the overall education related to students with special education, i.e. in both special and general education, and what implications this knowledge can have. Not only in Norway, but also in other European countries, students with special needs spend time both in general and special education (Rotatori, Bakken, Burkhardt, Obiakor & Sharma, 2014). This makes the research question and the findings in this study relevant also in an European setting.
What constitutes conditions for academic learning, is complex. One way to investigate this is to look at what Shulman (2005) calls the pedagogical signature of teaching, both in special education and general education. The focus has been on the surface structure (the didactical actions) and elements in the depth structure (what is considered good educational practice) as it is observed in education for 8 specific students granted special education. By looking at these dimensions in the two types of education, we hope to give an overview over what the conditions are in both, and what the similarities and differences are. In this study it is the academic aspects of learning processes that are focused on, not the emotional and motivational, although these are strongly connected. This to reduce the complexity by investigating not all, but some dimensions of the learning processes.
The theoretical framework for this presentation is concerned with perspectives on learning: what learning is and how it takes place. The starting point is Sfard’s (1998) two metaphors for learning: The participant metaphor and the acquisition metaphor, where the latter is most emphasized in this study. We agree with Sfard (1998) that one needs both metaphors. The study also assumes that learning is construction of knowledge, primarily in the individual, but that the learning processes take place both individually and in interaction with others.
Teaching situations can be described and analysed by using the model of the didactic triangle that illustrates three main components: student, content and teacher, and the interaction between them (Zierer & Seel, 2012). To better capture the theoretical perspectives in the two metaphores mentioned (Sfard, 1998) we have extended the model with yet another component: fellow students. We call this model a didactical pyramide. This extension will incorporate also the social dimensions of learning in the classroom. To illustrate frame factors, a circle is made around the pyramid. This new model has been called a didactic pyramid, that gives an overall perspective on learning in the classroom as we perceive it.
METHOD This study is a multi-case study. By looking at more than one case, one can to a greater extent obtain a robust foundation for theory building and possible generalization (Eisenhardt & Graebner, 2007). The study is (mainly) qualitative and based on video – and audio-observations of 8 individual Norwegian students. They are in the 5th - 10th grade and granted special education due to moderate difficulties with learning and/or behavior. Filming has been done both in general and special education for each student, a total of 50 lessons in different subjects and with a total of 22 teachers. The focus of the filming is the individual student, what he or she does and says and what is done and said in interactions with the teacher and with fellow students. All videos were transcribed and then analyzed qualitatively in NVivo 11 Pro. In the open coding, the didactical pyramid was used as an organizational tool. Based on the data, overall categories were then developed, perceived as the elements of the surface structure in the lessons, Further coding was done within the framework of these, limited to what was identified as academic actions and interactions. In the end there were 20 appropriate categories. Some of these categories describe the surface structure, while others say something about elements of the depth structure This means the analysis has been hermeneutic, abductive and iterative in its switching between data and theory and with repeated coding. This approach can enhance reliability (Roberts, Priest, & Traynor, 2006). There has then been made a quantitative analysis of the qualitative coding. It has been chosen not to seek more in-depth knowledge of the categories, but rather a clearer overview of the findings. This is chosen especially since quantity of the categories can be seen as relevant when assessing the conditions for learning. This can be characterized as a form of mixed-method approach based on what Greene, Caracelli, & Graham (1989) call "complementarity”, i.e. we are doing a quantitative analysis to illustrate and clarify the qualitative coding. Calculations shows the percentage of the lessons each category is present, and on average how large a percentage each category has in the overall material. The results are divided into two: special education and general education and presented in a table with comments.
EXPECTED OUTCOMES The analysis is now completed. Three major findings will be presented: 1) Central features in the pedagogic signature of the special education and the general education: The students with special education receive extensive guidance from the teacher in special education, much less in the general education. The teaching in both special and general education is teacher-centered and whole class/whole group conversation is the major teaching method. There is little organized student cooperation and the students with special education are rarely engaged in any conversation with peers related to academic substans. These students are relatively active, mostly in special education, but verbalize few reflections, reasoning and thoughts about own work processes. 2) The special education is not so special The way the classes are organized is different in general education vs spesial education, and only the special education uses drill exercises for eg. spelling. Other than that, the categories developed from the data in the analysis are almost identical. That means the characteristics of the surface structure and the elements in the depth structure observed are almost the same. The difference between the two types of education are related to scope and frequency of similar categories. The special education seems not to be particulary different from the general education for the same students. 3) Conditions for learning for students with special education seem to be better in special education: The special education in the data material differs from the general education through the frequence and scope within several categories developed. Based on the theoretical perspectives on learning prosesses assumed in this study, it seems that students with special education engage in and are exposed to more frequent and exctencive activities in special education than in general education that strengthen the conditions for learning. Implications will be discussed.
REFERENCES: Bäckman, O., Jakobsen, V., Lorentzen, T., Österbacka, E. & Dahl, E. (2011). Dropping out in Scandinavia..Institute for Futures Studies Working paper 8. Institutet för Framtidsstudie Eisenhardt, K. M., & Graebner, M. E. (2007). Theory building from cases: opportunities and challenges. Academy of Management Journal, 50(1), 25-32. Frønes, I., & Strømme, H. (2014). Risiko og marginalisering: norske barns levekår i kunnskapssamfunnet. Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk Greene, J. C., Caracelli, V. C., & Graham, W. F. (1989). Toward a Conceptual Framework for Mixed-Method Evaluation Designs Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 11(3), 255-274 Haug, P. (2011). God opplæring for alle – eit felles ansvar. Norsk Pedagogisk Tidsskrift. 95(2). 129-140. Knudsmoen, H., Løken, G., Nordahl, T., & Overland, T. (2011). Tilfeldighetenes spill. En kartlegging av spesialundervisning 1 – 4 timer pr. uke. Rapport 9/2011. Høgskolen i Hedmark. Markussen, E., & Seland, I. (2012). Å redusere bortvalg - bare skolenes ansvar ? : En undersøkelse av bortvalg ved de videregående skolene i Akershus fylkeskommune skoleåret 2010 - 2011. Rapport 6/2012. NIFU Rea, J. R., McLaughlin, V. L., & Walter-Thomas, C. (2002). Outcomes for Students With Learning Disabilities in Inclusive and Pullout Programs. Exceptional Children, 68(2), 203-223. Roberts, P., Priest, H., & Traynor, M. (2006). Reliability and validity in research Nursing Standard, 20(44), 41-45. Rotatori. A.F., Bakken, J.P., Burkhardt, S., Obiakor, F:E. & Sharma, U. (red). (2014). Special Education International Perspectives: Practices Across the Globe. Advances in special education, Volume 28. Bingley: Emerald. Sfard, A. (1998). On Two Metaphors for Learning and the Dangers of Choosing Just One Educational Researcher, 27(2), 4 - 13. Shulman, L. S. (2005). Signature pedagogies in the professions. Dædalus, Summer (134), 52-59. Zierer, K., & Seel, N. M. (2012). General Didactics and Industrial Design: eyes like twins. A transatlantic dialogue about similarities and differences, about the past and the future of two sciences of learning and teaching. SpringerPlus. 2012. 1/15.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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