04 SES 15 A, Financing Inclusive Education: Implications for the Implementation of Inclusive Education
From the late 1960s school systems in the Nordic countries went through huge systemic changes trying to establish a more social equal system for all children. Special education was part of this reform with a strong focus on integration. In Norway this led to the political goal of closing all national and regional special schools and institutions for people with disabilities. In 1993 the county level took over all responsibility of educating and caring for people with disabilities (Hausstätter & Thuen, 2014). The 1990s was therefore the first decade where all children and adults was part of their local school in Norway. These national changes came in the same period as international focus on inclusive education grew. The establishment of inclusive education was therefore part of changes in special education support in Norway. As pointed out by Hausstätter and Jahunukainen (2014) this mix between special education and inclusive education created different strategies on how to work towards inclusive school systems. The Norwegian strategy was to reduce the focus on special education and to develop general educational strategies for all children. From the late 1990s a lot of resources was allocated towards developing inclusive strategies based on the notion of “adapted education”, a strategy that would benefit all learners. At the same time, the attention on special education, strategies, and support system, was reduced and transferred to the county level with minimal national focus. However, the need for special education support was still present and from 2006 the number of students in need of special education support increased from about 5% to 8%. This led to a national discussion and focus on the use and position of special education. Over the last two decade this tension between special and inclusive education has been part of the education debate in Norway. This tension is partly seen in the resource allocation model in Norway. Norway has one resource system related to special educational support at an individual level using about 20% of the national educational budget (Nordahl and Hausstätter, 2009) and a general system supporting the development of inclusive educational strategies. The goal of this paper is to outline the system of special and inclusive education in Norway and to point at challenges experienced in the Norwegian educational system within the framework of inclusive education. The main research question will be: can special education support inclusive education within the Norwegian educational system?
Hausstätter, R.S., and H. Thuen (2014). “Special Education in Norway Today”. In A.F. Rotary, J.P. Bakken, S. Bukhardt, F.E. Obakior, U. Sharma (Eds.), Special Education International Perspectives: Practices Across the Globe. Advances in Special Education (p.181-207). Bingley: Emerald. Hausstätter, R.S., and M. Jahnukainen (2014). “From Integration to Inclusion and the Role of Special Education”. In F. Kiuppis and R. Hausstätter (Eds.), Twenty Years after Salamanca. London: Peter Lang. Nordahl, T., and R.S. Hausstätter (2009). Spesialundervisningens forutsetninger, innsatser og resultater. Situasjonen til elever med særskilte behov for opplæring i grunnskolen under Kunnskapsløftet. Rapport nr 2 fra prosjektet: Gjennomgang av spesialundervisning, evaluering av Kunnskapsløftet. Høgskolen i Hedmark [Evaluation of Special Education as Part of the National “Knowledge Promotion” Reform].
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