04 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Exhibition
General Poster Session during Lunch
Finland was a “PISA-winner” and “is now seen as a major international leader in education” (OECD 2010, 118). After Japan, Finland shows the lowest disparity between social background and success in school (Baumert and Köller, 2005: 12). This achievement is a result of specific policies: to provide equal chances for all is the outspoken aim of the Finnish Ministry of Education (Pohjonen, 2002: 16).
Providing equal chances for all implicates also an inclusive schooling system. According to Booth et al. (2011, 9) “(inclusion is about increasing participation for all children and adults. It is about supporting schools to become more responsive to the diversity of children’s backgrounds, interests, experience, knowledge and skills.” This understanding of inclusion implicates change processes in school communities (see Booth et al. 2011).
Emphasising the necessity for an inclusive schooling system, Booth et al. (2011) highlighted aspects of an inclusive way of schooling in the Index for inclusion (2011), which also spells out reasons for the Finnish educational success: Finland has a support-system „for all students“, provides a teacher education (OECD 2010, 118f) in which a constructivist didactic is standard (see Dreher and Reich 2006, 86), and guarantees a high autonomy for local schools.
On the other hand, Finland has been named as “a black sheep in the international movement on inclusive education” because “the legitimacy of separate special education” remains “strong and unquestioned” (Saloviita 2009).
Considering this divergent picture of the Finnish school system, this study assesses the following aspects of the Finnish school system in relation to inclusive values and from the perspective of teachers, teacher students and teacher educators.
Following questions guided the research:
1. What kind of supporting possibilities are provided in the Finnish school system?
2. Methods and didactic: How can learners participate in thelearning process? How are student teachers prepared in didactics?
3. Teacher education: Do Finnish teachers feel prepared? Do Finnish teacher students have a realistic picture of their future work?
4. How do teachers and teacher students evaluate the school system in which they are working in? (Positive values and supportive ideals)
Altheide, D. L. (1996): Qualitative Media Analysis, London: Sage. Booth, T. and Ainscow, M. (2011)3: Index for inclusion: developing learning and participation in schools. Bristol: CSIE. Dreher, W. and Reich, K. (2006): Inklusive Bildungslandschaft: ein Niemandsland-dennoch: Versuch einer Kartografie. In: Platte, Andrea/Seitz, Simone/Terfloth, Karin (Hg.): Inklusive Bildungsprozesse. Bad Heilbrunn. Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2007): Research Methods in Education, 6th edition, London and New York: Routledge. Finnish National Board of Education (2010): PISA - Programme for International Students Assessment. Available online at: http://www.oph.fi/english/sources_of_information/pisa (accessed 30 January 2012). Forlin, C. (2010): Teacher education reform for enhancing teachers’ preparedness for inclusion. In: International Journal of Inclusive Education. Vol. 14, No. 7, November 2010, 649–653. Meuser, M. and Nagel, U. (1991): `Experteninterviews – vielfach erprobt, wenig bedacht. Ein Beitrag zur qualitativen Methodendiskussion`, in: Garz, D. and Kraimer, K. (ed.): Qualitativ-empirische Sozialforschung, Opladen. Pohjonen, P. (2002): Lernen am Arbeitsplatz in Finnland. Bildungssystem in der Zuständigkeit des Zentralamtes für Unterrichtswesen, Helsinki: Hakapaino Oy. Reich, K. (2008): Konstruktivistische Didaktik. Lehr- und Studienpool mit Methodenpool, 4th edition, Weinheim/Basel: Beltz. Saloviita, T. (2009): Inclusive Education in Finland: a thwarted development. In: Zeitschrift für Inklusion-online.net 1/2009.
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