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Särskolan som möjlighet och begränsning: Elevperspektiv på delaktighet och utanförskap
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2005 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Special Schools as Opportunities and Limitations : Pupils´ Perspective on Participation and Exclusion (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis concerns pupils that enter into the special program for pupils with intellectual disabilities (särskolan). The aim of the study is to increase awareness of what it means to be part of this type of special program. The study’s focus is on first person perspectives and this motivated a qualitative research approach. 24 pupils, aged between 7 and 21, where interviewed individually, once or more times. Observations during the pupils’ school day gave the opportunity to follow them in practice. The pupils’ statements have been analysed as school stories, inspired by the narrative research tradition.

One result can be interpreted as three comprehensive types of stories about the special schools, where participation and exclusion are recurring themes:

• an unproblematic/taken for granted school of participation,

• a school of participation and exclusion for pupils who are actually fairly ordinary,

• a school of participation and exclusion for pupils who are “different”.

The analysis showed that special schools could have several different implications for participation and contribute both to participation and exclusion.

Two basic problems of participation clearly emerged: lack of social participation and lack of task-orientated participation. Influence as well as a sense of belonging was components of participation that gained greater significance to the pupils according to increasing ages.

The pupils’ affiliation to the special schools created different kinds of conflicts of participation that the pupils dealt with in different ways. The pupils’ stories illustrated three different approaches to managing these conflicts: Care-related normalization, radical normalization and future-facing normalization.

The study shows that special schools can be interpreted both as opportunities and limitations for participation. This complex picture of what it means to be a pupil enrolled in this special program can hopefully contribute to a continued discussion about how to achieve “a school for all”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Pedagogiska institutionen , 2005. , 250 p.
Keyword [en]
pupils with intellectual disability, special schools, participation, exclusion, first person perspectives
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-731ISBN: 91-7155-169-7OAI: diva2:198027
Public defence
2005-12-09, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, Stockholm, 13:00
Available from: 2005-11-17 Created: 2005-11-17Bibliographically approved

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