Towards Inclusive Education In Finland

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Towards inclusive education in FinlandPerspectives on teachercompetencesMarita Mäkinenmarita.makinen@uta.fiUniversity of Tampere

Key words in Finnish basiceducation Educational equalityIndividualityLifelong learningCo-operationMarita Mäkinen 2009

Some perspectives on teachers’competencesGeneral western system Standardisation The finnish system Flexibility and diversityStrict standards for schools,teachers, students to guarantee thequality of outcomes Emphasis on literary andnumeracy Basic skills in reading, writing,mathematics and science as primetarget of education reform Consequentialaccountability Evaluation by inspection School-based curriculum developmentSteering by information and support Emphasis on broad knowledge Equal value to all aspects of individualgrouth and learning: personality,morality, creativity, knowledge, skills Trust thourgh professionalism A culture of trust on teachersprofessionalism in judging what isbest for students and reporting ofprogressMarita Mäkinen 2010

A national dilemmaFull-time and part-time specialsupportMarita Mäkinen 2010

A national dilemma Eight per cent of comprehensive school studentsare transferred to special education. Ministry has subsidized the students with special needs(permanent / transferred status) The number has been growing for more than adecade Twenty-two per cent of comprehensive schoolstudents receive part-time special teachingMarita Mäkinen 2010

Part-time special supportReading-writing-speaking:One out of four (25,4 %) of the pupils on classes 1-6and one out of six (15,6 %) pupils of classes 7-9receive part-time special support Difficulties in Reading 43%Difficulties in Math 20,3%Speech (articulation) problems 15,3%Language disorders 9,1 %Difficulties in emotional adaptation 5,0%6

Ongoing reform for inclusiveeducation The reform is based on the Salamancastatement (1992) and the Strategy for SpecialNeeds Education and Inclusion (2007) Process of renewing the Act of Basic Education (in preparation) National Core Curriculum (in preparation) The changes are now in the Parliamentfor passing the law.Marita Mäkinen 2010

Ongoing reform for inclusiveeducation The strategy (2007) has been formulated in theframework of inclusive education but it still consists ofthe elements of special education The essential goal is to develop and strengthenmainstream basic education instead of the dual systemof general and special education. The emphasis in the importance of the wide basiceducation network which supports the right of everystudent to attend the nearest mainstream school: no student will be exluded and send to another school The focus is on a clearly earlier support and preventionMarita Mäkinen 2010

Stepped-up support system in FinlandNational levelFocus on an earlysupport andpreventionMunicipalitylevelSchool levelSpecial supportIntensified supportCommon supportThe common support andintensified support will be used tobolster learning and growth andprevent escalation of problemsrelating to learning, socialinteraction or developmentMarita Mäkinen 2010Teacher level

Ongoing reform for inclusiveeducation The municipalities all over Finland join the renewingwork by developing new practices at schools and byteahers’ in-service education. The future change is being prepared with the help of amassive national development projects: Ministry of Education has allocated financial resources formunicipalities in order to draw up a plan for arranging education onnew way.KELPO & OSAAVA: CPD (continuing professional development)VERME: InductionHeavy investments in teacher education Still, the municipal financial crisis has a delayedimpact on the inclusive reform in FinlandMarita Mäkinen 2010

Ongoing reform for inclusiveeducationIf you want truly to understandsomething, try to change it . KurtLewin (1890-1947)Marita Mäkinen 2010

Inclusion - a complexphenomenaMarita Mäkinen 2010

Thank you!Marita Mäkinen 2010

Some perspectives on teachercompetencies Teaching profession is highly respected in Finland 10 per cent of the applicants are admitted. Teaching qualifications are prescriped by law and vary fordifferent kinds of teachers The national requirements guarantee that the standard ofeducation remains high The majority of teacher education students study inuniversities All new basic education teachers must have a master'sdegree. However, teacher competencies are not defined.Marita Mäkinen 2010

Initial teacher educationProfessional competence studies Teaching practiceDidactic studies of the subject to be taughtMulti-field studiesOptional studies: special education –studies traditionally focus on specialist SEN identifying,diagnosing, training new shift on educational systems holistically,classroom organisation, teaching and learningMarita Mäkinen 2010

Teacher competencies In order to enhance teachers’ competencies inrenewing education the Ministry of educationhas set up the Osaava-programme forensuring that teachers receive regularcontinuing education and in-service training toimprove their professional competence The changes requires also heavy investmentsin teacher educationMarita Mäkinen 2010

Perspective on teachers’competencies TeamworkResponsipilityCommitment to careerCarreer motivationDecision makingCommunicationLeadershipTrustworthiness and ethicsProblem solvingOrganisationThe finnish system Flexibility and diversity Emphasis on broad knowledge School-based curriculum developmentSteering by information and supportEqual value to all aspects of individualgrouth and learning: personality,morality, creativity, knowledge, skillsTrust thourgh professionalism generic skills They seldom are openlydeclared in ITE curriculaMarita Mäkinen 2009A culture of trust on teachersprofessionalism in judging what is bestfor students and reporting of progress

Competence areas As a whole the teacher education is based on the principle of a teacher asa researcher. Teachers are trained to reflect and analyze their work all the time andadjust their teaching as a continuous process. At the same time teachersare trained to think scientifically.Attitudes and Values:In addition make teachers examine their own world of values, and promote theirability to meet diversity with open and understanding hearts and mindspromote their professional growth and personal identityincrease their positive expectations of the futurereform their attitudes in an ideal wayincrease the strengths in their personality in every possible wayMarita Mäkinen 2010

Knowledge and understandingIn addition enable teachers to update their knowledge and continue their process of lifelonglearningupdate their knowledge of the polices of educational institutions, supportsystems and classroom practices.promote educational discussions, where a certain solution-orientatedpsychological point of view is taken.arrange national and international online benchmarking systems arrange practicing sections where the newest theoretical frameworks are given by the lecturesand introduced or implemented by different kinds of exercises.pupil observations in teams, teaching in pairs, group teaching for each discipline, interviewingother teachers , pupils, students with the needs of special support, headmasters and drawing upof teachership and the competence to encounter and teach diverse children are seen asimportant sectors of inclusive teacher education.encourage intensive co-operation with teachers and a school welfare officers teachers and parents peer groupsMarita Mäkinen 2010

Skills and abilities in addition to encounter challenges in classroom work Commitment and collaborationTrue interest on pupils’ personal lives and narratives co-operative literature clubs concerning inclusive settings case study analyses and after the meetings with parentsto encourage teamwork Teachers’ reflective peer groups seeking for solutions and making plans for pupils’learning environment and rehabilitationReflective multiagencyDuring the teaching practice the class teacher and the special education teacher cansupervise the student teachers together. The student teachers get examples of cooperation between teachers and sometimes co-operative teaching, too.Marita Mäkinen 2009

Initial Teacher Education All universities offer single courses of couple of ECTS oninclusive and multicultural education. All students must include in their studies “General Pedagogy”,which familiarizes them with the ideology, theory and practicesof inclusion with themes: inclusive diversity in education,education related to multiculturalism,global education andspecial needs education “Welfare in a learning environment” includes the following themes: A group as a resourceYoungsters’ mental health at schoolGood managing and supervising skills required of a teacherCollaborative methodsDevelopment of learning environmentsMarita Mäkinen 20010

Marita Mäkinen 2010

Towards inclusive education in Finland . Key words in Finnish basic education . framework of inclusive education but it still consists of . co-operative literature clubs concerning inclusive settings case study analyses and after the meetings with parents

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