Specialpedagogik i skolvardagen : En studie med fokus på framgångsfaktorer i läs- och skrivlärande
Sammanfattning: This is a praxis-oriented case study of written language activities in Forms 1–5 in the nine-year Swedish compulsory school. The emphasis is on pupils at risk of developing reading and writing disabilities. The aim of this study is to analyse the factors underlying successful reading and writing education and the pedagogical conditions promoting reflective didactic skills, focusing on the students’ development of reading and writing abilities. The praxis-oriented approach is expressed by means of working with classroom observations and reflective communication with the teachers. Four classes at the junior and intermediate levels of the nine-year compulsory Swedish school have been studied for two years. Both the schools and the teachers have been chosen strategically. Quantitative and qualitative data indicate that the selected schools have special qualifications. The teachers were chosen because they have proved particularly successful in developing reading and writing abilities of their pupils, including those with documented reading and writing disabilities. Reports from the National Swedish Agency for Education, as well as large international surveys, indicate that the consensus concerning reading and writing education achieved by science during the past decade has had very little impact on everyday classroom activities. One of the underlying questions is how research results are successfully implemented in everyday school work. The results show that the teachers use a wide variety of methods in response to the wide variety of students´ requirements. The lessons are characterized by intense activity on the part of both teacher and pupils, and of a high level of interactivity in communication, reading, writing and counting. A surprising pattern is that the teachers very consciously work with oral presentation in various topics and genres. This gives students with reading and writing difficulties an opportunity to succeed. The instruction is notable for being well-structured, with a balance between form and function, a high level of challenging tasks and visibilization of individual progress. The special needs education aspect of the instruction appears in the teachers’ abilities to arrange pedagogical situations in which a wide variety of abilities can be expressed and developed. The teachers show a positive belief in their students and strive to make them successful in a social context. This study indicates the importance of a solid theoretical background, enabling the teacher to identify the developmental stage the student is at and to adapt the instruction accordingly. Another important factor is the ability of the teacher to instantly see and grasp pedagogical opportunities and to interpret and utilize the diagnostic signals in the classroom. One important conclusion is that reading and writing education, in order to be successful, must be viewed in a context of language development as a whole, involving both its oral and its written aspects. This study also demonstrates that research results are perceived as more accessible and relevant by the teachers when the researchers’ focus is on applied pedagogics, allowing theory and practical applications to interact. This opens up the possibility of establishing and incorporating scientific theories on learning in everyday, practical school work.
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