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.