What do children think of their time in preschool? In the present study, twelve ten-year-old children collected data from their classmates. The children tend to remember their friends, and reflect on what games they played and with whom. Only about one in three respondents even mentioned the day-care professionals or pedagogues as we call them in Scandinavia. The overall question we set out to answer is: What is pedagogical quality from a child’s retrospective perspective?
This study seeks to describe and analyse teachers’ views on the resources available for supporting students with special educational needs in rural Nordic schools. Interviews were conducted with ten teachers from seven rural schools in Sweden, Norway and Finland. The interview data were analysed and the following categories identified: relationship, collaboration, distance and concerns. Relationship and collaboration are enabling conditions for support while distance and concern are constraining conditions. The teachers seem to possess an inner force which helps them to find pedagogical models for their students. External concerns, lack of funding and concern of school closure are ever-present.
Benefits and Drawbacks for Students
In Finland, as well as in the other Nordic Countries, special educational support should be offered pupils in an inclusive way in regular classroom settings. Co-teaching between regular- and special education teachers is one possible way to develop inclusive education. In this systematical literature overview benefits and drawbacks for students in co-teaching education settings have been analyzed. Thirteen articles were identified and analyzed. The benefits are improved learning results, improved social well-being, improved interaction between pupils with and without special educational needs and improved teacher attention. One central drawback was increased interaction between students with special educational needs and the regular teacher. The analyzed studies are overall from countries outside the Nordic region and the results indicate a need for more Nordic research in the field.
Many teachers consider the profession as stressful and that the teaching profession involves ever-increasing demands for efficiency. There is a tendency in society among policy makers to regard a better school as a more cost effective school. Increased class sizes is often a consequence of this understanding. In this study, we have examined the consequences of a school reorganization where classes were increased. The study was conducted using focus group interviews with the teachers. The results showed that the reorganization had a great impact on the educational activities at school and thus also for both teachers and students' everyday life at school. The article discusses how increased demands for efficiency influences the teachers' job satisfaction, and the consequences increased class sizes have in regard to curriculum principles.
This article scrutinizes the foundation of the Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA) from the perspective of the influence exerted by Finnish educational scholars. The results show that Finnish scholars have actively been involved. The statutory meeting in 1973 was held at the University of Jyväskylä and the bylaws were adopted. Since the foundation, Finnish universities have regularly hosted congresses, as have universities in other Nordic countries, and by the fortieth anniversary, 2013, Finland had arranged ten congresses. From the very start, Finland has had representatives in the board, and has twice had the chair, and four times the secretary has come from Finland. This investigation reveals that the language issue during the initial decades did not cause any specific attention to be drawn to it. The Nordic orientation was quite strong and the congress language was a mixture of Scandinavian languages. The expanding internationalization gradually changed the language situation and in 2002 English became the official language of the congresses and the association. Finnish representatives also demanded the change of language as a prerequisite for further engagement in congress activities. Despite the change of policy initiated by Finnish representatives, so far no major increase in the number of representatives from Finland has occurred. The same tendency can also be traced in the frequency of publications in the journal Nordic studies in Education. This article shows, however, that Finland through the decades has played an active role, in the early years and also during various later phases of the history of the association.