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SENCOs and preschool teachers – their work with children in need of special support
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (PS)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2945-9814
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. Högskolan Dalarna. (PS)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4793-871X
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Abstract: Research topic/Aim: This paper focuses on the division of labor regarding special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and preschool teachers who work with children in need of special support. The overall purpose of the study is to increase knowledge concerning work with children who are deemed to be in need of special support in preschool. The main study consists of two separate studies. The first study helps to visualize SENCOs´ tasks, perceptions and role. In study II, a particular focus is on how preschool teachers perceive the jurisdiction of work related to children in need of special support and how tasks negotiated in relation to the work of SENCOs.   Theoretical framework: A theory of professions, primarily based on Abbott (1988), is used to understand SENCOs´ occupational role and work, especially in the light of Abbott's reasoning concerning jurisdictional control and division of expert labor.   We are also interested in SENCOs´ perceptions, therefore it is relevant to use different perspectives on special education. In this study, we use Persson´s (1998) terms, categorical and relational perspective, to understand how SENCOs and preschool teacher explain causes of children’s difficulties.   Methodological design: The first study is part of a total population study where all SENCOs in Sweden (n= 4252) who were examined by the examination acts of years 2001, 2007, and 2008 were sent a questionnaire. In a later phase of the procedure, the responses from SENCOs working towards preschool were extracted from the 3190 responses received and reported earlier. Thus, this study consists of 523 participants (i.e. 16.4 % of the 3190 respondents).   The second study consists of interviews with preschool teachers about their work with children in need of special support and how they describe their cooperation with SENCOs.   Expected conclusions/findings: The results show that SENCOs’ working hours are primarily spent on consultation. They regard their possibilities to influence their colleagues' views on children's difficulties as high. Regarding SENCOs’ perceptions of why children have difficulties in preschools, a large number of SENCOs indicate that it is because preschool is poorly prepared to handle children's differences.   The second study is currently in the analyzing process. However, preliminary results indicate that preschool teachers have great confidence in SENCOs’ work.   Relevance for Nordic Educational Research: This study examines SENCOs’ work in Swedish preschools. It is relevant to compare and discuss their role within a Nordic context. Earlier studies  indicate that Nordic Countries are similar when it comes to the role and work of SENCOs (Takala & Ahl, 2014). However, little is known about SENCOs’ work in preschools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-378926OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-378926DiVA, id: diva2:1295068
Conference
The 47th Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA) congress, 6-8 March, Uppsala University, Uppsala.
Available from: 2019-03-10 Created: 2019-03-10 Last updated: 2019-11-06Bibliographically approved

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Gäreskog, PetraLindqvist, Gunilla

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