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Special Needs Education in Norway

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Royal Ministry of Education and Research. Special Needs Education in Norway Marit Hognestad, Norwegian Board of Education. Special Needs Education in Norway. The Norwegian school system. 1976: One Education Act for all pupils

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Royal Ministry of Education and Research

Special Needs Education in Norway Marit Hognestad, Norwegian Board of Education

Special Needs Education in Norway


The Norwegian school system

  • 1976: One Education Act for all pupils
  • All pupils were granted the right to suitable and adapted education in their local school – but gradually! The process took 20 years.
  • 1n 1996, 99.5 percent of the pupils were included in local schools
  • Special education for pupils who are in need of it
  • Statutory right based on expert Statement (6 percent)
  • All children with a right to SNE also have the right to an individual educational plan.
  • Normally this plan is a mix of an individually adapted curriculum and the general curriculum for the class.
  • Progress and content is evaluated every 6 months.
integration or inclusion
Integration or inclusion?
  • Do the included children REALLY get suitable education?
  • Do they really FEEL included?
  • Integration is mostly related to resources, equipment and and physical structures.
  • Inclusion is mostly related to values, attitudes and culture.
the educational psycological service
The Educational-Psycological Service
  • Every municipality must have an Educational- Psycological Service, and are responsible for running the service
  • The Educational and Psychological Service is an advisory body.
  • About 285 offices throughout the country
  • 2100 professionals:

psycologists (320), social workers (120), teachers in special education (750),educational psychologic advisers (600), others (300)

the educational psycological service1
The Educational-Psycological Service

The functions of the Educational-Psycological Service are

  • to advice schools, teachers, parents and pupils directly and to follow up
  • to give expert statements as a basis for Statutory right decision (which releases the funding)
  • to monitor and evaluate the situation for pupils with special needs in school
tasks for the educational psycological service
Tasks for the educational- psycological service
  • Learning problems
  • - Social and emotional problems (anxiety,
  • restlessness, depression, family-related problems)
  • Behavioural problems, bad manners, violence,
  • aggression
  • Spoken language problems
  • Physical challenges
norwegian support system for special education
Norwegian Support System for Special Education
  • The municipalities/counties does not have the necessary competence regarding the needs of so called low incidence groups.
  • In the early 90ies, the remains of the old system of special schools was finally removed. Most schools were closed, and some were chanced to National Resource Centres.
  • This national support system is meant to assure the quality of the education by offering counselling and support to schools and the local educational-psychological service.
transfer of resources
Transfer of resources
  • In the late 90ies, there was lack of staff in the Educational-Psychological Service.
  • The Parliament decided to strengthen the service at local level through the transfer of resources and expertise from some national resource centres for special needs education to the local level service.
  • 300 new staff members. 20 % increase. (But 434 municipalities…)
capacity building programme
Capacity building programme
  • A three-year practice-oriented capacity building programme has been running 2000 - 2002.
  • Objective of the programme: To improve the competence of the service in areas where the local communities and teachers need most support:
    • social and emotional problems
    • reading and writing difficulties
    • multiple learning difficulties
alternative schools alternative school units
Alternative schools - alternative school units
  • The main efforts to fight behavioural problems take place within each class and school.
  • These challenges have high priority and different initiatives are taken to improve teachers skill.

(programs, seminars, material)

  • Still some school owners, specially in large cities, have organised so called "alternative schools" or "alternative school units", more or less closely connected to the local school.
future challenges
Future challenges
  • Less focus on:
  • special education
  • diagnosis, categories of
  • disability, difficulties
  • Organisation, economics
  • prosedure
  • More focus on:
  • adapted and inclusive
  • education for all pupils
  • possibilities, resources
  • and empowerment
  • attitudes, skills, methods,
  • general pedagogics