Students’ engaging school experiences : a precondition for functional inclusive practice
Palmgren, Marina Helena; Pyhältö, Kirsi; Soini, Tiina; Pietarinen, Janne (2017-05-13)
Palmgren, M.H., Pyhältö, K., Soini, T. & Pietarinen, J. (January, 2017). Students’ engaging school experiences: A precondition for functional inclusive practice. International Journal of Whole Schooling, Special Issue, 26-49.
© 2017 The Authors.
Basic education strives to provide an equal education for all students, whether the students attend regular or special education. In this study, we explore seventh grade comprehensive school students’ (N=119) experiences of engaging and disengaging events at school and the points at which these events occur in their school career. The students represent Finland-Swedish-speaking students in Finland, and 95 of the participants attend general education, while 24 students have received special educational services. Two aspects of the students’ school experiences were empirically examined: (1) determining the point in the students’ school career at which critical incidents occur and (2) identifying the primary contexts of critical incidents. The results show that critical incidents occurred during the students’ entire school career with an increase in sixth grade. Students perceived peer interaction as being the most positive as well as the most problematic part of their school career. In conclusion, both students in regular education and students receiving special educational services experienced the sense of belonging as an inclusive school experience in their learning path. Results indicated that no differences in experiences that were found between general education students and students who received special educational services. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
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