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Equality and the freedom to choose the 'what and when' of schooling: students with special educational needs in timetable-free settings

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In the contemporary Swedish school the model student should be able to take responsibility for and carry out her/his schoolwork autonomously. Free choices in education have also increased, and equality in this context is no longer, as before, synonymous with the standardization of schooling. The abandoning of the national timetable for a trial period in a large number of Swedish schools was representative of these tendencies. Another guiding principle for policy-makers is the formation of an inclusive school, where every student is able to experience participation and community, as well as having the chance to learn. This paper focuses on students with special educational needs in four schools that have abandoned the national timetable for a trial period of five years. Is the pedagogical process in these schools productive or counterproductive as regards the aim of creating truly inclusive educational environments? Which students are able to meet the required standards of self-discipline, responsibility and autonomy, and which are not? Such questions relate, among other things, to students' ability to carry out schoolwork in the time allotted, make good use of time, etc. Special education teachers and students have been interviewed regarding these questions. The students were divided into groups according to whether or not, in the opinion of their teachers, they made good use of their time.
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Keywords: Equality; Inclusion; Invisible pedagogy; Responsibility; Special educational needs

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: UmeƄ University, Sweden

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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