Diagnoser, skolan och experter

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Diagnoser, skolan och experter

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Diagnoser, skolan och experter
Author Sansum, Robert
Date 2017
English abstract
Abstract Contribution to knowledge in the field of special education This study aims to contribute to practitioners being able to view the phenomenon of diagnoses in schools critically. There is also the hope that regardless of whether pupils are diagnosed or not that practitioners and school leaders in will be able to use some of the information in this study to inform their practice. Aim The purpose of this study is to deepen knowledge about diagnoses in schools to know which function they have and how they influence different actors. This study examines the phenomenon of diagnoses in school seen through the eyes of various experts who work in schools. Experts have been chosen as the focus for this study as they have knowledge and influence when it comes to interpreting school problems. Study questions • What function can a diagnosis have in schools? • How do different experts who work in schools view diagnoses? • How can development in the field of diagnoses and schools look? • What does this phenomenon say about how we view normality and deviancy in schools? Theory This study uses the theories of Michel Foucault, particularly concerning power and knowledge but also his theory about the “clinical gaze”. In addition I have used the theory of symbolic interactionism. The data used has been interpreted using a hermeneutic approach. Method Nine experts who work in schools have been interviewed in depth. All interviews have been recorded, transcribed and later analysed. Presentation of empirical evidence The interviewees describe the usefulness of their specialised knowledge and competence. They speak of the power that their knowledge gives them and how it can influence others in order to improve the child’s situation. They stress the importance of cooperation and communication between different actors and the correct use of resources. All of them describe the increase in diagnoses and some refer to how school itself contributes to this increase. In theory a diagnosis should not be needed but in reality it often is e.g. to get resources, but also because of the information that the evaluation can give. Lots of measures can, however, be taken without needing a diagnosis e.g. structured teaching, professional training, documenting, adapting lessons. Advantages from diagnoses can be increased understanding and resources. Disadvantages can be the risk of stigmatisation and that there is too much focus on the individual and not the environment. Normality/deviancy can be seen in different ways, for example as purely based on test results or more value-based. It becomes an issue when it creates problems for the individual or the surroundings. Implications All of the interviewees gave examples of how pupils with diagnoses could be helped in school. Nearly all examples given involve changes at the organisational level. The examples given such as consultation by experts, improving of the school environment, better training for teachers etc. could also be used to help pupils without diagnoses. One of the most useful measures taken can be the evaluation done by the school psychologist if it is able to give a clear picture of the pupil’s strengths and weaknesses. Though the specialist knowledge of the experts was acknowledged, perhaps the most important aspect mentioned by the interviewees is the importance of the relationships that all actors involved in school have with each other. Conclusion Diagnoses have become a part of school culture. The categories used in schools reflect the time and culture we live in but also our need to categorize in order to organize our thinking. Experts are there to spot deviancy and normality with their knowledge and clinical gaze but all the actors, including the pupils play their role in the process of categorising. They are clear risks with diagnoses, which means they should be used carefully and critically in schools. Perhaps the biggest risk is focus on the individual’s problems rather than the environments. Therefore it is perhaps better to use more descriptive categories that focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the individual and the environment.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Lärande och samhälle
Language swe (iso)
Subject avvikelse
diagnoser
experter
funktionsnedsättning
makt
normalitet
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/23509 Permalink to this page
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