Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 1 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, firstname.lastname@example.org Hand outs, overhead, outline Special Education as Theory and Praxis Matts Mattsson, Ph D Stockholm Institute of Education Department of Human Development, Learning and Special Education P.O. Box 34103, S-100 26 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46 8 737 96 37 email@example.com homepage: http://www.lhs.se/~matmat/ Abstract This Research and Development project (R&D-project) will explore Special Education in terms of theory and in terms of a professional practice. What kind of knowledge is important in teacher training and what seems to be important to experienced teachers. In a small study, Part Nr 1, we have analysed examination papers written by students attending a compulsory course on special education (Mattsson, 2006). We found that they are occupied with concepts of "inclusion" and "exclusion". Further more, they discuss the roles and attitudes of teachers as if theory, concepts and knowledge based on research will have the major impact on the professional practice. When we introduced our preliminary findings to experienced teachers in a local community we got a different story. To them “inclusive education” is not an important concept. In general, they seem to focus on individuals and problems related to individuals. Further more, it seems as if they do not really know how to challenge the structures that generate a lot of problems which excludes individuals. A preliminary result is an outline of a typology reflecting different strategies for change (some focus on the individual, others on process, yet others on structure). The typology now serves as a point of departure for further investigations. A crucial problem and a challenge is how to find good ways of researching professional practice. It calls for theoretical and methodological developments. In Part Nr I of this study, the gap between academy and field is subject to an analysis where we try to clarify the different epistemologies supporting different kinds of knowledge. We introduced two strategies for achieving knowledge relevant to Special Education. One is the Plato idea of enlightenment and the other is a praxis-related strategy inspired by Aristotle (2004) and researchers like Lewin (1946), Freire (1973), Schön (1983) and Kemmis (2005). In Part Nr 2 of the study we will try to develop the praxis-related strategy working together with students and practitioners. It is a collaborative research project involving up till now ten students at Stockholm Institute of Education. Our study is part or the international project Pedagogy, Education and Praxis involving universities in Australia, the Netherlands and the Nordic Countries. Coordinator and chief investigator is professor Stephen Kemmis at Charles Sturt University, Australia. As for Part Nr 3, final versions of our research will be published in a series of books edited by Sense Publishers. In one of the edited volumes comparisons will be made of Special Education and praxis development in the countries involved. Keywords: Special Education, Theory and praxis, Enlightenment, Professionalism, Organizational studies, Praxis development Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 2 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, firstname.lastname@example.org Background Stockholm Institute of Education. Policy changes, curriculum changes, organisational changes. Changes in the field of practical action. Special education challenged. Part of an inter- national project. Research question What kind of knowledge is important in Special Education? In a discourse on theory and in a discourse on practical action? What about the mediating discourse? Methodology Part I (2005-2006) Focus on a compulsory course, special education, analysis of programs and documents 34 examination papers (out of 519) Focus group interviews, 9 experienced teachers, narratives, critical incidents Communicative validity, collaborative research Part II (2006-2007) Collaborative research involving practitioners and up till now 10 students on advanced level Individual and focus group interviews, narra- tives, critical incidents, communicative validity document analysis, field work Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 3 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, email@example.com Part III (2007-2008) The international project Pedagogy, Education and Praxis Comparative analysis (Australia, the Nether- lands, the Nordic Countries) Some preliminary results and reflections A gap between a discourse on theory and a discourse on practice. The gap should be recognized as a point of departure for under- standing and improving education and praxis (praxis development) A typology for understanding special education has been outlined, it should be further develop- ed. Flexibility on behalf of practitioners might be a consequence of a weak professional identity A crucial problem is how to study professional practice? How to make comparisons between special education in different contexts? This calls for theoretical and methodological developments Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 4 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, firstname.lastname@example.org discourse discourse on theory mediating on practice Figur 1 A discourse on theory, a discourse on practice and a mediating discourse Plato Aristotle Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 5 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, email@example.com A typology The tentative typology consists of nine strategies for change. In different ways and to different degrees these strategies underline that special education is an activity that should be performed in relation to or as a strategy for Theory Praxis (1) Individuals (2) Groups (3) Organisations (4) Counselling (5) Collaboration (6) Experts (7) Empowerment (8) Animation (9) The Reflective Practitioner Question: The problem of identifying strategies might be caused by lack of professional identity? Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 6 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, firstname.lastname@example.org To be more specific… 1. A gap between theory and practice In Part Nr I, I discuss special education in terms of theory and in terms of a professional practice. I reflect upon the possibilities to develop a mediating discourse. Referring to Gustavsen (2001) I try to find out what kind of knowledge that seems to be of importance in a discourse on theory and what kind of knowledge that seems to be important a discourse on practical action. The mediating discourse may be regarded as a field overlapping these discourses. discourse discourse on on theory mediating practice Figur 1 A discourse on theory, a discourse on practice and a mediating discourse According to Gustavsen, researchers and practitioners can meet in a mediating discourse to reflect upon their different perspectives vis-à-vis an existing state of affairs. Since they come from different worlds of discourse, the outcome of such a meeting might be quite different for the researcher and the practitioner. He writes: What emerges out of the event is an improved capacity for developing ideas, pursuing them into action and generally creating a rich landscape of different institutions, organizations and activities that can enter into fruitful and complementary relationships to each other (p. 22). In our small study we have looked into the curriculum and program for special education at Stockholm Institute of Education. We have analysed 34 examination papers written by students in teacher training. The students were attending a compulsory course dealing with special education. We looked at their examination papers as if they could be taken as a discourse on theory. We used the outcome of the analysis as a point of departure to discuss the issue further with two groups of experienced teachers. They were all together nine teachers working with special education. Our idea was that by interviewing experienced teachers we would come close to a discourse on practical action (Mattsson, 2006). We found that the university curriculum, program and the students are occupied with a discussion where concepts like "inclusion" and "exclusion" are most important. They Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 7 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, email@example.com favour the general idea that every one has equal rights to education. That is the law in Sweden and that is what is emphasised in the university program for special education. Further more; the students discuss special education as a professional activity related to many different aspects. Special education has to do with how to work face to face with individuals, how to organise the work and how to cope with the way education and institutions are structured. The students look into policies and politics. Generally they discuss the role and attitude of teachers as if theory, concepts and policy will have a major impact on how the professional practice is performed. The students seem to give high priority to theories, concepts and the way social life is conceived. Generally, they seem to believe that there is a rational relationship between intentions, knowledge and action. As if the intention and the proper knowledge is there before you act. Having identified the students´ conception of special education we introduced our preliminary findings to experienced teachers in a local community near the city of Stockholm. There we got a different story. Our interviews focused on critical incidents and examples that could be illustrative to special education as a practice. We asked them for examples reflecting important aspects of their professional practice. Analysing their stories we found that they do not discuss their work in terms of “inclusive education” and “exclusion”. They do not use these words. The different terminologies do not seem to be just a matter of language and communication. The reality of the practitioners seems to differ from the reality of the students. The reality of the practitioners seems to differ from how special education is understood in a discourse on theory. In general, the practitioners focus on problems related to individuals as if special education primarily is a face to face activity. Further more; in contrast to the university students, the practitioners think that parents and other collaborative agents are most important for solving problems in special education. It is also of interest to note that in the eyes of experienced teachers, special education seems to be quite a weak profession. It seems as if people in special education do not have the power and the self reliance to bring about a change. It seems as if they do not really know how to challenge the framework and the structure that generate a lot of the problems in the field of practice To start with, our study reveals a gap between a discourse on theory and a discourse on practical action. This is not a very astonishing observation. In a discourse on theory you will often find concepts which are strange to a discourse on practical action. This gap may be challenging and demanding. It may provoke new and important insights. This type of relation between research and social change might, referring to Weiss (1977), be called the model of enlightenment. The idea of enlightenment suggests that the enlightening theories and concepts originate from social science and research. In this model new knowledge is the result of friction and tensions between challenging theories and old established patterns of thinking and acting. The idea is that a professional practice will be challenged by stimulating ideas and consequently it will be forced to change in the direction of enlightened ideas. A different aspect of the model of enlightenment is that the gap might make it quite difficult for the students involved to achieve a profound understanding of the professional practice. In the examination papers, some of the students express contempt in relation to the work performed by experienced practitioners in special education. In the view of the students, the teachers do not behave and they do not reason the way they are expected to do. Thus, the gap between theory and practice might create a distance between students in teacher training and persons that might be their future colleagues in Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 8 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, firstname.lastname@example.org the field of practice. The gap might be alienating. Alienation of this kind might be an obstacle for developing praxis knowledge in the field of special education. One conclusion of this study is that teacher training and educational research should be more praxis-related. It should be organised to give the students more of an insight into the professional practice, into praxis; that is into the situations, contexts, cultures and discourses that to a great extent form this practice. The professional practice should be used as a point of departure for research and for teacher training. In a Plato inspired university tradition there is a focus on theories and concepts as if context and professional practice are “governed” by theories and ideas (Russell, 1991; Toulmin & Gustavsen, 1996). It is an idealistic approach. The general idea seems to be that what takes place on the field of practice is the outcome of good thinking, as if concepts are more important than the practice performed; more important than praxis to be conceived. 2. A Typology In order to compare different ways of understanding special education I have outlined a typology. It is based on general knowledge of roles and strategies in social work and special education (Mattsson, 1986). It also draws on similar typologies outlined by Ström (1999); Malmgren Hansen (2002); Sahlin (2004) and Bladini (2004). In the present study the idea was to compare the students´ views of special education to nine types of approaches. Similarly I have tried to relate, to the same typology, the outcome of critical incidents and examples given by experienced teacher. The tentative typology consists of nine strategies for change. In different ways and to different degrees these strategies underline that special education is an activity that should be performed (1) in relation to individual pupils (2) in relation to groups of pupils (3) in relation to the organisations and structures (4) in relation to the process of counselling (5) as a collaborative work between all actors involved (6) as a task for experts (7) as a strategy for empowerment (8) as strategy for animation and (9) as a reflective professional practice. The different roles and strategies may be understood in relation to different traditions, cultures and theories. They are associated with different ideas of how people in special education think that they can bring about change. Different epistemologies and discourses support different kinds of knowledge. The typology outlined here, also represent different ways of achieving knowledge relevant to special education. In this study there is a focus on the professional role and the strategies applied by practitioners: What do they do and how do they think in order to bring about a change. What are they trying to change? Here I will elaborate this typology. Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 9 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, email@example.com 1. Focus on the individual pupil To a great extent, practitioners in the field of special education, focus on the individual pupil. The idea often seems to be that, by doing so they will strengthen the sense of “subject” of the pupil, the individual “I”. Some people say that a major problem is that some individuals are fragile; they have a weak sense of “I”; they lack a “motor”; they do not have the “spirit” which would “make them go”. As a consequence the special educator approaches the individual as if what is the most important element is the relationship between the educator and the pupil. The essential aspect of special education is what is done by the practitioner in relation to the pupil. Drawing on general experiences and knowledge of human beings and on their own empathy, the teacher tries to awaken the inner strength and spirit of the pupil to bring about a change inside the individual. This strategy is rooted in a Christian tradition. It resembles the old type of special educator (speciallärare) who was trained to compensate lack of resources in individuals. In a historical perspective this strategy often has had as a consequence that individuals are excluded from the majority group. Pupils in need of extra support are often given the extra support - excluded from the larger group. In our study students describe various types of individual problems. They describe them as deficiencies and shortcomings on part of the pupils which must be taken care of by the teacher: Difficulties to read and to write, difficulties to concentrate, learning difficulties. The pupils are sometimes regarded as trouble makers. Some pupils have been object for medical diagnosis like dyslexia and ADHD. Some pupils have physical impairments and motor disabilities. The general purpose of this kind of practice is to compensate the individual for deficiencies, to help and to change individuals who in one way or the other are different from the majority of individuals. One of the experienced teachers in our study says that: “…as teachers we have a focus on individual pupils when we form a program for intervention…” and that the school culture is “very oriented towards individuals”. She suggests that the general focus on the individual pupil is not a result of a free choice made by the actors involved. The approach focusing on the individual pupil may be an integrated part of the history, tradition and character of the field of practice. It might be dependant on culture, context and predominant discourses. 2. Focus on the group An alternative strategy in special education has a focus on the group. The idea is to strengthen the group and the solidarity among members of the group. Their solidarity should include pupils that are odd and marginalized. In a well working group of pupils the participants care for each other. The variety of individuals is regarded as a resource. The task of the practitioner is to encourage and to strengthen relations of solidarity; it is an indirect approach. The practitioner acts through the group. The focus and the attention concerns group processes. This strategy could be called “social pedagogy” (Eriksson, Hermansson, Münger, 2004). Another international keyword for a similar strategy is “empowerment”. In their course literature students learn about this strategy. But in their examination papers there is no report of such an approach, they could not identify it in the field of practice. The same observation is relevant for the experienced teachers which we interviewed. They did not give any report of social pedagogy, empowerment or a group oriented strategy like this type. Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 10 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, firstname.lastname@example.org 3. Focus on structure Another strategy in special education has a focus on structure and organization. In their examination papers students discuss this strategy as “a school for each and everyone”. They talk about “inclusive education”. This is an ideology, an approach and a strategy for change in which the pedagogue serves as a representative (“ombudsman”) for “the good community”. He or she is an advocate for equality, justice, care and inclusion. The task is to support all work that goes in that direction. All teachers should be involved, that is, all teachers should in some way be participants in the special education practice. The role of an ombudsman and agent of change requires a lot of insight and talents; it requires efforts on all organisational levels; it is a work related to individuals, groups, organizations, structures and society at large. The work is not exclusively focused on structure, but there is an emphasis on organisation and structure. There are tasks dealing with curriculum and programs, documentations, evaluations, systems for intervention and counselling. According to the Governmental proposition “En förnyad lärarutbildning” (prop 1999/2000), a special educator should have a position very close to the headmaster and the people in charge of a school. In their examination papers it is obvious that the students favour this approach. At the same time they find in impossible to practice. None of the schools they have come across seem to have realised this strategy. Analysing the examples given by the experienced practitioners in the field of special education it seems as if the idea “a school for each and everyone” is beyond their reach and scope. They seem to be aware of the impact of structure for example when it comes to allotting marks for educational and cognitive achievements. It seems as if they can not challenge the structure. One teacher said: We talk about achievements … there is a focus on learning outcomes… we are expected to judge if someone is to be approved or not, if a pupil has been successful in school or not. This attitude affects our approach to these pupils and our approach affects their identity. I think that it is a dilemma working with pupils we know will never reach the cognitive goals. We know that they will grow and develop in many other aspects, they have other talents… But our task is to focus on learning outcomes… Here it seems as if the structure and institutional setting counteracts the work required by professionals in special education. 4. Supervising, tutoring, counselling Special education sometimes have a focus on supporting other teachers´ attempts to do a professional work. In this perspective special education is a kind of pedagogy required for solving exceptional problems. It is an indirect approach. The role is to be a supervisor or a tutor in relation to colleagues. There is a focus on relations and processes. Sometimes the task is described in terms of creating and managing a “qualified dialogue”. This strategy is more or less absent in the examination papers. When a student writes about it, the role of a counsellor seems to lack legitimacy among other teachers. One student writes: Sometimes the special educator comes to the school to observe and to give advice, telling the teacher what she observes and what could be done in various situations. The teachers do not appreciate this kind of “support”. They think that the special Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 11 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, email@example.com educator, observing only a certain situation, has too limited a scope for giving advice. Some of the experienced practitioners in our study describe their own role as supportive in relation to the teachers. They say that they support teachers in dealing with problems related to individual pupils. At the same time it seems as if they recognize the negative attitude from teachers in relation to the role of a counsellor or a mentor. Teachers in general would rather have somebody taking care of problematic children than giving them advice on how to do their job. 5. A collaborative work Special education may be performed as a collaborative work between several actors involved. This role of a special educator means that he or she tries to facilitate communication and cooperation between other professionals and groups. The purpose is to achieve something worthwhile for pupils requiring assistance and care. In a doctoral thesis about diagnosis, the conclusion is that communication and cooperation in schools are more important elements for the well being of pupils than are diagnosis. The author, (Jakobsson, 2002) emphasises the importance of cooperation especially between the schools and the pupils´ parents. The strategy of collaboration resembles the strategy described earlier on as focus on structure. The idea is to identify and to support all persons and resources available to special education. The talent required by a special educator in this approach is to mobilise people. This strategy is hard to find reading examination papers produced by the students in teacher training. Among the experienced practitioners from the local community, however, this approach seems to be important. They stress that knowledge about collaboration, communication, cooperation and networking should be given a high priority in teacher training. It is a professional role in special education that requires flexibility; you have to know the school, the organisation, the persons and the culture. 6. The expert Special education sometimes means that you should serve as an expert. Often the expertise has to do with knowledge about certain impairments or certain diagnosis. It may relate to sight and hearing, ability to speak, move, understand, concentrate, feel and communicate. Internationally and in Sweden there is a strong tradition of a medical, psychological and a compensatory approach. An expert knows how to identify what is not normal. In this tradition there is a focus on the individual. The idea is that the individual should be the object for measures, diagnosis and interventions. In the examination papers written by the students the expert strategy is more or less absent. One reason might be that the students in this course did not really meet pupils in situations where experts intervene, and that is why they did not meet experts. However, the students often talk about learning difficulties as a problem in the field of special education. In our study experienced teachers refer to the expert role as a dilemma. The dilemma was revealed in a story reflecting a critical incident. One special educator said: It happens now and then that parents have not understood or will not understand that their child has severe learning difficulties. As a special educator it is my duty to help the child. But how can I help when my I cannot persuade the parents to see their child the way I do? Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 12 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, firstname.lastname@example.org She told us that in these situations it is very hard to tell the parents that what is best for the child. When the special educator acts as an expert trying to move the pupil to another group or to find another form of school for the pupil, the parents often disagree. The dilemma is that the expert role in these situations does not carry any weight, no authority, it has no legitimacy. The parents might suggest that the school and the teachers should improve their efforts to include their child in the ordinary group. And it seems as if such a proposal is beyond the scope and reach of many professionals in special education. 7. Empowerment Empowerment is a key concept internationally. It refers to a strategy where someone tries to empower a group. I could for example be a practitioner in special education trying to empower pupils in order to bring about change. It is an approach where confrontations and conflicts might be necessary, where you might depend upon supportive opinions. You may use public media to favour your cause. Here you try to challenge repressive power structures. This strategy is often associated to civil society and voluntary organisations. Sometimes action research is involved. “Conscientizcâo” is a key concept (Freire, 1973). In this strategy you may refer to Marx, Dewey, Lewin and Freire. In the examination papers written by students, the strategy of empowerment is absent. That is the case also with the experienced teachers in this study. There seems to be a lack of power and a lack of scope for applying such a strategy for change. It seems as if students, as well as the experienced teachers can not see the possibilities to change power structures and traditions. It seems as if the field of special education is formed by other people and by circumstances beyond their control. The participants in our study seem to be part of a larger context, a structure out of their reach. 8. Animation Quite close to the strategy of empowerment there is a strategy which could be called “animation”. Here you will find humour, improvisation, fantasy, music, art and drama (Boal, 1979). The role and strategy of an “animateur” is known in France. The task is to engage all creative and liberating resources that can be found among people involved in special education. A major difference, compared to all other strategies mentioned here, is that the “animateur” is not problem-oriented. The role requires a lot of self reliance on part of the actor; he or she should have a lot of imagination; he or she should know a lot of ways to communicate. It is a situated practice which takes place “in the face of uncertainty” (Kemmis, 2005). This strategy is hard to find in the examination papers written by the students. One of the experienced teachers, however, told a story reflecting her ability to change a certain situation by “tuning it upside down”. Among professionals working with pre school activities and day care centres this is probably a more frequent strategy, being more playful and creative than is often the case with ordinary schools focusing on cognitive capacities. 9. The reflective practitioner Special education is not just a practice where you do things. It is also a field of knowledge and research. A field of knowledge may be developed systematically. That is Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 13 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, email@example.com true also for production of knowledge in special education. Valuable knowledge may be produced through established forms of academic research. Professional knowledge and “practice knowledge” can also be developed from practice and praxis. There are several persons and concepts pointing in this direction: Dewey ( ) writes about “learning by doing”; Schön (1983) writes about “The Reflective Practitioner”; Kolb (1984) writes about “Experiential Learning” and Kemmis & Grotenboer (2006) writes about “praxis development” and “learning through experience”. In research literature you can find support for the role of a reflective practitioner. In our small study, however, it was hard to identify such a strategy in the papers written by students. Some of the experienced teachers told stories and gave examples which could be interpreted as supportive for the role of a reflective practitioner. 3. Some tendencies and conclusions The tentative typology introduced here might serve as a tool for analysing special education. I have looked for special education as reflected in a discourse on theory and in a discourse on practical action. The typology may help us to compare how special education is comprehended by university students on one hand and by experienced practitioners on the other hand in different contexts and perhaps in different countries. To some extent there seems to be a common understanding. In some respects there are differences. An important observation is that students as well as experienced practitioners seem to lack a range and scope for changing established power structures. I will look further for how roles and strategies are constructed. I will look further into what constitutes a profession and how a professional practice is formed? To what extent do the ideas and traditions have an impact? To what extent is a profession formed by history, tradition, organisation, context and situation. How can praxis and praxis development be identified? We would like to contribute to the international project Pedagogy, Education and Praxis, employing a conceptual framework introduced by Kemmis (2006). 4. Work in progress Right now, in Part Nr 2, ten students are engaged in small studies that might contribute to the research project Special Education as Theory and Praxis. They look into different parts and aspects of the educational system. Some look for special education related to handicapped pupils, pupils with impairments, pupils that were born with a brain damage. Another student focuses on pupils with difficulties to read and write in order to see what is done by special pedagogues in this context. Some students focus on pupils with general learning difficulties. They try to understand the organisational context for special education in a local community. One student looks into special education and Montessori pedagogy to find similarities and differences. These studies will be reported in 2007 and the spring of 2008. I hope to be able to include their findings in Part Nr 3. The aim here is to explore further the roles and strategies for bringing about change in the field of special education. We will try to identify what kind of knowledge that seems to be of value in the field of special education. It is a Research and Development project where an important aspect is to help out in forming a Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 14 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, firstname.lastname@example.org mediating discourse. In analysing the results we will employ a conceptual framework introduced by Kemmis (2006). Discussions have just started between a group of researchers from Australia (Wagga Wagga), the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and Sweden (Stockholm, Gothenburg). References Aristotle (2004). The Nicomachean Ethics, tr. A.K. Thomson and H. Tredennick, London: Penguin Classics. Bladini, K. (2004). Handledning som verktyg och rum för reflektion: en studie av specialpedagogers handledningssamtal. Karlstad: Institutionen för utbildningsvetenskap, Avdelningen för pedagogik, Karlstads universitet. Boal, A. (1979). De förtrycktas teater. Södertälje: Gidlunds. [Boal, A. (2000). Theater of the oppressed. London: Pluto]. Carr, W., Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming Critical. Education, Knowledge and Action Research. London: The Falmer Press. Eriksson, L., Hermansson, H-E, Münger; A-C (2004). Socialpedagogik och samhälls-förståelse: teori och praktik i socialpedagogisk forskning Eslöv: B. Östlings bokförlag Symposion, (Eslöv: Symposion) Freire, P. (1973). Pedagogik för förtryckta. Falköping: Gummessons. [Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogia do Oprimado]. Gustavsen, B. (2001). Theory and Practice: the Mediating Discourse. In P. Reason and H. Bradbury (Eds.), Handbook of Action Research. Participatory inquiry & practice. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. Jakobsson, I-L (2002) Diagnos i skolan: en studie av skolsituationer för elever med syndrom-diagnos. Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, Göteborg: Kompendiet Kemmis, S. (2005). Knowing practice: searching for saliences. In Pedagogy, Culture and Society, vol.13, no.3, pp. 391-426. Kemmis, S. (forthcoming 2006). What is Professional Practice? In Clive Kanes (Ed.), Developing Professional Practice. New York: Springer. Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning. Experience as the source of learning. New Jersey: Prentice- Hall Inc. Lewin, K. (1946). Action Research and Minority Problems. I Journal of Social Issues, nr 2, pp 34-46. New York. Malmgren Hansen, A. (2002) Specialpedagoger - nybyggare i skolan. Stockholm: HLS förlag, Göteborg: Elanders Graphic Systems. Mattsson, M. (1986). Det goda samhället. Fritidens idéhistoria 1900-1985 i ett dramatiskt perspektiv. Stockholm: RSFH - Fritidsforum. Stockholm: Ordfront. (270 s.). Mattsson, M., Eriksson, H., Pisilä, S. (2006). Vad är värdefull specialpedagogisk kunskap? Stockholm: Lärarhögskolan. IOL:s skriftserie Individ, omvärld och lärande/Forskning, nr 32. Mattsson, M., Kemmis, S. (2006). Praxis-related research: Serving two masters? Accepted for publication in Pedagogy, Culture & Society. In press. Plato (1992). The Trial and Death of Socrates. Four Dialogues. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. Polanyi, M. (1967/1983). The Tacit dimension. Routledge & Kegan. Prop. 1999/2000:135 En förnyad lärarutbildning. Russell, B. (1991). Västerlandets filosofi. Borås: Natur och Kultur. [Russell, B. (1961). History of Western philosophy. London: George Allen and Unwin]. Sahlin, B. (2004). Utmaning och omtanke - en analys av handledning som en utvidgad specialpedagogisk funktion i skolan med utgångspunkt i tio pionjärers berättelser. Stockholm: HLS förlag. Schön, D. (1983). The Refl ective Practitioner. How Professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books Inc. Ström, K. (1999). Specialpedagogik i högstadiet. Ett speciallärarperspektiv på verksamhet, verksamhetsförutsättningar och utvecklingsmöjligheter. University Press: Åbo Akademi. Toulmin, S., Gustavsen B. (Eds.). (1996). Beyond theory: changing organizations through participation. Philadelphia, Penn.; Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publ., cop. Weiss, C. (Ed.). (1977). Using Social Research in Public Policy Making. Lexington Books. Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 15 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, email@example.com Figure x Academy, Profession, Identity (070514 Mattsson) State Academy Profession Identity Market Civic society Special Education as Theory and Praxis, 2007-05-14 16 Matts Mattsson, Ph D, firstname.lastname@example.org We will explore what kind of knowledge that seems to be important to experienced practitioners in the field of special education. Thus we will contribute to the international project Pedagogy, Education and Praxis, employing a conceptual framework introduced by Kemmis (2006). Theoretical Technical Practical perspective Critical-emancipatory perspective perspective perspective Telos (Aim) The attainment of The production of Wise and prudent Overcoming irrationality, knowledge or truth something judgement; acting rightly injustice, suffering, felt in the world dissatisfactions Disposition Episteme A Techné A Phronesis A moral Critical A disposition disposition to seek disposition to act in disposition to act wisely, towards emancipation the truth for its own a true and reasoned truly and justly; goals from irrationality, sake way according to the and means are both injustice, suffering, felt rules of a craft always open to review dissatisfactions Example in Studying Learning knowledge Learning about the Community projects teacher philosophy of (like theories of nature, traditions and aimed at developing education education with the learning, individual purposes of education as understanding of aim of developing a differences, a moral activity historical, discursive, personal theory of motivation) and intrinsically involved social and material- education skills to teach a with the formation of economic circumstances lesson, manage a good persons and the which constrain capacities class, assess good for humankind for self-expression, self- learning development and self- determination Action Theoria Poietike ‘Making’ Praxis ‘Doing’ action, Emancipatory Collective Contemplation, action, involving morally-informed action reflection and action involving means-ends or oriented by tradition, aimed at historical self- theoretical instrumental involving practical understanding and reasoning about the reasoning to achieve reasoning about what it collective consensus about nature of things a known objective is wise, right and proper what to do to overcome or outcome to do in a given situation constraints on rationality, justice, well-being Example in Development of Development of Development of Community action and teacher logical thinking lesson preparation reflexive capacity to education projects (and education using and building skills, skills to teach adapt immediate goals action research projects) on the theoretical state curriculum, and means to changing taking emancipatory resources of skills to assess circumstances in a class action on educational and educational students according or school in light of social issues confronted traditions to policy or rules educational values about by a community the good for students and the good for humankind To be continued….