University of Oulu

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.

Students’ engaging school experiences : a precondition for functional inclusive practice

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Author: Palmgren, Marina Helena1; Pyhältö, Kirsi1,2; Soini, Tiina3;
Organizations: 1University of Helsinki
2University of Oulu
3University of Tampere
4University of Eastern Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Whole Schooling Consortium, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-11-15


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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Series: International journal of whole schooling
ISSN: 1710-2146
ISSN-E: 1710-2146
ISSN-L: 1710-2146
Volume: 13
Issue: 1
Pages: 26 - 49
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
515 Psychology
Funding: This research was supported by the Foundation of Oskar Öflund and Svenska Kulturfonden.
Copyright information: © 2017 The Authors.