University of Oulu

Riikka Sirkko & Marjatta Takala (2022) Distance education for pupils with intellectual disabilities – teachers’ experiences, Education Inquiry, DOI: 10.1080/20004508.2022.2073054

Distance education for pupils with intellectual disabilities : teachers’ experiences

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Author: Sirkko, Riikka1; Takala, Marjatta1
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-05-12


Due to COVID-19, schools closed in Finland for eight weeks in the spring of 2020, and teaching was conducted using distance education. Teachers used their professional agency to ensure a continuation of their students’ learning. This study focuses on the experiences of teachers who taught pupils with intellectual disabilities during the distance education period. The research question is: What kind of experiences did the teachers have with distance education? The data were collected via an electronic questionnaire and analysed using qualitative content analysis. The results were examined using teachers’ professional agency as a theoretical lens. The results showed that teachers encountered many challenges and emotions at the beginning, but during distance education, they learnt new ways to teach and support pupils and families. Teachers’ agency was spread between supporting the agency of pupils and guardians. These are discussed in the article.

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Series: Education inquiry
ISSN: 2000-4508
ISSN-E: 2000-4508
ISSN-L: 2000-4508
Issue: Online first
DOI: 10.1080/20004508.2022.2073054
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.