University of Oulu

Takala, M. and Sirkko, R. (2022), Pre-service teachers' attitudes towards inclusion in Finland. Support for Learning, 37: 377-398.

Pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion in Finland

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Author: Takala, Marjatta1; Sirkko, Riikka1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-09-21


The attitudes towards inclusion and the terms used related to special needs by pre-service teachers in three Finnish universities were studied. Inclusion is the main educational policy in Finland, and special solutions are avoided when possible. With a questionnaire and a brief survey, data from 488 pre-service teachers (PSTs) were collected and analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. Results indicated that their attitudes towards inclusion were quite negative. Most of the positive attitudes, which were below the mean of the scale, were held by PSTs with special education as their major or as part of their studies, along with early education PSTs. The terms used for special needs were partly traditional, following the medical model of disability, but many students also referred to the structure of the support. The reasons for the negative attitudes and changes in the traditional names of special needs are also discussed.

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Series: Support for learning
ISSN: 0268-2141
ISSN-E: 1467-9604
ISSN-L: 0268-2141
Volume: 37
Issue: 3
Pages: 377 - 398
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9604.12415
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: This work was supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education under Grant Right to learn – Skills to teach 377867, OKM/38/592/2018.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Support for Learning published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of National Association for Special Educational Needs. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.