University of Oulu

Marjatta Takala, Katja Sutela, Sonja Ojala & Minna Saarinen (2023) Teaching practice in the training of special education teachers in Finland, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 38:6, 835-849, DOI: 10.1080/08856257.2023.2177945

Teaching practice in the training of special education teachers in Finland

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Author: Takala, Marjatta1; Sutela, Katja2; Ojala, Sonja3;
Organizations: 1Special Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Music Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Special Education, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
4Special Education, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-02-24


The aim of this study was to explore the core of teaching practice as a part of the curricula for master’s degree in special teacher education. The data consisted of the curricula of teaching practice of all six universities in Finland that offer this program, along with the results of an electronic questionnaire administered to students. The curricula were obtained from the internet and the questionnaire was delivered to special education students at two of the six universities. Content analysis was used as a method. According to the results the curricula could be compressed into eight key elements, main of which were basic special education competence, advanced methods, collaboration, and interaction skills. Unfortunately, just 54 students responded to the questionnaire. However, they considered teaching practice a relevant part of their studies. They were satisfied with the supervision although, they commented, it could have been more frequent. The results are discussed using a four point frame of curriculum, pointing to the rare possibilities of students to negotiate or to feel empowered.

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Series: European journal of special needs education
ISSN: 0885-6257
ISSN-E: 1469-591X
ISSN-L: 0885-6257
Volume: 38
Issue: 6
Pages: 835 - 849
DOI: 10.1080/08856257.2023.2177945
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: This work was supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (OKM/38/592/2018) through the Right to learn – Skills to teach project.
Copyright information: © 2023 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 License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.