Relationskompetens i specialpedagogiska utbildningar: hur framställs ämnet i kursplaner för specialpedagog- och speciallärarprogram i Sverige?

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Research shows that the quality of the teacher-student relationship is crucial to students’ learning and development, especially for students in need of special support. In Scandinavia, the concept of relational competence is increasingly used to define a teacher’s ability to build supportive relationships. In this article, relational competence is discussed in the context of special education. The article investigates how relational competence is described in the curriculum for special education teacher training. Syllabuses (n = 142) at all Swedish universities that have programs in special education (n = 11) are included in the analysis, with a focus on the learning goals (n = 857). Content analysis provides both an overall and a more in-depth picture. The first study shows that there are relatively few learning goals relevant to relational competence. For example, the key concepts “relation,” “participation,” and “empathy” are very rarely used, and “care” and “trust” are completely absent. The second study shows, among other findings, that relevant content mainly concerns the special educator as a qualified interlocutor vis-à-vis colleagues. Hardly any goals include teacher–student or teacher–parent relationships. On the whole, the results indicate that relational competence is a neglected topic in this discourse, and that it has a fairly narrow focus. The implications of this lack are discussed, and suggestions for improvement are added. 

Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)117-142
Number of pages25
JournalEducare - Vetenskapliga skrifter
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Educational Sciences (503)

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