Makt, styrning och diskurs av speciallärares handledande uppdrag

Translated title of the thesis: Power, governmentality and discourse of special teachers’ consultant assignment
  • Therese Johansson
  • Fredrik Lennartsson

Student thesis: Professional degree, Advanced level


This study embraces the complex of problems as well as opportunities for development of the special teacher’s consultation of paraprofessionals within the compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities. The problem has its origin within the difference in level of education for the different professions, where consultation is an action to optimize the pupil’s context of learning. Previous research shows that paraprofessionals often appear in situations where they need to make pedagogical decisions on their own, which they don’t have the education to do (Lindqvist m.fl., 2020). Organizational causes are the most common reason for lack of consultation and are interpreted to be outside the teachers’ and paraprofessionals authority and governance (Östlund m.fl., 2021). Professions that instead have the authority and governance to develop the assignment of consultation for the special teachers’ are the local politicians and principals (Norberg & Johansson, 2007). The study is framed by Michael Foucault's three key concepts: discourse, authority and governance. Nine qualitative interviews were made with four local politicians and five principals from five Swedish municipalities, where the emphasis was how they review the special teachers’ assignment as consultant for paraprofessionals and how they want to develop this assignment. The result shows that the distance of local politicians with the compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities, gives them few opportunities, due to few relationships, to practice their governance over the special teachers’ consultant assignment. The principals mention the importance of consultant and that it is their responsibility to create an organization that enables this. Part-time working paraprofessionals, who also often work at leisure-time centre, complicates an organization for consultation. Principals also talk about the level of education for paraprofessionals, both an internal education as well as requirement for education, that they think would benefit the school’s mission of knowledge. The study is relevant for all professional roles within the chain of governancy regarding the special teacher's supervisory assignment. It can function as an eye-opener for the problem area and arouse interest in decision-makers to improve the possibilities for supervision and thereby strengthen the special teacher's supervisory mandate.
Date of Award2022-Jun
Original languageSwedish
SupervisorMalena Östlund (Supervisor), Lisbeth Ohlsson (Assessor) & Daniel Östlund (Examiner)

Educational program

  • Special Education Teacher Programme

University credits

  • 15 HE credits

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogical Work (50304)


  • Discourse
  • paraprofessionals
  • consultation
  • local politicians
  • authority
  • principal
  • special teacher
  • governmentality

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