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Lived experiences of not belonging in school from the perspective of young adults and parents. A qualitative metasynthesis of students’ interviews

Conference contribution
Authors Inger Berndtsson
Published in Paper presented at NERA, the 43rd Annual Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association, 4–6 March, Göteborg
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Language en
Keywords inclusive education, school experiences, metasynthesis
Subject categories Pedagogy

Abstract

This presentation will highlight lived experiences related to school situations, from the perspective of parents and young adults. The background to this study is our work with an academic course in Inclusive Education. One of the students’ examination assignments (to be conducted in groups of 5–7 students), contains a qualitative meta-analysis based on two individual interviews, one with a young adult and one with a parent to a child identified having learning difficulties or impairment. The aim of the task is to widen and deepen the understanding of individuals’ with impairment or learning difficulties lived experiences of participation in school and preschool, as well as parents’ perspective regarding their children’s participation in school and lived experiences of collaboration with school personnel. The students first performed individual analyses of the interviews. Thereafter, the groups executed meta-analysis, based on the individual analyses. Over the last two years we have access to about 60 meta-analyses, including the results from 600–800 separate interviews. Our aim in this presentation is to present results from a metasynthesis based on the students’ analyses. Theoretically the work is based on life world phenomenology focusing lived experiences of participation in daily life situations in school settings. The findings indicate that the young adults often have had a strenuous time in school, where they sometimes have experienced less participation where their knowledge not always have been paid attention to. Lived experiences of infringement, vulnerability and poorer self-image is reported. Regarding the parents the findings indicate that they have experiences of not being listen to, being distrusted and not taken seriously. Central in their expressions is the need for fighting for the rights of their children in school, where often the need for a diagnose have stood out as a necessity for having resources. The pedagogues’ insufficient knowledge regarding the pupil’s needs is highlighted. The results indicate the need for teachers having relevant and deeper knowledge about children’s various needs within learning situations, than has stood out in this metasynthesis.

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