In 2008 the Swedish government initiated a restart of the education of special education teachers with the aim of focusing their work on the individual level. This means that from 2010, there are two different but similar special education professions in Sweden. The similarity between them is that both special educators and special education teachers are required to be qualified dialogue partners (kvalificerad samtalspartner). One important difference, however, is that for special education teachers the government´s expressed focus is on individual-level interaction in preschool classes, schools and adult education, in contrast to the broadened role of special educators´ which includes work at the organization-, group- and individual levels in preschool, preschool classes, school, leisure centres and adult education (SFS 2007:638; SFS 2008:132). Special education teachers specialize in development in reading and writing or mathematics, while the function of special educators is broader, as they are qualified to work with all kinds of special educations issues.
How can the two professions cooperate and complement each other in a way that will provide for the right of participation in education for all? In my opinion, it is an issue of professional knowledge about what it means to approach from a communicative perspective, and about the different responsibilities of the two different professions.
specialpedagog, speciallärare, kommunikativt perspektiv, kvalificerad samtalspartner, special educator, special education teacher, qualified dialogue partner, kommunicative perspective