Comparative analysis of special education teacher training in France and Norway: how effective, areas taught and recommendation for improvement
This study aims to understand the quality and areas of training in the existing special education teacher education programme in France and Norway by examining how special education teachers are prepared in carrying out four components of administrative, teaching, student evaluation and inclusive tasks in everyday classroom. The theoretical framework used in this research is international comparative analysis via questionnaire, institutional analysis(training programme), discourse analysis(interview) and classroom observation. Subjects in this study include special education student teachers, teacher trainers, primary and secondary school teachers and academic psychologist. Data are analyzed based on Crossley and Vulliamy's ‘case for the case’(1984) method. High qualification, selection, specialization and training standards set by IUFM (University Institute for Teachers Training) account for the reliable credential of French specialist educator who are instructed by experienced trainers maintaining active relationship with practicing schools or teachers. Norwegian teacher training programme excels by introducing common content elements in both general and special education programme to ensure coherence and comprehensiveness in the profession, while decentralization is conducive for internal flexibility, less bureaucracy and more learner-centered approach. Nevertheless, more emphasis should be given to develop inclusive education as a whole in training programme, including educational strategy and policy benchmark, school culture, expanded curriculum, special support, administration and leadership, assessment, organizational structures, learning materials and conducive environment for students. Follow-up of newly qualified teachers should be mandated so that experienced teachers can provide knowledge and emotional support especially in the first year of their teaching career. In a nutshell, continuous assessment of training programme and feedback accumulated from student teachers are extremely crucial in improving the current system in line with market needs and latest educational scenario.
Wen, Chong Pei