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Nordgren, Pia
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Frostlund, J. & Nordgren, P. M. (2023). Evidence-based teaching in Swedish compulsory schools for pupils with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 14(1), 154-188
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evidence-based teaching in Swedish compulsory schools for pupils with intellectual disabilities
2023 (English)In: Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 154-188Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: This study aims to identify the evidence-based teaching programs regarding communication and interaction that underpin Swedish compulsory schools for pupils with intellectual disabilities (ID).

Method: This quantitative census survey fills a gap in the existing research literature, in that all qualified teachers in the schools report on the use of evidence-based teaching programs regarding communication and interaction for pupils with ID.

Results: Only a small proportion of the teachers received any formal teacher training on evidence-based teaching programs or participated in any continuing professional development (CPD) on these programs. We also evidenced a teaching gap among Swedish special schools, as commonly used teaching programs differ within Swedish compulsory schools for pupils with ID. In addition, some commonly used teaching programs do not always promote interaction and learning for pupils.

Discussion/conclusion: The teaching profession is in need of scientific guidance, in order to create evidence-based teaching practice for pupils with ID, which should be a focus of future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2023
Keywords
evidence-based teaching, compulsory schools, intellectual disabilities, professional development, special didactics, interaction, learning
National Category
Didactics Pedagogy
Research subject
Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-28961 (URN)10.1558/jircd.23205 (DOI)000949768800006 ()2-s2.0-85142187000 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-11-23 Created: 2022-11-23 Last updated: 2024-02-01Bibliographically approved
Frostlund, J. & Nordgren, P. (2023). Inkludering, en skola för alla och elever med intellektuell funktionsnedsättning i grundskolan: en forskningsöversikt av forskning i Sverige, Norge, Danmark och Finland. Nordisk Tidskrift för Allmän Didaktik, 9(1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inkludering, en skola för alla och elever med intellektuell funktionsnedsättning i grundskolan: en forskningsöversikt av forskning i Sverige, Norge, Danmark och Finland
2023 (Swedish)In: Nordisk Tidskrift för Allmän Didaktik, E-ISSN 2002-1534, Vol. 9, no 1Article, review/survey (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [sv]

I denna scoping review analyseras resultaten av forskningen om obligatorisk grundskoleutbildning för elever med intellektuell funktionsnedsättning (IF) i Sverige, Norge, Danmark och Finland, under perioden 2011–2023. De vetenskapsteoretiska perspektiv och metoder som använts, samt de forskningsfrågor och resultat som har ansetts viktiga inom forskningsområdet presenteras. Därvid diskuteras också hur inkluderingsbegreppet använts i forskningen samt vilka forskningsluckor som finns inom forskningsområdet. Inom forskningsområdet är tolkande och kritiska vetenskapsteoretiska perspektiv vanligast och mest använda metoder är enkäter/test och dokument/litteratur/textanalys. De forskningsfrågor som har ställts inom forskningsområdet är varierande, men vanligast är frågor inriktade på det professionella innehållet i utbildningen av elever med IF. Professionella i skolan är överens om att inkludering är ett eftersträvansvärt ideal, som dock inte alltid är uppnåeligt eftersom skolor har svårt att tillgodose elevgruppens behov. Vidare uttrycker professionella en variation av definitioner (dock är placeringsdefinition vanligast), när de definierar begreppet inkludering. Resultatet är väntat, då det inom forskningsområdet saknas konsensus kring hur inkluderingsbegreppet ska definieras. Vidare är det sällsynt med forskning utifrån ett elevperspektiv. Ett resultat av forskningen är att elever med IF är mer negativa till sin lärmiljö (i kontexten inkludering) än andra elevgrupper. Elever med IF deltar också i mindre utsträckning i sociala aktiviteter under skoltiden, vilket indikerar att det fattas gemenskaper i skolan som välkomnar alla elever. Det saknas dock en stabil vetenskaplig grund för säkert kunna säga hur elever med IF upplever inkluderande ansatser i skolan. Inom forskningsområdet behövs studier med elevperspektiv. Det saknas också forskning om interaktion mellan elever, mellan elever och lärare; om kommunikationsförmåga i ett elevnära perspektiv; om samverkan mellan olika professioner, samt om lärares erfarenhet av undervisning med olika läroplaner i samma klassrum. Det finns behov av forskning som mer entydigt definierar vad inkludering innebär samt hur inkludering praktiskt bör utformas i den obligatoriska grundskoleutbildningen för elever med IF.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborgs universitet, 2023
Keywords
autism, communication, inclusion, interaction, intellectual disabilities, special education, special needs
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-30922 (URN)10.57126/noad.2023.19540 (DOI)
Available from: 2023-11-24 Created: 2023-11-24 Last updated: 2024-01-18Bibliographically approved
Nordgren, P. & Frostlund, J. (2023). Interaction with the Environment – part of the Education for Pupils with Intellectual Disabilities – or Not?. In: : . Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research, ECER, Glasgow, UK, 22-25 August, 2023..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interaction with the Environment – part of the Education for Pupils with Intellectual Disabilities – or Not?
2023 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This presentation gives some insight into ongoing work on the teaching practice regarding interaction and communication for students with intellectual disabilities in Swedish compulsory schools. The study is a partial result of the Interteach project, which is a national Swedish study carried out at the University of Borås, where we ask teachers about the teaching practice (regarding communication and interaction) encountered by pupils with intellectual disabilities. In a study by Frostlund & Nordgren (2022) it is established that there exists a teaching gap among Swedish compulsory schools for children with intellectual disabilities, i.e the evidence-based programs that are used, AAC, PECS, EIBI and TEACCH (Thunberg, 2007, Bondy & Frost, 2011, Klintwall & Eikeseth, 2014, Fletcher-Campbell, 2003, Mesibov, Shea & Schopler, 2004) differ within the country in regard to the teachers’ CPD and previous education. In addition, the established evidence-based teaching strategies do not always promote interaction and learning for pupils. Partial results of a current quantitative census survey will be presented together with some analyses of the presence of interaction in the teaching practice for pupils with intellectual disabilities in Sweden as a whole. The theoretical starting point for this study is that interaction is necessary in teaching and foundational to pupils’ learning in development of intersubjective understanding (Trevarthen, 1979). 

The compulsory school for students with intellectual disabilities, i.e., the special school in Sweden, as well as schools in other Nordic countries are organized according to The Salamanca statement and Framework for Action in Special Needs Education (UNESCO, 1994), which means education should be employed from an inclusive perspective. The Nordic countries as well as many European countries ratified the Salamanca statement in 1994. During recent decades there has been an increasing demand for scientifically validated teaching practices in school due to a general understanding of the school system as problematic and lacking equivalence (Biesta, 2007; Levinsson, 2013; OECD, 2007). There is a lack of studies that focus on specific aspects regarding evidence-based teaching programs regarding communication and interaction för pupils with intellectual disabilities. In the current study the purpose is to investigate the teachers’ experiences regarding in what way interaction is part of their daily teaching of students with intellectual disabilities.

Research questions for the present study were:

  1. To what extent do teachers believe that it is important that students with autism and extensive communication difficulties have the opportunity to interact with their surroundings?
  2. To what extent do teachers believe that it is important to use communication maps for students with autism who have no communication skills?
  3. To what extent do teachers believe that it is important to use talking devices for students with autism without communication skills?
  4. Do teachers claim that students at their school work mainly independently on their work station?
  5. Do teachers claim that students at their school unit are given the opportunity for daily interaction with other students during teacher-led activities?
  6. Do teachers claim that the students at their school unit are given the opportunity for individual interaction in teaching with their teachers every day?
  7. Do teachers claim that the students at their school unit are given the opportunity to interaction with adults during the school day?
  8. Do the students at the teachers’ school unit get the opportunity for targeted language training with for example a speech therapist one to several times a week?
  9. What is the relationship between the attitudes (questions 1-3) and the extent to which the various evidence-based programs are used in Sweden as a whole?
  10. What is the relationship between the attitudes (question 1-3) and the extent as to which the students get the possibility to interact? 

Method

The ongoing project Interteach is carried out at the University of Borås. In this Swedish national quantitative census survey, we ask all teachers in Sweden who are formally qualified and currently employed at Swedish compulsory schools for pupils with intellectual disabilities, questions about the teaching practice regarding interaction and communication. Research questions in the current study regard to what extent and in what way interaction is involved in the teachers’ daily work with the children. For the study a survey was conducted through the university web system Sunet survey and distributed to a total of 418 teachers that are formally qualified and currently employed at compulsory schools in Sweden for students with intellectual disabilities. The response rate, 403 teachers out of 418 teachers, was about 96%. The teachers in the current study teach students who are between 7-15 years old. 56% teach students 7-12 years of age and the remaining teachers work with students grade 7-9 (students between 13-15 years of age). The survey consisted of 19 closed and 1 open-ended question, where one question (question 19) is used for the present study and the other 18 questions are used in a previous study (Frostlund & Nordgren, 2022).   

The ethical principles for Swedish research according to the Swedish Research Council are a ground for the present study. No unauthorized persons are able to process the information. In addition, neither the teachers, the schools or the pupils can be identified because the results are presented anonymously on regional, national levels. Also, we ourselves had no information about the specific individuals in the study. The respondents gave their informed consent when entering the study and filling out the survey.  

Expected Outcomes 

Increased knowledge on evidence-based methods for pupils with intellectual disability in Swedish compulsory schools is expected to lay the ground for further studies, which may lead to development of the education för pupils with intellectual disabilities. This survey makes analyses of teachers’ experiences and views on their teaching practice possible on a national Swedish level, but the study may also have implications for evidence-based teaching in other Nordic countries as well as European countries and contribute to the discussion on evidence-based methods worldwide. Based on a previous study (Frostlund & Nordgren, 2022) this study takes a further scope on the education for pupils with intellectual disabilities in Sweden and directs the attention towards interaction in education. A conclusion of the previous study was that the teaching profession is in need of scientific guidance in order to establish the best possible teaching practice for pupils with intellectual disabilities. The reason for this is that only a small proportion of teachers have received formal teacher training and CPD on evidence-based programs. The present study explores the relationship between to what extent pupils have the possibility to interact during the school day and the teachers attitudes on this matter. 

National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-30459 (URN)
Conference
European Conference on Educational Research, ECER, Glasgow, UK, 22-25 August, 2023.
Available from: 2023-09-08 Created: 2023-09-08 Last updated: 2023-09-14Bibliographically approved
Nordgren, P. & Frostlund, J. (2022). Interteach - A Total Investigation Study of Swedish Schools Regarding the Education of Pupils with Intellectual Disabilities. International Journal of Technology and Inclusive Education, 11(1), 1727-1731
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interteach - A Total Investigation Study of Swedish Schools Regarding the Education of Pupils with Intellectual Disabilities
2022 (English)In: International Journal of Technology and Inclusive Education, E-ISSN 2047-0533, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 1727-1731Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Interteach is a national Swedish research project, which focuses on Evidence-Based Teaching Programs regarding language and interaction in Swedish special schools. It is a full population study, which means a survey was sent out to all teachers in Sweden who are qualified to teach in the Swedish special schools regarding pupils with intellectual disabilities. Followup studies with interviews and observations are planned for. The purpose of the study is more specifically to identify what teaching programs are used within Swedish special schools, and to what extent, in order to promote language and interaction regarding pupils with intellectual disabilities, ID (including Autism Spectrum Condition with ID). Our hope is that increased knowledge within these aspects can lead to development of the education in this area. To our knowledge this is the first Swedish study that studies Evidence-Based Practice in all Swedish special schools

National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-28093 (URN)10.20533/ijtie.2047.0533.2022.0213 (DOI)
Available from: 2022-06-22 Created: 2022-06-22 Last updated: 2023-01-18Bibliographically approved
Nordgren, P. (2021). Språk i sikte: Barns interaktionsutveckling i relation till perception och kognition (1ed.). Lund: Studentlitteratur AB
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Språk i sikte: Barns interaktionsutveckling i relation till perception och kognition
2021 (Swedish)Book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2021. p. 167 Edition: 1
Keywords
language didactics, language development, pre-school, språkdidaktik, språkutveckling, förskola
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-25355 (URN)978-91-44-13503-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2021-04-27 Created: 2021-04-27 Last updated: 2022-06-22Bibliographically approved
Nordgren, P. (2019). Precursors of language development in ASC: A longitudinal single-subject study of gestures in relation to phonetic prosody. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 23(1), 19-38
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Precursors of language development in ASC: A longitudinal single-subject study of gestures in relation to phonetic prosody
2019 (English)In: Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, ISSN 1744-6295, E-ISSN 1744-6309, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 19-38Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We longitudinally investigated the development of deictic and general accompanying gestures in one 5-year-old boy with autism spectrum condition (ASC) and intellectual disability. The investigation was performed during an intervention focusing on phonological segments. The purpose was to see whether gestures developed in conjunction with language. We found that deictic and general accompanying gestures increased during the study, despite not being trained. There was also a positive temporal correlation between deictic gestures and speech. Contrary to the expectations in this case, declarative gestures were frequent and increased, while imperative decreased during the period of intervention. Furthermore, we detected a specific kind of general accompanying non-context-sensitive gestures that may be involved in the retrieval of phonemes and syllables. Speech prosody was also analysed in relation to these gestures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019
Keywords
ASC, speech, gestures, prosody
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-28979 (URN)10.1177/1744629517710999 (DOI)000459145500003 ()28548002 (PubMedID)
Note

Funding Agencies|Region Vastra Gotaland, Sweden; University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Kempe-Carlgrenska foundation, Sweden; Royal Hvitfeldska foundation, Sweden

Available from: 2020-03-24 Created: 2022-11-28 Last updated: 2023-03-30Bibliographically approved
Nordgren, P. (2016). From sounds to speech and gestures: case studies of linguistic interaction in children with ASC. Göteborg: University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Arts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From sounds to speech and gestures: case studies of linguistic interaction in children with ASC
2016 (English)Book (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Från språkljud till tal och gester : fallstudier om lingvistisk interaktion hos barn med autismspektrumtillstånd
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the interrelationship between segmental phonology, prosody and gesture, as well as important factors for language development in individuals with autism spectrum condition (ASC), i.e. precursors. Furthermore, the thesis investigates the effects of an intervention given to two Swedish children (boys) with ASC, who were followed longitudinally over a period of 1-1 1⁄2 years. An intervention, where stimuli (minimal pairs) were gradually introduced, was constructed in order to increase awareness of phonemic contrasts and symbolic representations. The hypothesis, which was based on theories of overlapping networks for language and cognition, was that listening to sounds and watching production of sounds, in minimal pairs could lead to development of sound production, in general, and also to more advanced syllable constructions and use of new words. The idea was that cortical areas, including Broca’s area and areas for speech perception would be stimulated, which possibly could lead to secondary effects on prosodic and gestural development. The results of the thesis are in support of the existence of a cortical mechanism, for example, mirror neurons, which bridge between perception and production of speech. The studies were performed during three periods, which laid the ground for three corpora with video recorded materials. The training sessions took place at a special school for children with ASC, where teachers or a speech and language therapist conducted the sessions. Interviews were performed with the school staff and parents. According to the temporal order of language acquisition, phonological contrastive features were gradually introduced. Pairing the sounds with specific objects allowed for opportunity to train to distinguish meaning, which is a part of first-word-acquisition. All the sessions were video recorded, the corpora gathered and annotated.The first study focused on phonological development, general speech sound production in segments and syllables, phonological contrastive features, feature accuracy and auditory perceptual skills in one of the boys. Results of the study showed both a quantitative and qualitative development of speech sound production regarding the use of new phonological feature types, new syllable constructions and use of new words during the year. The results were significant, when comparing two periods, which suggests that phonological training can stimulate children with ASC to develop language and speech at 5 to 6 years of age. Thus, perception (and production) of phonological processing may not be rejected as a precursor for language development from this study. In this child with ASC, not only was there a delayed speech development but also a deviant one, both concerning segments and syllables, which is in line with previous studies that describe deviant phonological development in ASC. The second study investigated pitch, pitch range and duration in two boys, over duration of a year. Acoustic data were annotated and analysed. Autistic symptoms, such as increased pitch and increased pitch range decreased for the two boys. It was concluded that prosody developed, despite not being trained. Acoustic analyses of prosody may be useful indicators of language development and tools for diagnosis in ASC. In addition, analysis of threshold range is suggested in future studies in analysing prosody in ASC. The third study investigated deictic (declarative and imperative), general accompanying, ritualistic, iconic interactional and silent mouth gestures in one boy with ASC (the same boy as in Study I). The results showed a development of gestures, both deictic and general accompanying. The deictic gestures were contrary to expectations, more often declarative than imperative. Declarative gestures increased during the period, while imperative ones decreased. This study also shows how gestures may accompany speech in a very specific manner by the use of various hand shapes, which accompany syllables. Furthermore, results suggest that speech and gestures are interrelated. In summary, the three studies showed that segmental phonology, prosody and gestures are interrelated. Auditory (visual) perception is suggested to be an important precursor for language development in ASC from this study. Phonological processing is also related to prosody on the word and sentence level, and it may be suggested that training phonology in interaction may improve prosodic development. A finding was that F0 (Fundamental frequency) decreased more than expected in the two children, in relation to the literature on typical F0 development. Another finding was that the gestural development in one of the children showed a very close interrelationship between speech, gestures and the development of indexical functions. Use of both prosody and gestures increased despite not being trained. Furthermore, the two children developed in a similar way during the period of study, and positive development in general suggests that listening to and training with minimal pairs in triadic interaction may be useful for interventions in ASC. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Arts, 2016
Keywords
perception, speech production, phonology, prosody gestures, autism spectrum condition
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-28982 (URN)9789162896782 (ISBN)
Available from: 2022-11-28 Created: 2022-11-28 Last updated: 2023-03-30Bibliographically approved
Nordgren, P. M. (2015). F0, F0 range and duration of utterances – Longitudinal single-subject studies of prosody in two Swedish children with ASC. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 30(1), 29-48
Open this publication in new window or tab >>F0, F0 range and duration of utterances – Longitudinal single-subject studies of prosody in two Swedish children with ASC
2015 (English)In: Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, ISSN 0269-9206, E-ISSN 1464-5076, Vol. 30, no 1, p. 29-48Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We investigated prosody in two Swedish boys with autism spectrum condition (ASC) and subjected them individually to a year-long segmental intervention which was analysed using a single-subject experimental design. Acoustic measures were taken for F0 levels, F0 range and duration. The data were evaluated for syllable structure, phrase length and accent 2. Results showed a decrease in augmented F0 levels and an increase in the proportion of utterances within intermediate F0 ranges. The boys developed prosodic patterns more similar to that of typically developing children. In addition, the use of the important Swedish accent 2 increased.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2015
Keywords
Accent 2, autism spectrum condition, F0 level, language development, prosody
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-28980 (URN)10.3109/02699206.2015.1098728 (DOI)2-s2.0-84957957921 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-11-28 Created: 2022-11-28 Last updated: 2023-03-30Bibliographically approved
Nordgren, P. M. (2014). Phonological Development in a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Case Study of an Intervention. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders/Equinox, 6(1), 25-51
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phonological Development in a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Case Study of an Intervention
2014 (English)In: Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders/Equinox, ISSN 2040-5111, E-ISSN 2040-512X, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 25-51Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this single case study with a multiple baseline approach, a five year-old Swedish boy, diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition, and having a bilingual background, was followed weekly for one year. In order to facilitate the acquisition of phonological contrasts and knowledge of symbolic representations, a training package with minimal pairs was gradually introduced. A corpus of the utterances in interaction with teachers and a speech pathologist was collected, transcribed, and analyzed. The results of the study showed a quantitative and qualitative development of sound production involving the use of new phonological feature types, new syllable constructions, and new words during the year. The delayed and deviant speech development, both concerning segments, syllables, and word boundaries in this child, is in line with studies that describe a deviant phonological development in individuals with autism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Equinox Publishing, 2014
Keywords
Language development, sound production, autism
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-28981 (URN)10.1558/jircd.v6i1.25 (DOI)
Available from: 2022-11-28 Created: 2022-11-28 Last updated: 2023-03-30Bibliographically approved
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