3.10. Special Assistant

Most municipalities have drawn up guidelines for children who have special need for support in their development for physical, mental, medical or other reasons. The pre-school system has a special responsibility for such children. By law they are entitled to a place in nursery school and usually they are integrated into the normal groups. Special groups exist. About half the children in these groups have a disability and half do not. There are fewer children in these groups and the staff have special training or experience. Children with hearing impediments and deaf children also have special groups and have staff who know sign language. It is part of the municipality’s services to provide the pre-school system with support in the form of consultations with a psychologist or speech therapist, support on educational matters, supervision and in-service training, guidance social affairs etc.

If a child is being cared for in a hospital or any other institution, the organiser must ensure that the child has the opportunity to take part in activities equivalent to those offered by nursery school, post-school recreational centres or the integrated school child care facilities.

Under the Support and Services to Certain Disabled Persons Act, children with severe disabilities are entitled to personal assistance and a number of other forms of support and service.

8.1.6.1. Pre-school Education

The diploma in child and youth training may be awarded for specialisation as a pre-school teacher or for work as a recreation leader. The diploma is awarded on completion of a course of a total of 120 points (3 years of studies) and on completion of supervised practical training or equivalent experience.

In the degree ordinance in addition to the general goals set out in the Higher Education Act, there are a number of additional goals to be fulfilled for a student to obtain the diploma in child and youth training.

  • good and relevant subject knowledge for teaching,
  • knowledge and skills needed for a pre-school teacher or recreation leader to realise the goals of school activities and contribute to its development,
  • good self-knowledge and social competence and the team skills and abilities necessary to co-operate with others in common tasks,
  • such insights in education theory and practice, didactics, psychology and methodology required to run relevant activities,
  • the ability to illuminate important general human issues that may be connected to e.g. ethics and daily living, equality between the sexes, the environment as well as international and inter-cultural issues,
  • present a dissertation dealing with the relationship between scientific theories students are familiar with and their relationship to future work tasks,
  • good ability to plan, implement, evaluate and develop work with children and young persons in groups as well as having a good knowledge of the social services and the school in terms of goals, activities and organisation,
  • ability to use computers and other IT-tools for learning and to obtain knowledge as well as in teaching youth/pupils.

In addition to this, the specific goals of the different universities and university colleges apply.

8.1.6.2. Compulsory Education

There are two different options for the compulsory school teacher training program. The first concerns years 1-7 in the compulsory school and covers 140 points (3.5 years of studies). The second concerns years 4-9 and usually covers 180 points (4.5 years of studies).

In the compulsory school training program aimed at teaching in years 1-7, there are two special options available. Swedish and subjects with a social study orientation, in addition to mathematics and science subjects. Teachers are also being trained to be able to teach in all the compulsory subjects as set out in the curriculum for years 1-3, and in a number of other subjects up to the 7th year. The programme contains courses in all these subjects for all students.

There are two ways of obtaining a diploma for teaching years 4-9. The first alternative consists of subject studies for a total of 140-180 points (3.5 – 4.5 years of studies), the latter being the most common. The specialisation for years 4-9 contains 4 options with different subject combinations. Swedish and foreign languages, social study oriented subjects, mathematics and science subjects as well as practical arts subjects in combination with an additional subject.

The second way of obtaining a teaching diploma for the later years of the compulsory school, was introduced in 1992-93, and required a total of at least 180 points (4.5 years of studies). The main subject requires at least 60 points in subject studies and in the other teaching subject(s) a minimum of 40 points. When art or music are involved, a minimum of 80 points is required in these subjects. If domestic science, sports, crafts or Swedish are a part of the programme, then at least 60 points is required in these subjects. The programme allows a free choice of subject and subject combinations, and students should be able to study these in the order they wish.

The degree ordinance contains the following goals, in addition to the general goals set out in the Higher Education Act. A student will have to fulfil these to obtain a compulsory school teaching diploma:

  • good, and in terms of teaching tasks, relevant subject knowledge,
  • the knowledge and skills needed for teachers to realise the goals of the school and contribute to the development of the activity of the compulsory school,
  • good self-knowledge and social competence and as a result the ability to carry out the work of a teacher, and in co-operation with others solve the tasks that occur,
  • such insights into education theory and practice, didactics, psychology and methodology required to run relevant activities and solve normal health care problems that may occur in school,
  • ability to illuminate important general human issues that may be connected to e.g. ethics and daily living, equality between the sexes, the environment as well as international and inter-cultural issues,
  • ability to use computers and other IT-tools for learning and to obtain knowledge, as well as in teaching youth/pupils,
  • present a dissertation dealing with the relationship between scientific theories that the student is familiar with and their relationship to future work tasks

To obtain the compulsory school diploma focusing on teaching for years 1-7, the student shall, in addition, have:

special knowledge on teaching basic reading and writing skills and/or teaching basic mathematics.

60 points of professional training and practice is an integrated part of the training. This includes practical experience in a grundskola or a gymnasium during the training. The teaching practice is supervised by a teacher in the school where the practice takes place.

In addition to this, the specific goals of the different universities and university colleges apply.

8.1.6.3. Upper Secondary Education

An upper secondary teaching diploma may be awarded for core subjects or for programme specific subjects. Subjects studies and/or relevant vocational training and experience, including practical pedagogical studies, is required for the diploma.

The diploma is awarded on the completion of at least 180, 160, 100 or 40 points. At least 40 points of practical pedagogical studies within the subject/subjects chosen is required. Depending on the choice of subject combinations or subject, completion according to one of the following alternatives is required:

Alternative 1, at least 180 points (4.5 years of studies)

At least 80 points of subject studies for teaching in a core subject or in a programme specific subject, as well as subject studies of at least 60 points in another core subject or programme specific subject.

Alternative 2, at least 60/100 points (1.5/2.5 years of studies)

At least 60 points of subject studies for teaching in a core subject or in a programme specific subject, as well as at least 60 points of relevant vocational higher education studies in a programme specific subject. Also, substantial vocational experience is required.

Alternative 3, at least 100/40 points (2.5/1 years of studies)

At least 60 points of relevant vocational higher education studies for teaching in a programme specific subject. Also, substantial vocational experience is required. The relevant vocational higher education studies may, however, be substituted by other forms of relevant vocational education.

When modern languages, Swedish, social studies, natural sciences, or practical arts subjects are involved, then at least 80 points are required in these subjects.

Normally, the main subject requires at least the 60 points level. But in natural sciences, social studies and Swedish only a 40 points level is required for one of the included subjects.

Relevant communications skills, knowledge and experience of the culture and every-day life where a certain language is spoken, are special requirements for teaching in modern languages.

60 points of professional training and practice is an integrated part of the training. This includes practical experience in a grundskola or a gymnasium during the training. The teaching practice is supervised by a teacher in the school where the practice takes place.

The diploma shall state for what kind of teaching it is intended.

The degree ordinance contains the following goals, in addition to the general goals set out in the Higher Education Act. A student will have to fulfil these to obtain an upper secondary school teaching diploma.

  • good, and in terms of teaching tasks, relevant subject knowledge,
  • the knowledge and skills needed for teachers to realise the goals of the school and contribute to both the development of the activity of the upper secondary school as well as upper secondary adult education activities,
  • good self-knowledge and social competence, and as a result the ability to carry out the work of a teacher and in co-operation with others solve the tasks that occur,
  • such insights into education theory and practice, didactics, psychology and methodology required to run relevant activities and solve normal health care problems that may occur in school,
  • ability to illuminate important general human issues that may be connected to e.g. ethics and daily living, equality between the sexes, the environment as well as international and inter-cultural issues,
  • ability to use computers and other IT-tools for learning and to obtain knowledge, as well as in teaching youth/pupils.
  • present a dissertation dealing with the relationship between scientific theories students are familiar with and their relationship to future work tasks.

In addition to this, the specific goals of the different universities and university colleges apply.