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von Ahlefeld Nisser, DésiréeORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-3228-9430
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von Ahlefeld Nisser, D., Lundgren, M., Olsson, M. & Lindqvist, G. (2018). Challenges faced by national educational authorities when implementing school development: A qualitative case study about an attempt to create accessible teaching environments in a Swedish municipality’s pre-schools and schools. In: : . Paper presented at The Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA), Educational Research: Boundaries, Breaches and Bridges 8-10 March 2018, University of Oslo, Norway.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges faced by national educational authorities when implementing school development: A qualitative case study about an attempt to create accessible teaching environments in a Swedish municipality’s pre-schools and schools
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Challenges faced by national educational authorities when implementing school development: A qualitative case study about an attempt to create accessible teaching environments in a Swedish municipality’s pre-schools and schools.

1. Research topic/aim

National school authorities regularly introduce new concepts for school development to be implemented “at a grassroots level”. This paper addresses one such school development concept implemented in a Swedish municipality. Its goal was to increase children’s’ and students’ access to learning environments in schools and pre-schools. Implementation of this pedagogical concept was to proceed over a longer period of time and be linked to systematic quality work carried out in the municipality. The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss how the implementation process was perceived by the school administration, teachers and other personal during the time the concept was introduced and thereafter.

2. Theoretical framework

The point of departure for this study is how the implementation process is related to what in Sweden is referred to as chain of governance. The chain of governance is the main principal for the organizational framework that creates structure for top-down management and as such is central to describing and understanding the implementation process within this framework. Implementing educational concepts is often considered relatively unproblematic by school authorities, however there are indications that there are a number of difficulties to overcome.

3. Methodological design

The study is based on a qualitative case study that is limited to one preschool, one school and the project's steering group. The research design can be characterized as an ongoing evaluation project, a term that has been used more and more in recent years related to different types of development projects in order to achieve a number of advantages pertaining to evaluation, research and organizational development. A central idea of ongoing evaluation research is to increase the effectiveness of development work by providing ongoing feedback to project management, but also by contributing to systematic learning, generating new research-based knowledge as well as demonstrating alternative ways of solving problems.

Collecting data from several sources allowed for data triangulation. The compilation and analysis of data is based on a hermeneutic interpretation related to the theoretical basis of the study. The results are based on both the managements’ and the staffs’ perspectives both of which are compared and contrasted to each other. Interest is directed at the processes that were initiated and what took place in those processes.

4. Expected conclusions/findings

The study is expected to show how the project's steering group acted to implement the evaluation tool, how they tried to transform the project concept into practical activities, how they informed and communicated with the staff concerned, how they organized the work and how they addressed the problems that arose along the way. This description is contrasted with how school management and staff describe what happened when the concept was applied in their organizations.

5. Relevance to Nordic educational research

There is a general interest in showing how centrally formulated concepts are implemented at the local level, because in many countries similar initiatives are being carried out, albeit in other areas. An increased understanding of this can contribute to increased general knowledge of implementation processes, but also in this specific case to problematize the concept of accessibility.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-27796 (URN)
Conference
The Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA), Educational Research: Boundaries, Breaches and Bridges 8-10 March 2018, University of Oslo, Norway
Available from: 2018-06-12 Created: 2018-06-12 Last updated: 2018-06-13Bibliographically approved
von Ahlefeld Nisser, D. & Olsson, M. (2018). Förändringsprocesser i förskola och skola belyst genom ett implementeringsperspektiv. Utbildning och Lärande / Education and Learning, 12(2), 77-94
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Förändringsprocesser i förskola och skola belyst genom ett implementeringsperspektiv
2018 (Swedish)In: Utbildning och Lärande / Education and Learning, ISSN 2001-4554, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 77-94Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents a study carried out on two levels in a school organization – the decision-making level and the realization level – within a municipality. The purpose was to study the implementation of an educational self-assessment tool for accessible education. This article contributes to an increase in general knowledge about implementation processes, while also providing a basis for in-depth dialogues that critically review such processes. A qualitative research strategy has been used, and data was collected by way of observations, interviews and focus-group discussions. The analysis followed the procedure for a qualitative analysis process. The results show that the implementation of a new concept, aimed at achieving change in education, is a complex, unpredictable process. In this case, the implementation process appears to have been hindered as a result of the discord in the process in which the two levels found themselves. The levels involved in an implementation process need to be understood as being interconnected where events at different levels affect each other. Creating dialogues between and within the levels, in terms of both ahead of the implementation and during the time it is in progress, appears, therefore, to be essential for sustainable change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Falun: Högskolan Dalarna, 2018
Keywords
implementation, accessible education, qualitative analysis process, meaning creating dialogue
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-29638 (URN)
Note

Utbildning och lärande. Tidskrift

Available from: 2019-03-08 Created: 2019-03-08 Last updated: 2019-03-08Bibliographically approved
von Ahlefeld Nisser, D., Olsson, M., Lindqvist, G. & Lundgren, M. (2018). Värderingsverktyg för ökad tillgänglighet i förskola och skola – möjligheter och fallgropar i praktiken..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Värderingsverktyg för ökad tillgänglighet i förskola och skola – möjligheter och fallgropar i praktiken.
2018 (Swedish)Report (Refereed)
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-29299 (URN)978-91-28-00893-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-01-17 Created: 2019-01-17 Last updated: 2019-01-18Bibliographically approved
von Ahlefeld Nisser, D. (2017). Can collaborative consultation, based on communicative theory, promote an inclusive school culture?. Issues in educational research, 27(4), 874-891
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can collaborative consultation, based on communicative theory, promote an inclusive school culture?
2017 (English)In: Issues in educational research, ISSN 0313-7155, E-ISSN 1837-6290, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 874-891Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article contributes to furthering our knowledge of how collaborative consultation, based on communicative theory, can make teachers’ learning from, and with, each other an inclusive process, and thus promote an inclusive school culture. The aim is to study special education professionals’ experiences of, and reflections on, leading collaborative consultations. The data consists of critical reflection (collaborative meta-consultation) in groups of special education professionals (consultants) and one researcher. The focus of the collaborative meta-consultations was on the consultations that the consultants held with groups of teachers. The data has been analysed using qualitative content analysis. Besides identifying some basic conditions, certain strategies and approaches have also been identified to make collaborative consultation an inclusive process. Collaborative consultation can promote an inclusive school culture if the concept of inclusion embraces how professionals collaboratively examine their practice, strategies, and values.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.: Australian Institutes for Educational Research, 2017
Keywords
collaborative consultation, inclusive school culture, special education professionals, communicative theory, qualitative content analysis
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education and Learning, Stärkt läs- och skrivdidaktisk kompetens för ett breddat synsätt kring inkludering.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-26408 (URN)2-s2.0-85032299371 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-10-24 Created: 2017-10-24 Last updated: 2017-11-06Bibliographically approved
von Ahlefeld Nisser, D. (2016). Professional collaborative consultation and its relation to an inclusive school culture – how can it be understood? Experiences from a research project.. In: : . Paper presented at NFPF/NERA's 44th Congress, Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education, Helsinki, Finland, 9-11 March, 2016.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Professional collaborative consultation and its relation to an inclusive school culture – how can it be understood? Experiences from a research project.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper the focus is on the question of how collaborative professional learning, based on theories of communication, can promote an inclusive school culture. The aim is to discuss conditions and strategies that relate collaborative professional learning to the idea of evidence based practice and to the concept of an inclusive school culture. A research project was created based on different approaches, and in some sense contradictive, perspectives; one expert driven, top-down approach, one participant driven, bottom-up approach, and one interactive, deliberative approach. The data consists of recurrent critical reflecting and analyzing (collaborative meta-consultation) in groups of special education professionals (consultants) and a researcher whose focus was on collaborative consultation, consultants recurrently held with groups of teachers. The collaborative meta-consultations were based on Habermas’ theory of communication as well as Freire’s pedagogy of liberation. An approach of qualitative content analysis has been used to analyze the data. The result shows that it is possible to unite different perspectives when professionals in schools are given the opportunity to discuss, scrutinize and critically examine theories linked to their own practice. The result also shows that if the concept of collaborative consultation has guidelines such as communication, openness, respect, sincerity, participation and acceptance, the possibilities to create an inclusive school culture increase. This means that the concept of inclusion has to embrace how professionals collaboratively and deliberatively examine their practice, strategies and values.   

Key words: Evidence based practice, collaborative professional learning, inclusive school culture, theory of communication, qualitative content analysis.

National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-24454 (URN)
Conference
NFPF/NERA's 44th Congress, Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education, Helsinki, Finland, 9-11 March, 2016
Available from: 2017-02-28 Created: 2017-02-28 Last updated: 2017-03-01Bibliographically approved
von Ahlefeld Nisser, D. & Sundqvist, C. (2015). Consultation in special needs education in Sweden and Finland: a comparative approach. In: : . Paper presented at NERA 43rd Congress in Gothenburg. March 4-6, 2015.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consultation in special needs education in Sweden and Finland: a comparative approach
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The paper compares the conditions and implementation of special education professionals’ consulting task in Sweden and Finland. The article first describes the background of the consulting teacher role and special education in Sweden and in Finland. Two different perspectives in the continuum on consultation are presented, followed by a description of how the consulting task is implemented and described in educational policy papers, and in research in the two countries. The analysis shows that while there are differences between the implementation of the consulting task in Sweden and Finland, there are also several similarities regarding the challenges faced. Differences can be understood according to traditions, education, and educational policy papers. The similarities shows that the consulting task must be clearly defined in policy documents, highlighted in education, and understood as a complex activity where both advice and reflection strategies are used. The consulting task can be more successful if the consultation is characterized by collaborative dialogues where the classroom teachers’ knowledge and the context are also taken in account.

Keywords
Special education teachers, inclusive education, consultation, collaboration, collaborative consultation
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education and Learning, Specialpedagoger och speciallärare som kvalificerade samtalspartners.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-19931 (URN)
Conference
NERA 43rd Congress in Gothenburg. March 4-6, 2015
Available from: 2015-11-04 Created: 2015-11-04 Last updated: 2015-11-04Bibliographically approved
von Ahlefeld Nisser, D. (2015). Kan kunskapsskapande samtal främja inkludering?: Erfarenheter från skolforskningsprojektet ”Stärkt läs- och skrivdidaktisk kompetens för ett breddat synsätt kring inkludering”. In: : . Paper presented at Nationell konferens i pedagogiskt arbete. Pedagogiskt arbete just nu – var är vi och vart är vi på väg?Karlstad 13-14 augusti 2015.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Kan kunskapsskapande samtal främja inkludering?: Erfarenheter från skolforskningsprojektet ”Stärkt läs- och skrivdidaktisk kompetens för ett breddat synsätt kring inkludering
2015 (Swedish)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [sv]

Ett forsknings- och utvecklingsprojekt har under två år genomförts med syfte att undersöka effekter av kunskapshöjande insatser inom läs- och skrivområdet hos samtalsledare (speciallärare och specialpedagoger) och lärare i förskoleklass och årskurs 1 i en kommun. Projektet har genomförts genom att (1) deltagande lärare och samtalsledare har lyssnat till fyra ämnesteoretiska föreläsningar inom området läs och skriv, (2) lärare har genomfört åtta uppdrag i den egna praktiken och som har knutit an till innehållet i föreläsningar, (3) lärare i grupp och tillsammans med en samtalsledare, efter varje genomfört uppdrag, har samtalat om dessa och slutligen genom att (4) samtalsledare deltagit i åtta gruppsamtal med andra samtalsledare och en forskare om de samtal de genomfört med lärare. Med utgångspunkt i projektets strävan att bredda synsättet kring inkludering har forskarna prövat att förena två olika perspektiv; ett teoretiskt, expertorienterat perspektiv där evidensbaserade aspekter för vad som anses främja god läs- och skrivutveckling presenterats i föreläsningar och ett praktiknära, deltagarorienterat perspektiv i det att lärare har genomfört uppdrag i klassrummet. I ett efterföljande kunskapsskapande, kollaborativt samtal, lett av en eller två samtalsledare, har de genomförda uppdragen beskrivits och analyserats med avseende på lärares lärande. Dessa samtal har i sin tur beskrivits och analyserats i samtal mellan samtalsledare och forskare men med avseende på samtalsledares lärande. Denna presentation fokuserar på den analys som är gjord på samtalen mellan samtalsledare och forskare och med ett särskilt fokus på hur ett inkluderande synsätt kommer till uttryck.

Forskningsfrågorna har varit:

  1. Hur kan kunskapsskapande, kollaborativa samtal förstås i relation till två skilda perspektiv – ett expertorienterat och ett deltagarorienterat - och till en inkluderande skolkultur?

  2. Vilka erfarenheter har gjorts vad gäller inkludering ställt i relation till kunskapsskapande, kollaborativa samtal? 

Resultatet visar att det är möjligt att förena olika perspektiv då deltagare ges möjlighet att tala om, problematisera och kritiskt granska teorier kopplade till lärandesituationer de själva är en del av. Resultatet visar också att synen på inkludering breddas om begreppet ställs i relation till kommunikationsteoretiska perspektiv. Det betyder att inkludering synliggörs i hur vi kollaborativt prövar handlingar, tänkande, lärandestrategier och normer.

Keywords
evidensbaserad praktik, kollegialt lärande, inkluderande skolkulturer, kommunikativt handlande
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education and Learning, Stärkt läs- och skrivdidaktisk kompetens för ett breddat synsätt kring inkludering.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-19943 (URN)
Conference
Nationell konferens i pedagogiskt arbete. Pedagogiskt arbete just nu – var är vi och vart är vi på väg?Karlstad 13-14 augusti 2015
Available from: 2015-11-04 Created: 2015-11-04 Last updated: 2015-11-04Bibliographically approved
von Ahlefeld Nisser, D. (2014). Can counseling support the vision of inclusive education?: Experiences from the project: “Learning for democracy: Partner-driven North/ South collaboration on Inclusive Education”. In: : . Paper presented at NFPF/NERA 42nd Congress, Education for sustainable development, Lillehammer, Norway, March 5th to 7th 2014.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can counseling support the vision of inclusive education?: Experiences from the project: “Learning for democracy: Partner-driven North/ South collaboration on Inclusive Education”
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Inclusive education models have been in focus in a collaborative project between the Ministries of Education in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, Stockholm university, MIET Africa as well as universities in Southern Africa in 2011-2013. The intention was to contribute to a comparative knowledge of educational democracy as well as to strengthen the South African expertise in the area of inclusive education. This was done by co-constructing a mutual communicative knowledge model in which practice and theory met. The project focused on dialogues in six workshops with people with local experiences (e.g. local governments, member of organizations, parent groups) as well as other socially active professionals ( school principals, school psychologists, teachers and social workers). It has been important to establish contacts with numerous professions  that  use communicative democratic processes within an educational context. (Habermas, 1995/1981; Sahlin, 2005; Ahlefeld Nisser, 2009). The project emphasized the need for democratic communication in which all participants would have the opportunity to interpret situations, discuss problems, propose  justifications, express thoughts and criticisms.

The main focus of one of the six workshops was counseling as a way to improve inclusion.

The aim of the paper is to share my experiences from this project with a special focus on counseling as a way to promote inclusive education for sustainable development.

  1. How can counseling be understood in relation to inclusive education?

  2. What was experienced from the counseling task in relation to inclusion?

Findings:

  • Means have been identified to make counseling a democratic and inclusive process.

 

  • An awareness of how to develop participants ethical values and attitudes.

     

  • Strategies for democratic communication functioned in the same way in Southern African countries as in Sweden

     

    Conclusion

  • Though an understanding of how counseling can improve inclusion was expressed, it was observed more on a rhetoric level than in practice.

  • Conflicting strategies between rhetoric and practice was observed throughout some of the discussions.

 

References

 

Ahlefeld Nisser, Désirée, von. (2009). Vad kommunikation vill saga – en iscensättande studie om specialpedagogers yrkesroll och kunskapande samtal. Doktorsavhandling i specialpedagogik. Universitetsservice US-AB. Stockholm: Specialpedagogiska institutionen. Stockholms Universitet.

Habermas, Jürgen. (1995/1981). Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag.

Sahlin, Birgitta. (2004). Utmaning och omtanke. En analys av handledning som en utvidgad specialpedagogisk funktion i skolan med utgångspunkt i tio pionjärers berättelser. Stockholm: HLS Förlag.

National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Utbildning och lärande
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-16767 (URN)
Conference
NFPF/NERA 42nd Congress, Education for sustainable development, Lillehammer, Norway, March 5th to 7th 2014
Available from: 2015-01-28 Created: 2015-01-28 Last updated: 2015-01-28Bibliographically approved
von Ahlefeld Nisser, D. (2014). Consultation in Special Needs Education in Sweden and Finland: A Comparative  Approach. In: : . Paper presented at AARE-NZARE 2014 Conference Brisbane Australia, 30 november - 4 december 2014.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consultation in Special Needs Education in Sweden and Finland: A Comparative  Approach
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Abstract

The article compares the conditions and implementation of special education professionals’ consulting task in Sweden and Finland. The article first describes the background of the consulting teacher role and special education in Sweden and in Finland. Two different perspectives in the continuum on consultation are presented, followed by a description of how the consulting task is implemented and described in educational policy papers, and in research in the two countries. The analysis shows that while there are differences between the implementation of the consulting task in Sweden and Finland, there are also several similarities regarding the challenges faced. Differences can be understood according to traditions, education, and educational policy papers. The similarities shows that the consulting task must be clearly defined in policy documents, highlighted in education, and understood as a complex activity where both advice and reflection strategies are used. The consulting task can be more successful if the consultation is characterized by collaborative dialogues where the classroom teachers’ knowledge and the context are also taken in account.

National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Utbildning och lärande
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-16769 (URN)
Conference
AARE-NZARE 2014 Conference Brisbane Australia, 30 november - 4 december 2014
Available from: 2015-01-28 Created: 2015-01-28 Last updated: 2015-01-28Bibliographically approved
von Ahlefeld Nisser, D., Sundqvist, C. & Ström, K. (2014). Consultation in special needs education in Sweden and Finland: a comparative approach. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 29(3), 297-312
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consultation in special needs education in Sweden and Finland: a comparative approach
2014 (English)In: European Journal of Special Needs Education, ISSN 0885-6257, E-ISSN 1469-591X, Vol. 29, no 3, p. 297-312Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article compares the conditions and implementation of special education professionals’ consulting task in Sweden and Finland. The article first describes the background of the consulting teacher role and special education in Sweden and in Finland. Two different perspectives in the continuum on consultation are presented, followed by a description of how the consulting task is implemented and described in educational policy papers, and in research in the two countries. The analysis shows that while there are differences between the implementation of the consulting task in Sweden and Finland, there are also several similarities regarding the challenges faced. Differences can be understood according to traditions, education, and educational policy papers. The similarities shows that the consulting task must be clearly defined in policy documents, highlighted in education, and understood as a complex activity where both advice and reflection strategies are used. The consulting task can be more successful if the consultation is characterized by collaborative dialogues where the classroom teachers’ knowledge and the context are also taken in account.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2014
Keywords
special education teachers; inclusive education; consultation; collaboration; collaborative consultation
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Utbildning och lärande
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-14044 (URN)10.1080/08856257.2014.908022 (DOI)000343601200006 ()
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-3228-9430

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