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Special Education

Special Education

Major subject – Special Education

The right to grow and learn at school is universal. Special Education deals with the pedagogical adjustments and support measures that are used in different educational systems in order to promote the schooling, education and rehabilition of children and youth with special needs. During your studies, you will learn about the most common functional disabilities, their causes and forms, consequences for development and learning, as well as the application of the support functions provided by special education in schools. You will also learn to identify difficulties related to reading, writing and mathematics by means of screening, and gain basic knowledge for the purpose of identifying risk factors for mental illnesses. The studies provide you with tools to consider encounters, views of human beings and ethical issues appearing in schools from a special education perspective. You will also be introduced to topical research and gain insights into inclusive education, current legislation and the national and international governing documents that concern schools.

If you study to become a special teacher, Special Education is your major subject. In addition to your major subject studies, you will study various subjects taught in basic education, subject modules and subject didactics, as well as pedagogical studies including practical training. You can influence your professional profile by including in your degree advanced studies in functional disabilities and the working methods for special education. Special Education may even be studied as a minor subject. Future class teachers, in particular, will benefit from supplementary studies in Special Education.

The research conducted within Special Education is divded into four focal areas:

  • Learning difficulties in reading, writing and mathematics
  • Special teacher profession
  • Counselling and collaboration
  • Dropping out and marginalisation

With Special Education as a major, you will become a special teacher with broad qualifications. You can teach as a special teacher, special class teacher and class teacher within comprehensive school education, but you also get eligibility for special teacher assignments in, for example, general upper secondary education and vocational education. In addition to teaching assignments, you can work as an expert in various authorities and with rehabilitation tasks in organisations and associations for disabled. You can also work with special educational issues as a researcher. With your understanding of physical, intellectual, social, linguistic and cultural diversity in school and society, you can contribute to a better future for many.


Visiting address

Rantakatu 2


Åbo Akademi University, Vaasa
Special Education
PL 311
FI-65101 Vaasa