Skip to main content
Login | Suomeksi | På svenska | In English

Browsing by Author "Evakoski, Terhi"

Sort by: Order: Results:

  • Evakoski, Terhi (2021)
    Objectives The present study is a Finnish survey of literacy skills and literacy teaching of children and young pupils studying by the activity areas. Teaching by the activity areas is part of special support. Severely disabled pupils and pupils with severe chronic illnesses usually attend area-of-activity teaching as they are unable to follow the subject-specific curriculum. Literacy is an essential skill in everyday life which is why learning of literacy is also justified for students studying by the activity areas. Reading is a complex process that requires mastery of various skills. Previous studies show that the development of literacy in people with disabilities broadly resembles the development of literacy in typically developed peers. However, poor cognitive skills of people with disabilities usually make the process of learning to read more difficult and time consuming. Hence development of literacy skills in people with disabilities requires time, multiple repetitions as well as regular and systematic practice of reading. The aim of the study was to survey whether literacy is taught to pupils studying by the activity areas, what level of literacy skills are usually achieved by these pupils and what teaching methods and materials are used to teach literacy for pupils studying by the activity areas. Methods The study was conducted as part of the INTO project (inclusion and area-specific curriculum) carried out by the universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä. INTO project studies teaching by the activity areas in Finland. The present study was an interview study. Research material collected and analyzed in the study consisted of interviews of 85 teachers teaching pupils studying by the activity areas. Alltogether 406 pupils were taught by the teachers interviewed in the study. One interview question focused on teaching pupils studying by the activity areas to read. From the conducted interviews, I collected and analyzed all the mentions of and references to reading. Results and Conclusions About half of the pupils studying by the activity areas got reading lessons. Wether pupil had reading lessons depended largely on the pupil's general abilities. For most pupils literacy skills remained on the pre-reading level. A small proportion of pupils had learned to read on word- or sentence-level. Ability to learn to read on sentence-level may suggest that it might be possible, at least in part, to organize the teaching of these pupils according to the subject-specific curriculum. The teachers interviewed in the study mentioned various different methods and materials that they use to teach pupils to read and emphasized experimental approach to teach reading. Analytical and synthetic methods were both commonly used when teaching pupils to read. Further research in litteracy skills and litteracy teaching of children and young pupils studying by activity areas is needed.