University Curriculum in Special Teacher Education in Finland and Sweden


  • Marjatta Takala University of Oulu
  • Marie Nordmark School of Humanities and Media Studies; Dalarna University
  • Karin Allard School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences; Örebro University



curriculum, special teacher education, professional competence, inclusion


The education of special teachers’ is seldom studied, and when it is examined, it is compared primarily with general teacher education. The written academic curricula reflect scientific, professional, social, and ethical values, goals, and competences in education, school and society. This study analyses the special teacher education (STE) curricula from six Finnish and seven Swedish universities. The results show that Finnish STE curricula consists of 60 credits over one year , while the Swedish curricula comprises 90 credits over 1.5 years. Finnish STE can be called a “combo degree,” which addressed various learning difficulties, and Swedish STE transformed it into a specialization, with five different options. Teaching practice is essential in Finnish education, but does not exists as such in Sweden. Inclusive elements are somewhat present in the curricula, often in the form of co-operation. The core contents in these two countries are discussed and compared.


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Author Biographies

Marjatta Takala, University of Oulu

Professor of special education.

Professor Marjatta Takala works at the University of Oulu. Her main research interests are in special education in Nordic countries, inclusion and learning difficulties. From them, hearing-impairment as well as dyslexia are her special interest areas. 


Marie Nordmark, School of Humanities and Media Studies; Dalarna University

PhD, Senior lecturer in Swedish Language.

Marie Nordmark is PhD in Education and lecturer in Swedish Language at Dalarna University. Her research interests include literacy learning, didactics, special needs and digital writing. From them how teaching can scaffold and develop student learning

Karin Allard, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences; Örebro University

PhD in Education, Senior lecturer in Education and Special Education.

Karin Allard, a senior lecturer with a PhD in Education, teaches at the University of Örebro in Sweden, in the advanced level of the teacher training programme and special education. Her research interest include deaf education, inclusion, multilingualism and translanguaging as pedagogical tools in special schools for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. 



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How to Cite

Takala, M., Nordmark, M., & Allard, K. (2019). University Curriculum in Special Teacher Education in Finland and Sweden. Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE), 3(2), 20–36.