Mission statement 2017–2022 – Inclusion is worth it

Statped’s social mandate is to contribute so that children, youth and adults with special education needs in the best possible way can master their own lives and participate actively in education, work and society.

Innhold

Introduction

Statped’s mission statement is an important strategic document for our work and activity. Together with the annual budget allocations and allocation letter from the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, the mission statement indicates the direction for Statped as a knowledge organisation and service provider.

We make every effort to deliver work of good quality, and to make our knowledge and expertise available. We are concerned that our work should have an effect – should make a difference – both for the users and for society. We hope that the mission statement reflects precisely that.

Inclusion is the overarching perspective in this mission statement. Every human being needs to be part of a community. Social belonging is an important framework for individual growth and professional and academic development. This contributes to enabling everyone to use their competence and potential in collaboration with others.

Being a part of the community in kindergarten, school, education, work and leisure increases the opportunity for more people to contribute actively in society.

In the mission statement, we describe six areas of priority, in which the perspective of inclusion is given a central role in the period from 2017-2020. We hope that the mission statement will reach a large audience, and that it will contribute to making Statped’s work well known and used.

I hope you will enjoy reading the mission statement!

December 2016

Tone L. Mørk

Director 

About Statped

Statped is a national centre of expertise within the field of special pedagogics in the education sector, and it is an agency under the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. The direction for Statped’s work is embedded in the annual state budget.

As a part of the education sector in Norway, Statped shall contribute so that children, youth and adults with special education needs in the best possible way can master their own lives and participate actively in education, work and society.

The municipalities and county authorities are responsible for children, youth and adults receiving good and adapted education and training in accordance with kindergarten and school laws and regulations.

Statped shall build and maintain expertise within specialised areas where the challenges are so rare and complex that the municipalities cannot be expected to have the necessary expertise.

Statped’s task is to cooperate with the municipalities and county authorities to ensure good and adapted education and training for all: children, youth and adults. This can be either competence upgrading initiatives in kindergartens or schools or a contribution in an individual case.

Statped shall make its expertise known and available, and be a national and international centre of expertise.

Objectives

Statped’s work is based on the following three main objectives:

Objective 1

To be a distinctive and accessible provider of special needs services to municipalities and county authorities. All municipalities and county authorities shall have equal access to services from Statped.  

Objective 2

To further develop top competence in the specified areas within special pedagogics and contribute actively to the dissemination of knowledge and expertise about equal, adapted and inclusive education in these areas.  

Objective 3

To work on the basis of a comprehensive R&D strategy prioritising areas of R&D work within special pedagogics, based on a collaboration with universities and university colleges.

Inclusion is worth it!

  •  for the individual
  • for the learning environment
  • for society

Every human being needs to be part of a community. Social belonging is an important framework for individual growth and professional and academic development. This contributes to enabling everyone to use their competence and potential in collaboration with others.

Being part of the community in kindergarten, school, education, work and leisure increases the opportunity for more people to contribute actively in society. A diversified learning environment is enriching for all.

It is a goal for society to have as few as possible standing outside the ordinary education system, work and social life.

An inclusive society reduces the risk of bullying and exclusion, and is therefore preventive in a life-course perspective.

Some children and youth have such rare and complex challenges that creating a good learning environment is demanding and presupposes access to specialised competence.

It is worth it to ensure that municipalities and county authorities have access to top competence nationally, to avoid that every municipality and county authority must build and maintain specialised environments. 

Statped contributes to inclusion

Statped will utilise its top competence in such a way that kindergartens, schools and working life can offer good inclusive learning communities.

Statped has experienced that many from our user groups remain outside the community in kindergarten, school and society. In the future Statped therefore wants to increase the attention given to inclusion.

Statped has chosen the following six areas of priority in which the perspective of inclusion will be given a central position in the period 2017-2022:

  • an inclusive learning environment
  • technology – a tool for inclusion
  • inclusion presupposes updated knowledge
  • we make knowledge available
  • we interact with the users
  • we interact with other actors

An inclusive learning environment

“Being included is about participating in the school’s learning community together with all the other pupils. This means that each pupil experiences a sense of social belonging and community with others of their own age, while teaching is tailored to ability and need so that the pupil learns and develops both as a person and educationally.” (Centre for learning environment)

Statped has, as a centre of expertise within the field of special pedagogics, an important task in disseminating knowledge and competence that lay the foundation for a society based on equality and participation.

Today a lot of children and youth receive education and training outside the ordinary arena for education and training. In addition, several drop out of upper secondary education and training. Consequently, they will experience limited access to further education and work.

The development of inclusive learning environments starts in kindergarten and requires deliberate planning from the start. Flexible education that allows for the differences between the pupils and that they have different prerequisites and needs is a basis for preventing and reducing bullying.

An inclusive learning environment requires effort, will and competence. Attitudes present in kindergarten and school administrators, personnel, fellow pupils and parents are of great importance for successful inclusion.

Contributions for inclusive learning environment

Statped will

  • communicate attitudes to and knowledge about, inclusive pedagogics, 
  • adapted education and 
  • an inclusive learning environment
  • direct the attention to the role of the leader in kindergarten and school and the importance leadership has for an inclusive kindergarten and school
  • develop the digital possibilities to strengthen the access to teaching, counselling and guidance from Statped
  • develop networks and the sharing of knowledge about inclusion and pedagogical practise
  • contribute to the prevention of bullying

Technology - a tool for inclusion

Technology can contribute to inclusion, but can also lead to exclusion if digital learning resources are not adapted and used correctly. Statped shall be an active driving force in the effort to secure positive use of digital technology.

Technology gives new possibilities for inclusion and participation for everyone. Most pupils can now use the same digital learning resources; they just have to be adapted to make room for mastering and learning. Children and youth who need individual adaption may benefit the most from the potential of technology.

Digital technology constitutes a paradigm shift for our user groups and has brought a range of new possibilities. Everyday life for a person with visual impairment is radically changed through the possibilities in mobile technology, synthetic speech and apps. Pupils with reading and writing difficulties can have a new everyday life with speech control and digital reading and writing tools.

The technological development is fast, and there is a daily flood of new digital tools and solutions. It can be difficult for kindergartens and schools to gain an overview and to keep up with the rapid digital development and obtain the necessary competence on methodology and use. It is therefore important that the specialists have access to competence and tools in order to exploit the potential of technology to achieve good inclusion.

Statped will

  • present an overview of available digital learning resources
  • offer good and efficient guidance and counselling about digital learning resources
  • increase the competence of specialists and stimulate to the use of digital learning resources
  • contribute to the development of new learning resources and new teaching methods
  • contribute with knowledge about experience with and effects of digital learning resources
  • contribute to universal design of learning resources and the development of special education learning resources by publishing houses or other producers of learning resources
  • contribute to principal strategic efforts to develop digital infrastructure and digitalisation generally of schools and kindergartens

Inclusion presupposes updated knowledge

Research and development (R&D) is important in Statped. There is a constant need for more knowledge about how to create good and inclusive learning environments for children, youth and adults.

Statped works directly with children, youth and adults with special needs and has a unique opportunity to identify areas we need to know more about. Statped is especially going to develop knowledge that contributes to inclusive practices where children and youth with special needs are included.

The use of new technology as a prerequisite for participation, wellbeing and learning is an unexplored area in the work with small and vulnerable groups.

Statped shall initiate and carry out R&D projects, both alone and in collaboration with universities, university colleges and other collaborators. We also teach at universities and university colleges and give contributions to the content in relevant educations.

Statped shall communicate findings in R&D and contribute to a knowledge based practise and targeted work to develop new knowledge and new methods based on documented results.

Statped will

  • produce literature reviews
  • initiate R&D in areas where we see the need for new knowledge
  • develop research based knowledge about opportunities and constraints in using new technology
  • collaborate with universities and university colleges nationally and internationally to carry out research projects
  • use research based knowledge to develop good services
  • contribute to communicating new knowledge to collaborators and kindergartens and schools
  • use research based knowledge to look into the learning outcome of special pedagogical practices

We make knowledge available

Society is changing. Digital media offer new ways to communicate knowledge and provide services, and open up for new ways to interact and to share knowledge and expertise.

In a busy daily routine having expertise easily available is often crucial, furthermore it is crucial that information and material can be taken into use efficiently.

Statped is a specialist environment for those in need of expertise in special pedagogics. This particularly applies to employees in the educational psychological services, kindergartens and schools and to their work to create inclusive learning environments.

We use different tools in the communication work. The use of technology and the use of digital platforms mean that knowledge and expertise can be disseminated faster and in new ways.

However, there will still be a need for physical meeting points and paper based magazines to ensure the sharing of knowledge and building of competence. It is of importance to Statped to provide a variety of communication channels.

Statped will

  • further develop statped.no as an online resource bank for the area of special pedagogics
  • develop e-learning modules within the field of special pedagogics
  • establish digital meeting points for employees in the education sector
  • develop the digital portal for parents on statped.no
  • publish and distribute the Statped Magazine, brochures and publications
  • organise local and national courses and conferences
  • provide learning resources for use in education

We interact with the users

Users and special interest organisations give us examples on how the efforts in inclusion work in practice and influence the individual’s learning situation. This knowledge is important to use to improve the structure of available choices in the education sector.

User participation is important for Statped. We listen to the users when we develop our services. User meetings and user surveys give input to how we can improve and adjust our services. Everyone should have a positive experience encountering Statped.

For those who apply for services from Statped, the application and processing  should be clear and easy to understand. We increasingly seek to use digital work methods. With e-learning and e-meetings we can more quickly and easily have a dialogue with our users and collaborating partners.

Our expertise shall be available for as many as possible, also for those who do not receive services from Statped. They will have access to our knowledge and expertise through different channels.

Statped.no contains useful and important information about our core areas, and about topics such as early intervention and inclusion. Learning resources and information on how to use them in a pedagogical setting can also be found there

Statped will

  • collaborate with special interest organisations through formalised meeting points and other arenas for user participation
  • use technology smartly and innovatively to make our services easily available and easy to use
  • be conscious of which channels we use and how we express ourselves
  • collect input and be proactive in making suggestions of improvement and change

We interact with other actors

Statped is one of many actors that work to make our society inclusive and adapted for everyone. Statped is not a mandatory service, but offers knowledge and expertise for everyone who needs it.

In addition to cooperating with the educational psychological service in the municipalities and county authorities Statped has several other collaborators. We cooperate  among others with the health sector, the County Governors, universities and university colleges, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), national and regional education and health centres and different rehabilitation and habilitation services.

Services in society can often be perceived as fragmented and uncoordinated. Statped wants that the users experience unity and coherence in the services they receive. Cooperation between service providers is therefore decisive. We wish to see beyond our own area of responsibility and contribute to comprehensive services.

When children and youth need coordinated assistance, we will do our utmost to ensure the users a comprehensive and coordinated service.

Statped will

  • develop work forms that ensure cooperation with other actors
  • spread knowledge and expertise that other actors can use
  • cooperate with the county governors on concrete development initiatives
  • focus the attention on the user when we cooperate with others to ensure that the users achieve their goals and experience unity and coherence in the services
  • enter into mutually binding agreements with collaborators
  • inform about Statped to convey that we are an attractive collaborator
  • increase our knowledge about expertise elsewhere in the service chain

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