Theoretical and practical issues in the implementation of case-based networking in the field of special educational needs
Keywords: educational system, special education
AbstractNumerous research results show that today’s society is characterized by deep and unresolved issues which have also found their way into the school life and influence the pupils’ well-being and how well they cope in the school environment (Käst 2010: 3). In searching for a solution, what is usually lacking is a systematic and holistic approach. Estonian scientists find that the starting point for the changes that have taken place in the Estonian education system over the last decades has not been the comprehensive development of the education policy and the changes that have occurred have not been systematic and consistent enough in their assessment (Rinne et. al. 2008: 15).
Under the pressure of the politics of new liberalism that dominated concessions were granted in the education policy that were more characteristic of a free market economy and which were guided by the ideas of competition, the free choice of the client, and sponsorship. In parallel with the triumph of liberal ideology in the 1990s, what also began was the forceful moving of postmodernist discourse next to and in place of modernist discourse. The research results of K. Aava, however, show that in educational texts, liberal discourse is weakening whereas conservative discourse is gaining in strength (Aava 2010).
Yet, studying only discourse that can be found in educational texts might not give enough relevant material for analysis because, for example, research done by K. Lukk reveals that there exists a significant chasm between theory and practice in Estonian educational reality. What is more, the values of parents and teachers do not coincide which makes it difficult to set common goals in a child’s development (Lukk 2008: 4–5). It is no secret that an effective cooperation between the school and the home is first and foremost based on good relations (Sutton 2006; Vincent 1996). Good relations in turn are rooted in trust. Building this, however, is a long and complicated process and it is dominated by two main aspects: shared values and communication. K. Lukk points out in the conclusion of her research that it is necessary to create a new way of thinking – instead of being strictly connected to specific forms and methods, the school and home should work together to find a form of cooperation for each individual child and his⁄her family (Lukk 2008: 4–5). The field of education as a whole urgently needs a new way of thinking and what mostly hinders this is getting stuck into established patterns of thinking and attitudes.