PED3041 - Fundamental Issues in Special Education


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Portfolio assessment 100/100

Course content

Special educational practice involves promoting learning and development and preventing difficulties. This includes direct and indirect work with children and young people, with parents, organizations and systems. Students gain insight into investigation at individual and system level, collaboration, advice and guidance.

The subject provides an overview of knowledge and values, different perspectives and professional forms of understanding which together form the core of special education. Themes that are emphasized are inclusion, equality, early intervention, adapted training in ordinary education and special education. Special education deals with the dilemma on the one hand linked to stigmatization and on the other hand the invisibility of needs. This is a consistent and central theme in the subject. The same are ethical issues.

Learning outcome


- Students have knowledge of what special education is and means in light of the subject's historical development.

- Students have knowledge of theories and key concepts used within the special education discipline.

- Students have knowledge of the diversity of the field of special education, where one focuses both on general preventive activities, and on the initiatives aimed at supporting and helping children and young people with identified special needs.

- Students have knowledge of major sections of the Education Act and other relevant policy documents that provide direction for work in the special needs area.

- Students have knowledge of the help- and support system, including the knowledge of parental cooperation, as well as interdisciplinary and interagency collaboration - Based on experiences from the practice, students have insight into what work in PPT involves.


- Students can reflect on the content of the special education literature, communicate and share their reflections with others.

- Students can apply theoretical knowledge to understand actitivies in the PPT.

- Students are able to apply theoretical knowledge to critically select, formulate, investigate and analyze special education issues.

- Students can maintain their professional development while working with fellow students for further development

General competencies:

- Students can work independently with professional issues.

- Students can collaborate with others on professional issues.

- Students can justify the choice on the basis of special education literature.

Learning methods and activities

Up to 10 hours of teaching per week. Lectures and seminars alternate. 2 weeks of observation practice in primary school.

Compulsory activities

80 percent participation in the lectures. 2 weeks of practice in primary school, with an attendance of at least 80 per cent.

Compulsory assignments

  • 80 % attendance in practice
  • 80% approved attendance in lectures and seminars. 80 % attendance in practice

Further on evaluation

The folder consists of three contributions to be written in groups (group size up to 5 persons). One of the contributions must be from observation practice at school. Two guides are given per contribution. The folder must have a cover / introduction that binds the three contributions together. It should end with a note with meta-reflection on the collaboration they have had in the groups.The folder contributions should be approximately equal to the scope, between 8-10 pages. They must be written in Times New Roman 12 points, line spacing 1.5. The folder gets graded; A-F. Guidance will be given on the contributions during the semester.

Assessment report requires department. Special conditions Assessment report requires an approved teaching report of the same semester. Compulsory assignments from previous semesters can be approved by the department.

Submission: Week 49

Required previous knowledge

The same admission requirements as for the masters program in special education. The requirement must be fulfilled to be admitted to the course.

Course materials

The required course reading material is approximately 2000 pages.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SVPED202 30.0
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  30.0 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Education
  • Social Sciences
  • Special Education
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Education and Lifelong Learning


Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Portfolio assessment 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Portfolio assessment 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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