Inclusive Education in Finland: A thwarted development

  • Timo Saloviita University of Jyväskylä


This article reviews the development of special education in the Finnish comprehensive school from the sixties to the present time. A constant feature has been the continuing growth of special class placements. In 2008, upwards of 6.1% of the students in comprehensive schools were placed in special classes at least part-time. The legitimization of the separate special class system is strong. In opposition to inclusion, the official policy promotes early intervention as a main area of development in special education. There are no visible interest groups questioning this ongoing development. The high legitimacy and constant growth of segregated special education can be understood as a consequence of the individual funding model, teacher professionalism and the Finnish value system originating from the late modernisation of overall society.


Timo Saloviita, University of Jyväskylä
Timo Saloviita. Department of Teacher Education. University of Jyväskylä. PO Box 35. FIN-40351 Jyväskylä. Finland
Saloviita, T. (2009). Inclusive Education in Finland: A thwarted development. Zeitschrift Für Inklusion, 3(1). Abgerufen von