Remote consultation between special educators and teachers in rural schools in Sweden

Gerd Pettersson, Kristina Ström, Education in the North

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Rural schools in Sweden exist in sparsely populated areas. The schools face a number of challenges; financial, pedagogical, competence-related etc. Mostly special educational expertise is lacking, challenging the principle of equal access to educational support. Special educators placed in community centres have long distances to rural schools. One way of overcoming the distance is to use communication technology for special educational consultation. Remote consultation between special educators and teachers in rural schools is a type of digital innovation in special needs education provision. Special educators working in a rural municipality in Northern Sweden tried out remote consultation by using communication technology. The aim of the study is to contribute to increased knowledge of how special educators implement remote special educational consultation to rural teachers with communication technology as a tool. The empirical data consist of recordings of consultation sessions between special educators and rural teachers. The findings show that the special educators carry out and enable remote consultation by using several strategies; preparing consultation, getting familiar with technology and making use of context related knowledge, observation data and professional competence. The findings indicate that remote consultation with communication technology is a promising strategy for special educational consultation for rural schools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-72
Number of pages17
JournalEducation in the North
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Sponsorship: This study is part of a larger ongoing digital innovation study in SNE-consulting that was founded by the Swedish Special Education School Authority [Specialpedagogiska skolmyndigheten], (SPSM) in a three years (2017-2020) development project.


  • educational consultation
  • equal conditions
  • rural education
  • special needs education
  • teleconsultation


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