Pedagogics and Special Needs (the PS-group)

The PS-group is a research group at the Department of Education at Uppsala University. The group frequently publish in international journals and is one of the leading research environments in Europe in research about inclusive educating and the work of special educational staff. In addition, research is carried out in several other research areas (see below for each members personal presentation).

The research area Pedagogics and Special Needs focus difficulties that emerge in education in different historical, social and cultural settings where teaching, learning and socialisation takes place.  Contexts for empirical studies are the whole educational system from preschool to higher education but also work life and informal settings.

Reseach leader

Claes Nilholm


Lizbeth EngströmPetra GäreskogAnna JohanssonNina KlangGunilla LindqvistGunnlaugur MagnússonNiklas NorénIngrid OlssonDavid PaulsrudSara PerssonMathilda Tassinari RogalinCaroline Snäckerström SimsJohanna Svahn


The PS-group runs a seminar. At the seminar research about inclusive and special education is presented, discussed and analysed. The relations between special education and areas such as pedagogics, didactics and educational sociology are also focused. Special attention is given to the implications of research with regard to the work of teachers and special needs educators. PS is used in letters in order to make an addition, Post Scriptum, which is made after the letter is written and signed. Often such PS contains important information that can change the interpretation of the whole letter. We regard it as a demanding yet suitable metaphor for our work at the seminar.

For information about seminars please contact Claes Nilholm

Research projects

Several research projects are run by members of the group, e.g.: (see also presentation of individual members)

Inclusion through group learning – a study with mixed method designen. Grant from the Swedish Research Council. Finansierat av Vetenskapsrådet. Project leader: Nina Klang. 

Research about teaching – systematic mapping and analysis of reserach topographies. Grant from the Swedish Research Council. Project leader: Claes Nilholm.

Interaction with Society

Several resesearchers in the PS-group is involved in cooperation/interaction in different forms with different parts of the society, mainly the school system. Gunilla Lindqvist has e.g. recently been responsible for a research circle focusing inclusion. Claes Nilholm has a blog where central themes in educational and special needs are analyzed and discussed.

Personal presentations

Lizbeth Engström

Lizbeth is a lecturer in pedagogy with interest in social practices, health care, medical and educational practices. She is currently working in projects together with SVA of new communication models on hygiene and infection control practices in activities where children and teenagers who hang out in close interaction with animals, mainly in 4H-farms. Participates since 2014 in a comprehensive inclusion project in a municipality.

Petra Gäreskog

Petra is licentiate in Education with a specialization in special Education. Her interests focus on issues related to preschool.

Anna Johansson

Anna has a master in special needs education and is now licentiand in pedagogy, with focus on in special needs education. Annas recent research is about newly arrived pupils and special needs education. She also has other research interests, for example, education of pupils with neuropsychiatric disabilities and inclusion and participation for all children in the school environment.

Nina Klang

Nina is a senior lecturer in Special Needs Education. Her research centers on instruction for students with disabilities and support for students’ learning and communication.  For instance, she has studied IEP goals for students with complex communication needs and teacher strategies in classroom talk in special schools for students with an intellectual disability.

Gunilla Lindqvist

Gunilla is associate Professor in Education and Senior Lecturer in education, specialising in special education. She conducts research in preschool, primary school and special needs school. Gunilla´s research focus is especially directed towards occupational groups’ views on special needs, mostly related to the concept of inclusion.

Gunnlaugur Magnússon

Gunnlaugur is a Senior Lecturer in Curriculum Studies. He has a specifik interest in education reforms, special education and inclusive education as expressions of discourses emanating from educational politics and philosophies. His prior research regards the Swedish independent compulsory schools' organisation of special support.

Claes Nilholm

Claes is a Professor of education with a focus on special needs education. He has a broad interest in issues relating to inclusive and special education. He has been especially interested in theoretical issues and empirical mappings of views on special needs education.

Niklas Norén

Niklas is a Senior Lecturer in Curriculum Studies with a specialisation in Swedish. His research orients towards the social inclusion of children in everyday and educational activities. He is especially interested in the development of language, communication and learning of children with severe motor and/or intellectual disabilities. Another area of interest is Interactional linguistics.

Ingrid Olsson

Ingrid is a senior lecturer in education. Her research is about issues such as pre-school and school education, children with neuropsychiatric disabilities, implementation, interaction between educators and other groups, children’s participation, social support, and educational leadership.

David Paulsrud

David är doktorand i pedagogik med inriktning mot specialpedagogik. Han är intresserad av frågor som rör utbildningspolicy och skolans professioner.  

Sara Persson

Sara is a PhD student in Education with focus on Special Education. Her research is about problematic school absenteeism, truancy and school refusal.

Caroline Snäckerström Sims

Caroline är doktorand i pedagogik under Claes Nilholms handledarskap. Hennes forskningsfokus är inriktat på undervisning för särskilt begåvade elever. En del av grundfrågorna i hennes forskning handlar om vilka typer av undervisning som fångar upp och utmanar även dessa elever och hur olika internationella undervisningslösningar kan anpassas till det svenska undervisningssystemet och svensk utbildningstradition. Hennes syfte är även att kartlägga delar av den undervisning som redan pågår i Sverige inriktad mot den aktuella elevgruppen. 

Johanna Svahn

Johanna is a Postdoctoral Fellow in education with a specialized focus on inclusion. Her research interests cover children’s identity –and socialization processes, and addresses issues of bullying, conflict and school-based intervention work.

Mathilda Tassinari Rogalin

Mathilda är doktorand i pedagogik. Hennes intresse riktar sig mot frågor som rör neuropsykiatriska diagnoser i skola och förskola.


  • Sandström, Margareta; Klang, Nina; Lindqvist, Gunilla

    Bureaucracies in Schools—Approaches to Support Measures in Swedish Schools Seen in the Light of Skrtic’s Theories

    Part of Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, p. 89-104, 2019.

  • Göransson, Kerstin; Lindqvist, Gunilla; Klang, Nina; Magnússon, Gunnlaugur et al.

    Professionalism, governance and inclusive education –: A total population study of Swedish special needs educators

    Part of International Journal of Inclusive Education, p. 559-574, 2019.

    Open access
  • Magnússon, Gunnlaugur; Göransson, Kerstin; Lindqvist,, Gunilla

    Contextualizing inclusive education in educational policy: the case of Sweden

    Part of Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, p. 559-574, 2019.

    Open access
  • Norén, Niklas

    Höll ja på å säga

    Part of Sånt vi bara gör, p. 246-247, 2019.

  • Hultin, Hanna; Eichas, Kyle; Ferrer-Wreder, Laura; Dimitrova, Radosveta et al.

    Pedagogical and Social School Climate: Psychometric Evaluation and Validation of the Student Edition of PESOC

    Part of Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, p. 534-550, 2019.

  • Lindqvist, Gunilla

    God inkluderande lärmiljö: Rapport från en forskningscirkel


    Open access
  • Lindqvist, Gunilla; Vinterek, Monika

    The world moves in to the Everyday school.


  • Bourbour, Maryam; Högberg, Sören; Lindqvist, Gunilla

    Putting scaffolding into actions: Preschool teachers’ scaffolding actions using Interactive Whiteboard

    Part of Early Childhood Education Journal, 2019.

  • Evaldsson, Ann-Carita; Svahn, Johanna

    Tracing unique trajectores of participation for a 'girl with ADHD': From 'unwilling student' to 'agentive learning'

    Part of Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, p. 254-272, 2019.

    Open access
  • Klang, Nina; Wandin, Helena; Wilder, Jenny

    Barn med flerfunktionsnedsättning - samspel och social inkludering: Rapport från ett samverkansprojekt


    Open access
  • Jortveit, Maryann; Tveit, Anne Dorthe; Cameron, David Lansing; Lindqvist, Gunilla

    A Comparative Study of Norwegian and Swedish Special Educators’ Beliefs and Practices

    Part of European Journal of Special Needs Education, 2019.

  • Gäreskog, Petra; Lindqvist, Gunilla

    SENCOs and preschool teachers – their work with children in need of special support


  • Enoksson, Helen; Lidar, Malena; Ungewitter, Annika; Lindqvist, Gunilla et al.

    Studier i en främmande skolkultur

    Part of Didaktisk utvecklingsdialog: Lärares och skolledares professionella utveckling, p. 49-66, 2019.

  • Klang, Nina; Göransson, Kerstin; Lindqvist, Gunilla; Nilholm, Claes et al.

    Instructional Practices for Pupils with an Intellectual Disability in Mainstream and Special Educational Settings

    Part of International journal of disability, development and education, 2019.

  • Karlsson, Marie; Hallsén, Stina; Svahn, Johanna

    Parental involvement in Sweden exemplified through national policy on homework support

    Part of Parental Involvement across European Education Systems, p. 120-132, 2019.