In English

The Intensive Special Education Endorsement (VETURI) research project

The Intensive Special Education Endorsement (VETURI) research project was funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The project was grounded in research that recognizes the importance of intensive specialized support services for students with severe Special Education Needs (SEN) that require co-operation of field professionals for ensuring the quality of learning, teaching, and rehabilitation. The focus was on students who have severe mental health problems, emotional disabilities, physical disabilities, developmental or intellectual disabilities, or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

The project places equal emphasis on research for necessary in-service teacher education, professional cooperation,
and career development. The project duration was four years (2011 – 2015).

Research Interests:
1. Focus groups’ current teaching arrangements
2. In-service teacher education.

The research goal was to examine the current teaching arrangements of the SEN focus groups utilizing action research principles. Therefore, a national survey about the current intensive special education endorsement arrangements was conducted in the spring of 2012. The following topics are covered in the research:

• Effects of Basic Education Act reform in SEN teaching
• IEP processes
• Current SEN teaching arrangements
• Intensive endorsement arrangements
• Co-operation of professionals
• Integration & Inclusion
• In-service teacher education

In co-operation with:

University of Helsinki, Department of Teacher Education, Elina Kontu PhD, Terhi Ojala & Henri Pesonen
mail: firstname.lastname(at)

University of Jyväskylä, Department of Education, Raija Pirttimaa PhD & Tiina Kokko & Lauri Räty
mail: firstname.lastname(at)

Peer reviewed articles in english

Kokko, T., Pesonen, H., Kontu, E. & Pirttimaa, R. 2015. Why Online Learning? Qualitative Analysis of Online Learning Experiences. Human Technology 11(1), 57–70.

Saloviita, T., Pirttimaa, R. & Kontu, E. 2015. Parental Perceptions of the Use of Coercive Measures on Children with Developmental Disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. DOI

Pesonen, H., Kontu, E. & Pirttimaa, R. Sense of Belonging and Lifetime Transitions for Two Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of International Special Needs Education. (accepted).

Pirttimaa R., Kokko T., Räty L., Kontu E., Pesonen H., Ojala T. 2015. Intensive special educational needs and the development of inclusive practices in Finland. In Fabio Dovigo, Clara Favella, Francesca Gasparini, Anna Pietrocarlo,Vincenza Rocco, Emanuela Zappella (toim.) Special Education Needs and Inclusive Practices.An International Perspective/Bisogni educativi speciali e pratiche inclusive. Una prospettiva internazionale. University of Bergamo - Università di Bergamo, 150-154. ISBN 978-88-940721-0-5.

Pirttimaa, R. & Hirvonen, M. 2014. From special tasks to extensive roles? The changing role of special needs teachers in Finnish vocational further education, Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs.

Pesonen, H., Itkonen, T., Jahnukainen, M., Kontu, E., Kokko, T., Ojala, T., Pirttimaa, R. (2014). The Implementation of New Special Education Legislation in Finland. Educational Policy. DOI:10.1177/0895904814556754

Rämä, & Kontu & Pirttimaa 2014. Communicative spontaneity in autism: Exploring supportive prompts in an educational context. European Journal of Special Needs Education DOI:10.1080/08856257.2014.891720

Rämä, I. & Kontu, E. 2012. Searching for pedagogical adaptations by exploring teacher's tacit knowledge and interactional co-regulation in the education of pupils with autism. Eurpoean Journal of Special Needs Education 27(4), 417-431. DOI:

Kivijärvi, S. 2012. Project Disabled People as Musicians: A Systemic Approach. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 47 (2012), 416-427.

Other materials in english

Pirttimaa, R., Kontu, E., Kokko, T., Pesonen, H., Räty, L. & Ojala, T. Intensive Special Educational Needs and The Development of Inclusive Practices in Finland. Poster available in:

Saloviita, T., Consegnati, Kontu, E., Pirttimaa, R. & Fiorini. 2015 Teacher Opinioins Concening the Education of Children with Down Syndrome: Finalnd and Italy Compaed. IJAS Annual Multidis. Conference in Florence 16.-196.2015

Pirttimaa, R., Kokko, T., Räty, L., Kontu, E., Pesonen, H., Ojala, T. 2014.Intensive Special Educational Needs and the Development of Inclusive Practices in Finland. Conferense presentation in University of Bergamon (Italy): Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Practices. 23.- 24.10.2014.

Pirttimaa, R., Kokko, T., Kontu, E., Pesonen, H. 2013. The intensive special education endorsement research project. Abstract in Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disability 10(2), 162. IASSID konferenssi 21. - 23.8.2013.

Pirttimaa, R. ym. 2012. Education for persons diagnosed as intellectually disabled, Finnish perpective. 16.10.2012. Forskningsemanar "Vi sperenger grenser". Oslo, Norja (opetushallitus). käyttää vain välttämättömiä evästeitä istunnon ylläpitämiseen ja anonyymiin tekniseen tilastointiin. ei koskaan käytä evästeitä markkinointiin tai kerää yksilöityjä tilastoja. Lisää tietoa evästeistä