Kerstin Göransson, professor of Special Education
Kerstin Göransson first majored in psychology, but completed her doctorate in education at the Department of Education at Stockholm University in 1995. She long headed research and development at FUB – the Swedish National Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability – and their research foundation ALA, Adaptation to Life and Work. The foundation takes a pedagogic-psychological approach to research and development in the field of intellectual disabilities.
Before Kerstin Göransson became a fulltime academic, she also worked as research coordinator for the Special Education Institute, now the National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools.
Kerstin Göransson started working at Mälardalen University during the early 2000s. Here she was involved in different research projects, and also with the master programme in special education, as well as with other courses and programmes in special needs education. She was appointed as part-time guest researcher at Karlstad University in 2014, and she has been permanently employed at Karlstad University since January 2016.
Kerstin Göransson’s research focus is special education. Her research is based on the premise that there are and always have been children who do not fit in, for whatever reason, in all school systems. Different kinds of special educational initiatives have accordingly been developed in preschools and schools to accommodate these children and pupils. The content, design and organisation of such special education initiatives have long been, and still are, important issues. Central to Kerstin Göransson’s research is studying these special education activities in connection to the development and application of values such as democracy and inclusion, as opposed to marginalisation and stigmatisation. With this overall approach Kerstin Göransson’s current research focuses on the relationship between education ideologies, teaching practice and pupils’ learning.
“At the moment I’m directing two larger research projects. One is focused on the professional roles of special needs educators, and the other on teaching and learning in special schools. I like combining large, more descriptive studies of the total population with in-depth examinations, such as case studies and class room observations. Together with my colleagues in special education, I hope to create a research environment that will be significant in the area of special education, both nationally and internationally. I also hope that our research will be done in cooperation with the region, so that conditions are improved and pedagogical activities are developed that counteract alienation and segregation.”
Kerstin Göransson has been living happily with artist and writer Bernt for many years. As child she did ballet and played piano, but these days she spends her free time knitting, crocheting, enjoying art and classical music, and doing jigsaws.