Research article

Policies in special education support issues in Swedish compulsory school: a nationally representative study of head teachers' judgements

Authors
  • Joanna Giota
  • Ingemar Emanuelsson

Abstract

The general aim of the present study was to explore how head teachers (N = 683) for older students and head teachers (N = 250) for younger students in Swedish compulsory schools describe handling procedures of special education issues in their schools. Two questionnaire surveys on such issues were conducted during the spring term of 2008 among head teachers in a nationally representative sample of schools. Questionnaire answers from the head teachers show that even though the most common type of special support measure is that students are supported by special education teachers in regular classes/groups, the overall picture that emerges is that the 'old traditional ways' in special education support giving are still the most common. Social background and context as well as schoolwork content and teaching habits are judged as key factors behind the students' difficulties and need for special education support. In general, however, school problems and students' difficulties seem still to mainly be seen as caused by student characteristics and disabilities rather than as shortcomings of school and teaching. Differences in head teacher answer profiles could be identified. Such school profiles are also discussed as part of further study planned, where they will be compared to individual data on school experience, and learning data, which are available from the same schools as the head teachers approached.

Keywords: SPECIAL EDUCATION POLICIES, SUPPORT STRATEGIES, INCLUSION–EXCLUSION, RESOURCE ALLOCATION, HEAD TEACHERS' JUDGEMENTS

How to Cite:

Giota, J. & Emanuelsson, I., (2011) “Policies in special education support issues in Swedish compulsory school: a nationally representative study of head teachers' judgements”, London Review of Education 9(1), 95–108. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14748460.2011.550439

482 Views

298 Downloads

13Citations

Published on
28 Feb 2011
Peer Reviewed
License