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Grus i maskineriet?: Några kommunala tjänstemäns, politikers, föräldrars och lärares syn på en skola för alla
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
A Spanner in the works? : The views expressed by some local government officials, politicians, parents and teachers about education for all (English)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate experiences, perceptions and experiences of "a school for all" in one municipality by means of a case study. The municipality is medium-sized and, for many years, has had a clearly expressed intention of providing "a school for all". This means that all pupils are included in regular comprehensive school classes, where no separate schools or groups are available for pupils with intellectual disabilities.

The empirical material consists of three studies. The pilot study is a licentiate thesis published in 2007, with a societal bias and is based on web-based documentation and interviews with politicians and civil servants (n=5). This study describes regional administrators’ initiatives to promote the implementation of ”a school for all” within the entire municipality. A major finding was the importance of committed and engaged leadership.  Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) model for ecological systems constitutes the theoretical starting point. The respondents in sub-studies I and II, which are the focus in this section of the thesis, are parents (n=14) and teachers (n=8). The common denominator is children/pupils who have an intellectual disability, and study according to the curriculum for special schooling but are taught in regular comprehensive school classes. Previous research into inclusion and national policy documents are of central concern to this thesis. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis is employed as an interpretative tool for the interviews.

Parents discuss the benefits of "a school for all"; good role models, social relationships and opportunities for the child to develop both socially and intellectually. They also describe how they must always be prepared to fight for their child, "keeping a watchful eye" on the school, and they imply that it is never possible to "become complacent". Teachers' attitudes and knowledge are described as crucial. A few parents wanted to have the opportunity to choose a special school for children with intellectual disabilities (ID). Their arguments are presented. In the teacher interviews, a conviction emerges about the importance of "a school for all" for the pupils' self-image, social and academic development. Organizational support, in-service training and skills’ development are seen as the prerequisites for successful inclusion, as well as educational strategies such as family groups and model learning. Respondents indicate that inclusion works most satisfactorily between years 1 and 6 in the comprehensive school and is viewed more detrimentally between years 7 and 9, in order to be better viewed again in the upper secondary school (senior high school) and the reasons for this are discussed. The case study contributes to a broader understanding of  the processes of implementation and change regarding inclusion of pupils with special school status and the importance of understanding the connections and relationships between the levels within Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory which directly or indirectly affect the child’s/pupil’s development and well-being.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Specialpedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet , 2017.
Keywords [en]
a school for all, inclusion, inclusive education, parents´attitudes, teachers´ attitudes, special education, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Special Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142041ISBN: 978-91-7649-821-7 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7649-822-4 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-142041DiVA, id: diva2:1090436
Public defence
2017-06-09, sal 108, Gösta Ekmans laboratorium, Frescati Hagväg 9 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-17 Created: 2017-04-24 Last updated: 2017-05-10Bibliographically approved

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