School district administrators' perspectives on special education policy and practice in Norway and Sweden

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The purpose of this study was to examine special education policy and practice from the perspective of school district administrators in Norway and Sweden. Administrators from 266 Norwegian and 262 Swedish municipalities completed a survey concerning: (a) reasons children need special education, (b) common and desired organizational solutions, and (c) the influence of policy on practice. Despite a number of clear differences, findings suggest that Swedish and Norwegian administrators share similar attitudes regarding the provision of special education support. It appears that in both countries inclusive practices are seen as the ideal, yet, Norwegian administrators appear to have a stronger preference for categorical or segregated solutions. However, this finding must be viewed in light of current practices in each country. In particular, we take into consideration data indicating that 17% of Swedish students receive special educational support, as compared to approximately 6% in Norway. © 2012 Copyright Nordic Network on Disability Research.




Cameron, D. L., Nilholm, C., & Persson, B. (2012). School district administrators’ perspectives on special education policy and practice in Norway and Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 14(3), 212–231.

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