Rektor i kläm mellan uppdrag och förutsättningar - specialpedagogisk verksamhet i svenska glesbygdsskolor

Gerd Pettersson, Gunilla Näsström


There are most likely considerable differences between running schools in rural areas and in big cities. Research has not paid attention to these differences and therefore, there is a lack of knowledge about running schools in rural areas in Sweden. The purpose of this study has been to describe and analyse how principal in schools in rural areas organize their activities, with a focus on special education. The study includes answers from 45 principals in a web survey. These principals represented the four northernmost counties of Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Västernorrland and Jämtland in Sweden. In this study, a school in a rural area is defined as a school of 55 students at the most. The principals represent 53 schools in rural areas, with some principals working in more than one school in these areas. The results show that more than half of the principals govern their schools by distance and seem to be very familiar with the steering documents regarding special education. The results also show that more than half of the principals considered that students’ needs for special support depend mainly on individual student-related factors rather than factors related to the learning environment. However, more than half of the principals emphasized the relevance of the learning environment for the students’ development of knowledge and the importance of flexible ways of working. Overall, the results show how complex the situation of conditions and requirements is for the everyday life for the principals as they strive for equivalent schools.

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