Public policy, the schoolsystem and teachers´role: Pathways of professional reforms for the benefit of pupils

Sigrún Harðardóttir, Sigrún Júlíusdóttir


The article focuses on public school policy in Iceland, in a historical perspective, the teacher´s role and contemporary challenges in the school system. Attention is paid to the increased complexity of teachers´ role as educators and that of guarding the welfare and well-being of the individual schoolchild. The ongoing changes in teachers´ role are related to changed social and family conditions coinciding with development in society and (human service) welfare institutions. This may especially regard school children when confronted by crises in their parents´ lives or other unexpected, harmful situations in their personal life. Results from Icelandic research on current socio-educational conditions of schoolchildren and their families are presented. Increasing cooperation between school, health and social system with an interdisciplinary approach is advocated. Referring to present knowledge and call for revised legislation and policy issues some ideas of renewal of service are presented and discussed.


School policy; teachers´ role; inclusive school; school child; multidisciplinary support system.

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