“Between a rock and a hard place“: Teachers’ experience of professional autonomy for inclusive practice with 14-16 year old students at compulsory school level in Iceland

Inclusive education is based on core values of human rights, democracy and equality. The research question is inspired by the authors’ experience of how some students move silently closer to the social margins as they draw nearer to the end of compulsory education in spite of the teacher’s full intention and effort that all students feel equally valued and active participants from beginning until the end of compulsory school. In the Icelandic Compulsory Education Act (Lög um grunnskóla nr. 91/2008) it is stated that any form of alienation is rejected and the aim is to protect students who for any reasons are socially vulnerable or in danger of not gaining full access to everyday school life. The aim of this research is to explore teachers’ experience of
inclusive teaching of students in secondary classroom settings (14-16 year-old). The macro structures, as well as policy and institutional features are the main focus, and how these shape and influence teachers’ professional autonomy, ideals and values.

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