17 SES 16, Up North and Down Under: Cases of inclusion/exclusion in innovative learning environments across hemispheres
Equity has been among the most predominant features of educational policy in Iceland from the outset of public schooling as was clearly affirmed by a national legislation in 1974 giving all children of a certain age span the right to attend a mainstream, neighbourhood school regardless of background or physical and mental abilities. This official standpoint was later pressed further with the confirmation of the Salamanca declaration from 1994 and has affected educational policy and daily school practice in manifold ways (Sigurðardóttir, Guðjónsdóttir & Karlsdóttir, 2014; Óskarsdóttir, 2014). This explains in part innovative measures of late regarding the design of public school buildings clearly reflected in participatory design processes at preparatory stages at different school sites and a radical shift from the conventional classroom setting to a more open and flexible learning environment (Sigurðardóttir & Hjartarson, 2011, 2016a, 2016b). The project related here takes a critical look at this development by identifying significant design features in this respect and how they have changed over time to reflect educational policy, affect school governance and mould daily school practice. Attention will be paid to inclusive or encompassing aspects of design, such as open spaces, clusters of manifold spaces adjoining classrooms, transparent boundaries and shared spaces used for many different purposes to encourage collaboration, individualised learning and inclusion. Environmental and architectonic features characterising both older and recently designed school buildings at the primary and lower secondary level are examined in light of challenges involving architecture, educational ideology, school governance and teaching practice. Data was collected by interviews, observations and photography at several school sites, review of policy and technical documents, drawings and writings. The school buildings represent a conventional design pattern with classrooms along corridors; a cluster design pattern with classrooms and manifold spaces grouped together to form units within the school as a whole; and finally an open plan design pattern with extended learning spaces for large groups of students and teacher teams. The first design form has prevailed for a long time and is seen by many as the dominant venue for conventional school practice, while the two latter and most recent design forms have been developed to encourage a more dynamic and democratic approach to teaching and learning, allowing us to examine how such efforts may or may not support pedagogies and practices aiming to include students of different needs and abilities.
Óskarsdóttir, G.G. (Ed.). (2014). Starfshættir í grunnskólum við upphaf 21. aldar [Teaching and learning in compulsory schools at the beginning of the 21st century]. Reykjavík, Iceland: Háskólaútgáfan. Sigurðardóttir, A.K. (2014). Skólabyggingar og námsumhverfi [School buildings and learning environment]. In G.G. Óskarsdóttir (Ed.), Starfshættir í grunnskólum við upphaf 21. aldar [Teaching and learning in compulsory schools at the beginning of the 21st century] (pp. 57–83). Reykjavík, Iceland: Háskólaútgáfan. Sigurðardóttir, A.K., Guðjónsdóttir, H. & Karlsdóttir, J. (2014). The development of a school for all in Iceland: Equality, threats and political conditions. In Blossing, Imsen and Moos (Eds). The Nordic education model. A “school for all” encounters neo-liberal policy (pp. 94–111). New York, NY: Springer. Sigurðardóttir, A.K. & Hjartarson, T. (2016a). The idea and reality of an innovative school: From inventive design to established practice in a new school building. Improving Schools, 19(1), 62–79. Sigurðardóttir, A.K. & Hjartarson, T. (2016b). School buildings and classroom environments in Iceland. In U. Stadler-Altman (Ed.), Lernumgebungen. Erziehungswissenschaftliche perspectiven auf schulgebaude und klassenzimmer (pp. 31–48). Opladen, Berlin and Toronto: Barbara Budrich. Sigurðardóttir, A.K. & Hjartarson, T. (2011). School buildings for the 21st century: Some features of new school buildings in Iceland. CEPS Journal, 1(2), 25–43.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
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Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
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Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
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Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
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