The purpose of the chapter is to give an overview of special education in Iceland, historically and with reference to modern use of terms, research, policy, legal trends and funding. Recent data is provided on demographic developments amongst children in Iceland and detailed account is given of practices in schools, including collaboration with parents and teacher education. Finally some issues and challenges are discussed that still remain to be solved with respect to meeting the special needs of students in school. One of the findings is that only 1.3% of students attend special schools and special classes and that the term special education has outlived its usefulness except perhaps in the context of the three segregated special schools that still remain in the country. Official papers have replaced it with the term special support. Despite a diversity of views and practices the main implication is that a new model of education is required, in line with that proposed by Slee where the needs of individuals are served in all schools and the binary thinking related to regular versus special education is no longer necessary.
We are grateful for the help we have received from a number of people in varying positions of administration and education around Iceland to provide the picture of special education presented here.
Marinósson, G. and Bjarnason, D. (2014), "Special Education Today in Iceland", Special Education International Perspectives: Practices Across the Globe (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 271-309. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0270-401320140000028016Download as .RIS
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