Professional support for teachers and children in diverse classrooms

Friðborg Jónsdóttir*, Jóhanna Einarsdóttir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent decades, Iceland has become a more diverse nation, as witnessed, for example, in the increasing diversity of the school population. While recognising these changes, teachers have reported feeling unprepared to respond as they engage with students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The interview study presented in this article aimed at identifying professional support available to teachers working with children of diverse backgrounds, as well as the support provided to students. Interviews were conducted with two preschool- and two primary school teachers, two principals and multiple professionals working within the municipality in matters related to education and CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) children. Findings indicate that the participating teachers seldom sought assistance or guidance from the municipality for their own professional development. Standardised reading tests seem influential in the primary school, even as early as in the first grade, somewhat contradicting the characteristics of the official inclusive school policy in Iceland. In some primary schools, the education of CALD children coincides with special needs education. A more direct link between expertise at the municipality level and the teachers seems relevant, as the principals’ communication with the municipality professionals does not necessarily benefit the teachers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Years
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 TACTYC.

Other keywords

  • preschool teachers
  • primary school teachers
  • support for CALD children
  • Teacher support


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