A Pathway to Belonging? A Case Study on the Significance of In-Class Support in Relation to Students’ Sense of Belonging

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The use of in-class support, such as co-teaching or the use of support teachers, in the Danish public school system is widely practiced and often viewed as a central inclusive educational strategy. Students, teachers and politicians seem to find in-class support for students with special educational needs essential and even inclusive by definition. However, it appears that in-class support also may entail some contra-intuitive implications, and in some cases, may in fact be exclusive and marginalizing, and thus having negative implications on the student’s sense of belonging. This article explores the significance of in-class support in relation to the student’s sense of belonging and poses the question whether in-class support constitutes pathways to student belonging. The study is using a qualitative design where data was collected through a multiple-case study entailing interviews with students, teachers, and support teachers, as well as classroom observations. The findings of the study suggest the potentials of a multi-dimensional understanding of the notion of inclusion that captures the notion of student belonging, and that the use of in-class support may in fact have both inclusive and exclusive implications and hence substantial implications on the student’s sense of belonging.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
StatusAfsendt - 2021


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