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Issues in Educational Research, 2024, Vol 34(2), 547-565.
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Psychosocial learning environment and inclusion in primary school: Challenges from a student perspective

May Olaug Horverak
Birkenes Learning Centre, Norway

Studies show that despite many programs with intentions to create a positive and inclusive learning environment, bullying and exclusion is still a challenge. This article investigates the following: (a) What challenges are there in the psychosocial learning environment in primary school, from a student perspective, and (b) what strategies can students apply to solve these challenges and contribute to creating an inclusive learning environment? The framework for data collection has been a five-step method for mastery, participation, and motivation, based on health-promoting theory and self-determination theory. Student representatives applied the method in their classes through student council work, with support from their teachers. A content analysis of student data identified challenges related to three main categories: relational factors, structural factors, and individual factors. To solve these challenges, the students suggested reward systems and inclusive strategies, such as asking others to join when playing, inviting someone home, and talking to students who are alone. The article concludes that it is important to include students in processes of change, and work systematically and over time to create a good learning environment.
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Author: Dr May Olaug Horverak is currently a senior researcher at NORCE - Norwegian Research Centre (https://www.norceresearch.no/en/). Formerly at Birkenes Learning Centre, Norway, she has extensive working experience as a teacher and a headmaster. She has been the project leader of several intermunicipal projects related to mastery, participation and motivation, and recently has led a project on health promotion in school. She holds a masters degree in English and in special education, and a doctoral degree in English linguistics and didactics.
Email: mayh@norceresearch.no

Please cite as: Horverak, M. O. (2024). Psychosocial learning environment and inclusion in primary school: Challenges from a student perspective. Issues in Educational Research, 34(2), 547-565. http://www.iier.org.au/iier34/horverak.pdf

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Created 29 June 2024. Last update: 29 June 2024. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]