International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 2013, 6(1), 137-164.

Jenny Nilsson och Monica Axelsson, Stockholms universitet

Education for newly arrived students in Sweden is commonly organised in introductory classes, providing a basis for transition to the mainstream system. Focusing on the hitherto underinvestigated question of how newly arrived students experience the time in and transition between introductory and regular classes, we analyse the social and pedagogical resources these two contexts provide based on interviews with students who arrived during the last years of lower secondary school. The research was conducted during 15 months at three schools in municipalities of different sizes, comprising 82 days of participant observation, 16 interviews with teachers and 61 semi-structured interviews with 22 students. Pointing to the tendency of allocating responsibility for newly arrived students’ education solely to the introductory class or the individual student, we argue that social and pedagogical provision also needs to be made in the mainstream system in order for school to fulfil its inclusive and educational aim.