The aim of the study is to compare working conditions of teachers in Sweden, Japan and Germany. The research is divided into two phases. In the first phase information and data on organisation, resources and practices of pupils’ welfare in municipal compulsory schools in Sweden, Japan and Germany will be collected. Special focus is placed on interprofessional cooperation as regards pupils’ welfare at school. Collaboration between teachers, schoolnurses, social workers, psychologists and others has become a selfevident condition of school welfare in Sweden and many studies have been conducted to investigate the work of pupil welfare teams. However, a teacher’s perspective is often neglected. What kind of support do schools offer to teachers who have pupils with special needs? If necessary, the review of literature and statistics will be combined with additional data from telephone interviews or quesionnaires involving a certain number of prinipals or other persons responsible for school organisation. The knowledge about structures and processes of school welfare forms the ground for the second phase aiming at an analysis of interprofessional cooperation within school. If there is special-needs resource personnel, what kind of support do teachers get from these persons? This question will be elaborated on the basis of focus group interviews in the second phase of the study.
The study is designed as an international comparison. In phase 1 general national characteristics will be described, even if a certain diversity of practices can be expected for each of the three countries. Phase 2 has a more analytical comparative focus, where effects of interprofessional cooperation will be scrutinized from a teacher’s perspective.
As I am in the beginning of this research I want to discuss the research design and possibilities of applying a comparative perspective in this study on school welfare and interprofessional cooperation. For the meeting in Copenhagen I will describe the reality in Swedish schools and their so-called ”elevvård”. This can be a starting point for the discussion of the two-phased research design.