PhD research fellowship position – Comparing Finnish and Norwegian Classrooms

By on 17.02.2016 in Uncategorized

JustEd team 3 is looking for a PhD researcher comparing Finnish and Norwegian classrooms. The appointment is made for a period of three years at the University of Oslo, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Teacher Education and School Research. The vacant position is attached to the NFR funded research  project “Linking Instruction and Student Achievement” (LISA) linked to the research group Studies of Instruction across Subjects and Competences (SISCO).

Classrooms are being video taped in the LISA study.

Teacher instructions and practices in classroomsare being video taped and analyzed in the LISA study.

JustEd team 3 is lead by Kirsti Klette, University of Oslo, and Fritjof Sahlström, University of Helsinki.  The tasks of this team are to investigate qualities of classroom teaching across the Nordic countries drawing on video documentation from Nordic classrooms, and to create a virtual lab for the Nordic and international study of teaching and learning — an online environment that supports collaborative analysis of classroom videos and related materials

Making video data accessible and available

kirsti kletteCurrently, Kirsti and her colleagues in Norway and Finland are working hard to collect video documentation from classrooms, and to continuously develop the virtual labs that has been founded at the University of Oslo and Aalborg University.

“We are working on making the video data accessible and available and, what is more important, we are creating a common systems on how to Meta tag the data, how to index the data so that it becomes relevant and searchable also for other researchers. For this work we are also working closely with the national data protection offices, like the National Data Protection Office in Norway,” Kirsti says.

Focus on teacher instructions and practices in classrooms

In terms of the comparative video classroom studies, there are two larger projects within JustEd team 3. One of the projects is the LISA study based in Oslo, with the goal to investigate the impact of different models of classroom instruction on students’ learning by comparing student achievement data with classroom data.

Within the LISA study the researchers are videotaping what’s happening in classrooms mainly in Norway and Finland, and there’s also a small scale study in the U.S., in San Francisco. The researchers are using some coding tools that were developed at Stanford.

“We are designing comparative research together. The focus is on teacher instructions and practices in classrooms, as well as the role of the students and their engagement”, says Kirsti. “We have just finished videotaping classrooms in the Oslo region and other parts of Norway, and now we are planning on doing the same data collection in Swedish speaking schools in the Helsinki area in March.”

1100 Norwegian students

There are approximately 1100 Norwegian students in 8th grade in the Norwegian part of this study, spread over 100 classrooms. Early findings shows that there is a high engagement among students who often raise their voices and engage in discussions, while there is lower scores on teacher giving high quality feedback and modelling. “

“We are combining this emerging video database with a very well designed student survey,” says Kirsti.

The collaboration between researchers at the University of Oslo and University of Helsinki within this project is strong. “We have had visitors from Helsinki three times to look at the video labs. There has also been some interest from Swedish colleagues, who are not directly part of JustEd.”

“It has been worth-while developing a common coding instrument, which enables a precise analytical framework. In the process of creating a more valid instrument, one might have needed to kill some darlings on the way,” Kirsti smiles. “It has been a really interesting travel for all of us.”


Read more about the vacant position.

Application deadline is 18 March 2016.


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