Research projects and networks

Below is a brief presentation of research projects associated with the research group. The research group also participates in several international networks.

Current projects

Policy Knowledge and Lesson Drawing in Nordic School Reform in an Era of International Comparison

In an era of international comparison, policy makers are expected to learn from experiences from elsewhere, apply international standards propelled by international organizations and review "best practices." The research questions therefore become: do they do so, what counts for them as evidence and expertise, and how do they draw on national, regional/Nordic and/or international expertise in agenda setting, policy formulation and issuing school reform within their country? How do knowledge coalitions and networks contribute to the stabilization, change and renewals of basic education?

Project website:

Project leader: Kirsten Sivesind, Berit Karseth (co-leader), and Gita Steiner-Khamsi (co-leader).

Participants from CLEG: Kirsten Sivesind, Berit Karseth, Dijana Tiplic, Bernadette Hörmann, Chanwoong Baek, Gita Steiner-Khamsi, and Gunnlaugur Magnûsson.

Funding:The Norwegian Research Council (12 million NOK)

Tool Mediation in School Leadership Development (MEDIATION)

The study addresses the research interest of Curriculum Studies, Leadership, and Educational Governance (CLEG). The phenomenon under study is tool mediation in school leadership development. The term `tool´ has a broad meaning. It refers to material tools (e.g., films, videos, books) and non-material tools (e.g., language, theoretical models, analytic concepts, case methodologies). The purpose is two-fold: (1) to contribute new insights into tool mediation in school leadership programs at universities, and (2) to create a foundation for discussing the practical, political, and research implications of the findings locally and internationally. To meet the aim, the following research questions guide the analysis: How is the use of tools situated and experienced in program activities; how is the use of tools experienced in program activities and after course completion, and; how is the selection of artifacts legitimated in program designs, policy documents, and program activities.

Project website.

Project leader: Ruth Jensen

Participant from CLEG: Ruth Jensen, Ann Elisabeth Gunnulfsen, Kristin Helstad


Conceptualizing the Democratic Character of Schools Amid a New World Order

The study extends our initial Sather-funded study (2016-17), in which we compared principals’ experiences promoting democracy and social justice in two distinct policy contexts – the US and Norway. The new study, funded by the Peder Sather Center, aims to design, validate, and apply a survey instrument that enables us to measure the democratic character of schools, and to compare the results of this survey instrument in schools that are embedded in two distinct political contexts – one liberal democracy (the U.S.) and one social democracy (Norway). The goal of this small study is to contribute new instrumentation to the field by designing, piloting, and validating a comprehensive survey instrument that measures schools’ civic characteristics and behaviors by eliciting responses from current public school teachers and administrators. The study will conclude with the application of this instrument to the study of two medium-sized school systems—one American system known for its embrace of free market educational policies and reforms, and one Norwegian system recognized for its commitment to more publicly regulated educational services. Research questions include: a) To what extent do schools’ democratic features vary between political contexts, namely, between one social democracy and one liberal democracy? b) To what degree do schools’ structures, their educators’ behaviors, and their overall values reflect different or similar democratic principles and practices in each setting? 

Project leader: Jorunn Møller.

Participants from CLEG: Jorunn Møller and Eivind Larsen.

Using data to govern quality development in education: Local quality management and schools’ responses to new policy expectations

The project explores different forms of quality management systems in different municipalities as part of local school governing processes. This implies studying the municipal approaches, methods and routines to monitor and support schools as well as  how schools (e.g. school leaders and teachers) perceive and respond to the municipal approaches, methods and routines in use. As a part of this, possible unintended consequences for schools are explored. A particular focus is directed towards the use of data about educational outcomes to make decision and guide further quality development at the municipal level as well as the school level. The research design includes case studies of municipalities and schools, surveys among administrative personnel at the municipal level, school leaders, teachers and students, and the use of student performance data in terms of outcomes of national tests. Structure Equation Modeling (SEM) and multilevel analysis will be used to analyse the survey data.

PhD projects

Silje Kristin Gloppen: Practices for teaching assessment in Norway - opportunities for professional development in the tension between different forms of accountability

The doctoral project is a study of how practices for teacher assessment / teaching assessment are conducted, negotiated and experienced by actors at teacher and school leader level in Norway. The primary focus is to investigate developmental spaces for professional development in the field of tension between external measurement / control (performance-oriented accountability) and internal professional development (professional accountability).



More information about the project.

Eivind Larsen: Leading Democratic Education in an Age of Accountability

The project is a study on leadership of democratic education, and is illustrated with the case of Norway. the main purpose with my study is to provide insight into a) how key public policy documents construct, frame and legitimize expectations related to leading democratic education; b) how school leaders and teachers justify and make sense of democratic education, including leading democratic education in classrooms and leading democratic schools; and c) how policy-expectations to leadership of democratic education are played out in the classrooms seen from the students’ perspective.

Duration: 2017- d.d.

Supervisor:Jorunn Møller and Ruth Jensen

More information about the project.

Marjolein Camphuijsen:Reforming Schools in Norway: A Multi-Scalar Analysis of Autonomy and Accountability Policies in the Education Sector

In recent decades, many countries worldwide have experienced pressure to make education systems more efficient, effective and responsive. Managerial policy ideas such as accountability and school autonomy have taken a central role in global educational debates, as solutions to modernize and improve the performance of education systems.

Researchers: Marjolein Camphuijsen (PhD candidate, Autonomous University of Barcelona), Dr. Antoni Verger (associate professor, first supervisor, Autonomous University of Barcelona), prof Jorunn Møller (professor, co-supervisor, University of Oslo) and Dr. Guri Skedsmo (associate professor, co-supervisor, University of Oslo).

Duration: 01.11.2016 – 31.10.2021

Funding and coordination: This project is part of the overarching research project Reforming Schools Globally (REFORMED), coordinated by the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and funded by the European Research Council through the Starting Grant 2015 call. The project is conducted in collaboration with the University of Oslo.

More information about the project.

Ida-Cheyenne Martinez Lunde: Digital Governance in Education: School Leaders' Practices in Ireland and Norway as Assemblages of Social and Material Entities

Positioned within digital governance, educational leadership and educational policy, the doctoral project is a study of school leaders' practices with digital data technologies in Ireland and Norway. The study is grounded in a sociomaterial approach that aims to analyze both human and non-human actors in the practices that are made into being and being realized through the coming-together of leadership practices, digital data technologies and other actors. The overall purpose of the study is to explore the conditions and logics of governance that underpin digital data technologies and examine the way in which social and material entities come together in school leadership practices with digital data technologies.

Duration: September 2018- d.d.

Supervisors: Professor Eli Ottesen and Professor Gerry Mac Ruairc. 

More information about the project.

Maike Luimes: Curriculum policy and practice: Pre-vocational orientation in Norwegian lower secondary school

Positioned in the field of curriculum studies, the PhD project ”Curriculum policy and practice: Pre-vocational orientation in Norwegian lower secondary schools” focuses on “pre-vocational education”, i.e. education with emphasis on the world of work and further education, including vocational education and training.



More information about the project.

Anne Gry Fadum Carlsen: Kompetanser ved ledelse i offentlig sektor

Endringshastigheten i samfunnet skaper krav om raskere omstillingsevne, koordinering og samordning av oppgaver, og samhandling for å løse komplekse utfordringer i offentlig sektor. Organisasjons etablerte kultur innenfor ledelse, blir utfordret og stadig mer kompleks. Gjennom doktorgradsprosjektet ønsker jeg å undersøke hvordan ledere innenfor utdanning og andre sektorer i en fylkeskommune beskriver sin kompetanse knyttet til ledelse når strategiske planer implementeres. Formålet er å dokumentere, analysere og tolke ledernes beskrivelser. Ved å kartlegge lederkompetanse i flere sektorer, ønsker prosjektet å identifisere sektorspesifikke og generiske kompetanser og egenskaper. Prosjektet tar i bruk kvalitative metoder for å få innsikt i og forståelse av hvordan ledere opplever og reflekterer over eget lederskap i forbindelse med implementering av strategiske planer.

Arbeidet har følgende problemstilling: Hvordan beskriver ledere i en fylkeskommune kompetanser knyttet til strategisk ledelse, og hvilken betydning kan dette ha for strategisk ledelse i utdanningssektoren?

Prosjektet stiller følgende forskningsspørsmål:

  1. Hvilke kompetanser ved ledelse fremhever ledere som viktige ved implementering av strategiske planer i en fylkeskommune?
  2. Hvilke forskjeller er det mellom sektorene med hensyn til ledernes beskrivelser av kompetanse for strategisk ledelse?
  3. Hvordan beskriver ledere i utdanningssektoren sine personlige visjoner og troen på å lykkes i ledelse av implementering av strategisk planer?

Forskningsarbeidet gir mulighet til å studere ledelse innenfor ulike sektorer i en fylkeskommune og forventes å gi økt kompetanse om strategisk ledelse. Resultatene vil gi viktig kunnskap om strategisk ledelse i skolen og skoleleders mulighet for å styrke elevens læring.

Simona Bernotaite: Digital Governance of Education: How Digital Artifacts Contribute to the Dynamics in Actor-Networks

Norway is among the very few countries that has implemented a fully interactive digital curriculum as a part of the renewal of the Knowledge Promotion Reform (2016/2020). This doctoral project is a study of the digital artifact the Curriculum Planning Tool [Planleggingsverktøy i læreplanvisningen]. The study focuses on the sociomaterial entanglements where the digital artifact is approached as an active actor contributing to the digital education governance.
Duration: January 2021 - d.d.
Supervisors: Berit Karseth and Eli Ottesen

Completed projects

Mediating conditions for learning and studying: a research- and development project (MEDPED)

What possibilities and limitations for learning and education are built into the new use of digital technology in post-secondary education? The key purpose is to enable educative processes by new use of technology and develop research-based knowledge about digitalization beyond ‘what works’. The project examines educational possibilities and limitations associated with digitalization of higher education programmes.
Key research questions are:
  • Which parts of the programmes can be digitalized without loss of educational qualities?
  • How can leaders, teachers and students overcome obstacles to try out new technologies within teaching practices?
  • How do ethical standards and judgment shape study designs and the new use of digital Technology?

Project website:

Project leader: Kirsten Sivesind

Participant from CLEG: Kirsten Sivesind

Funding: Faculty of Educational Sciences (350.000 NOK)

Professional norms, school leadership and educational law: A comparative study of Norway and Sweden (PRONLED)

Positioned within sociology of education, the PRONLED-project addresses how knowledge of the law emerges within organizations, raising questions about how such knowledge is used by formal school leaders in dynamic processes within and across institutional boundaries. The project secondly inquires upon how students in national leadership programs and upper-secondary school leaders in Norway and Sweden grapple with educational law and professional norms, in the midst of increased juridification of the educational sector.

Read more on the project web-site.

Assessing the Impact of Leadership Preparation in Two Distinct Testing and Accountability Policy Contexts (PRELEAD - project)

The project examines the values, goals, and practices of public school principals in two distinct political contexts – the United States and Norway. The aim is to investigate what transpires in the field after universities bridge theoretical concepts about social justice and human rights with school principals’ practice, where one university is embedded in a high-stakes testing and accountability context (University of California, Berkeley) and the other is embedded in a low-stakes testing and accountability context (University of Oslo).

Project website.

Project leader: Tina Trujillo and Jorunn Møller

Participant from CLEG: Jorunn Møller, Ruth Jensen, Eivind Larsen

Funding: Peder Saether Grant

Aiding Cultural Responsive Assessment in Schools (ACRAS)

Med økt migrasjon, kan det bli utfordrende for lærere å skulle møte og ivareta behovene til elevene i et mangfoldig, flerkulturelt klasserom. Aiding Cultural Responsive Assessment in Schools (ACRAS) er et forskningsprosjekt med fokus på vurdering av minoritetselever. Institutt for lærerutdanning og skoleforskning gjennomfører prosjektet i samarbeid med tre andre universitetet. Målet  er å utvikle en verktøykasse som skoler og lærerutdanningsinstitusjoner kan bruke.
Project website.
Project leader: Dr. Martin Brown
Participant from CLEG: Silje Kristin Gloppen, Guri Nordtvedt, Eline F. Wiese, Guri Skedsmo.
Funding: Erasmus+.

Impact of school inspections on teaching and learning

The project studies how different types of school inspections in Europe promote high quality teaching and learning in schools. It explores the effects and negative consequences of school inspections in terms of changes in student achievement and changes in teaching and learning and also what aspects of school inspections (standards and threshold, sanctions and rewards and, frequency of visits) which contribute to these effects and negative consequences.
Project website.
Project leader:
Participant from CLEG: Guri Skedsmo
Funding: European Research Council

Practices of data use in municipalities and schools (PraDa)

This project will explore practices of data use in municipalities and schools. During the last decade, although there has been an increase in information available for local authorities, school leaders, and teachers in terms of student performance, knowledge about how data are used is scarce. Practices of data use will be investigated in terms of what happens when individuals interact with two assessment tools: national testing and grading.

Project leader:

Researchers from CLEG:Guri Skedsmo 


De nasjonale rektorskolene i Sverige og Norge – et komparativt prosjekt

Researchers: Olof Johannesen and Marit Aas.
Funding: University of Oslo (small grants)

Fra ferdighet til faglighet i undervisning og ledelse

Dette prosjektet er finansiert gjennom småforskmidler og omhandler en videreføring av et prosjekt hvor man sammenliknet læreplanene for grunn‐ og videregående opplæring i de nordiske land som opprinnelig ble støttet av Nasjonalt læremiddelsenter. 

Analysene i den nåværende prosjektet knytter seg til bestemte fag der de nasjonale fagsentrene (for matematikk, naturfag, lesing og fremmedsspråk) inngår som en viktig part. Flere masterstudenter ved Utdanningsledelse deltar i dette prosjektet. I forbindelse med dette prosjektet arbeides det med å etablere  et digitalt tekstkorpus av læreplantekster fra ulike land, som skal være søkbart og danne grunnlag for komparative sammenlikninger

Researcher: Kirsten Sivesind

Funding: University of Oslo

Mapping School Principals’ Working Environments (2010-2011)

The projects explores the working environments of school principals focusing on perceptions of leadership tasks, motivation and work pressure.The research design includes a quantitative survey among 4000 principals in a state in Germany and the use of electronic daily logs over three periods during a school year.

Project leader: Prof. Stephan Huber, Institute of the Management and Economics of Education, University of Teacher Education of Central Switzerland, Zug.

Participant from CLEG: Guri Skedsmo.


Legal Standards and Professional Judgment in Leadership (LEX-EL) project

The project was designed to disentangle the complexity of legal standards and school leaders’ professional judgment. The legal standards in focus are students’ right to special needs education, adaptive education, and a good psychosocial environment conducive to learning.

Read more about the project.

Funding: The project is supported by The Reseach Council of Norway.

Educational theory about society's educational system

The overarching goal of the project is to establish an international network and develop an application for an integrated project: Educational theory about society's educational system.

The project has diifferent secondary goals. The first goal is: Agreements that the research within Evaluation of Knowledge Promotion 2006-2011, as educational reform, is been transformed into scientific articles about educational reforms. The projects second goal: Agreements about additional studies to the studies of the Evaluation of Knowledge Promotion 2006-2011. The projects third goal: Agreements about internationalisation and result goal 1 in Education 2020. In addition, the goal of the project is to relate these agreements (1-3) to network building. This project is a cooperation between 3 universities and 3 college universities.

Funding: The project is supported by The Reseach Council of Norway.

The FIRE-project

The Role of Administration and Institutions in the Implementation of the Educational Reform LK06. The project which was finalized in 2012, explored the relations between intentions and realities at system level and at the level of instruction, and the reform was analyzed according to perspectives on modernization of the public sector.

ARK: Analyse av Reformen Kunnskapsløftet

Dette er et forskningsprosjekt som inngår i evaluering av Kunnskapsløftet finansiert av Utdanningsdirektoratet. Problemstillingen omhandler en analyse av konsistenser/innkonsistenser i og mellom reformens intensjoner, virkemidler og operasjonalisering.

Følgende spørsmål står sentralt:

Sender læreplanverket ut samsvarende styringssignaler? Er det samsvar mellom sentrale styringssignaler (grunnlagsdokumenter, læreplanverk og utlegninger) og signaler i lokale strategidokumenter?

Project website

Funding: The Norwegian Directorate for Education


The research group also participates in several international networks.

  • Leading Democratic Schools (LE@DS)
    Leading Democratic Schools (LE@DS) is led by Professor Helen Gunter, and is a European network of social science researchers in the Czech Republic, England, France, Hungary, Italy, Norway and Spain.

  • ISSPP (International Successful School Principalship Project)
    The ‘International Successful School Principalship Project’ (ISSPP) is probably the most comprehensive international study of school leadership ever undertaken across Western countries. For more information visit ISSPP web page.

Completed Networks

  • NordNet

The network will gather Nordic and international researchers in education in order to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of how Nordic educational systems are reacting in diverse ways to transnational tendencies in educational policies (EU Commission, OECD etc.).

  • ERECKS‐network on Educational Reforms in Europe

(ERECKS) is a European network across six research groups in Switzerland (Geneva), Scotland (Edinburgh), Sweden (Uppsala and Linneus) and Norway (Oslo) focusing on historical and comparative studies of the relationship between educational research, educational reforms, and educational practices. Professor Berit Karseth and Associate Professor Kirsten Sivesind are participating in this network from Norway.

  • The International Project for the Study of Educational Accountability System

Chaired by Professor Daniel Koretz, Harvard University. Participant from CLEG: Guri Skedsmo


Published Oct. 31, 2013 2:43 PM - Last modified Aug. 15, 2022 10:21 AM