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Disputation: Maren Omland

Cand.phil. Maren Omland at the Department of Education will be defending the thesis "What did you talk about?’ Teacher and students’ joint construction of subject-oriented meanings" for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.

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Photo: UiO

Click here to attend the trial lecture and the public defence via Zoom

Trial lecture - time and place

Wednesday December 1, 2021, 4:00 p.m., Lecture Hall 2, Helga Engs Hus

Title of the trial lecture: "Professional development designed to help teachers engage students in argumentation to support deeper learning".

Adjudication committee

  • Professor Alina Reznitskaya, Montclair State University, USA (the first opponent)
  • Dr. Allison Twiner, Cambridge University, UK (the second opponent)

  • Professor Kenneth Silseth, Department of Education, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo, is third member of the committee and the committee's coordinator.

Chair of defence

Professor Palmyre Pierroux, Department of Education, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo



This thesis studies how a microblogging tool can help teachers facilitate interactions where teacher and students jointly construct subject-oriented meanings. The empirical material consists mainly of video-recordings of classroom interactions and follows one teacher and her class through several trajectories during two separate terms in secondary school. The thesis pursues two overarching aims: 1) to identify teaching strategies that build on students’ voices to achieve subject-oriented meaning-making, and 2) to add to the knowledge on how dialogic teaching can contribute to students’ learning by analysing how and why these strategies can prove productive for students’ learning. The three articles that form the empirical part of the thesis are grounded in these aims. 

Article 1 examines how one teacher supports and facilitates 8th grade students’ building agency through dialogic teaching and facilitation of positioning. The article explains why the analysed strategies work by pointing out interrelations between agency, positioning and dialogue.

Article 2 explores how specific discursive strategies in dialogic communication contribute to students’ meaning-making. The findings show how interruptions, interthinking and synthesising can constitute central discursive strategies in students’ meaning-making. Further, they show how the meaning-making potential of these moves can be exploited when microblogging is used to mediate contributions from group to whole-class dialogues.

Article 3 studies how querying can be used to achieve subject-oriented meaning-making. The analyses suggest that querying can lead to cognitively demanding coordination and enhance an evaluative epistemic stance. By displaying contrasting ideas and mediating uptake in whole-class conversations, we found the use of microblogging productive in facilitating querying.

This thesis is within the field of education and the work is conducted as a part of the DiDiAC research project at the Department of education, University of Oslo.

Published Nov. 19, 2021 9:29 AM - Last modified Dec. 1, 2021 10:42 PM