The research at the Department of Education is centered around a few priority research areas.
Humanities studies in education
Within this field of research, educational phenomena associated with childhood and adolescence, education and formation are examined. In today’s society, with wide cultural diversity and rapidly changing knowledge, humanistic research in pedagogics is experiencing a revival, and new themes and theories are being examined as fresh challenges to democracy and values arise. Humanities studies of education explore aspects of educational goals, processes and institutions related to forms of understanding and critical thinking, visualization, ethics, aesthetics and policies. Established key topics are ethics policy formation, cognition, knowledge formation, forms of recognition, citizenship and world citizenship. This research raises important fundamental questions, and historical, philosophical and epistemological analyses help us to understand, criticize and substantiate educational activities and educational research. This field of research represents an integral part of the Faculty’s research portfolio.
Related research group at the Department: Humanity Studies in Pedagogy (HUMSTUD)
Higher education and workplace learning
This area focuses on how the development of knowledge and changes in political, economic and social conditions affect higher education and workplace learning. Themes addressed are how higher education and workplace learning qualify for participation in knowledge-intensive work, how expertise is managed and developed through institutional practices, and how knowledge policy sets the terms for such processes over time. The area includes studies of universities and colleges as institutions, studies of political processes aimed at research and education, local studies of teaching and learning in various disciplines and professions, and studies of how knowledge practices in education and workplace contexts interact in the development of expert cultures. Studies of interdisciplinary environments and expert-user relationships are also covered. Research in this area furthers the understanding of the conditions for learning and developing knowledge in today’s society, and of how expertise is institutionalized and further developed in different organizational contexts.
Related research group at the Department: Expert cultures and institutional dynamics: Studies in higher education and work (ExCID)
Children and youth: Identity, learning trajectories and education
This research area focuses on children and young people in modern, multicultural Norway, and particularly at the interaction between the school and other arenas. Examples of such arenas are organized sports, leisure activities, ethnic networks, different forms of family life and globalized media. The research provides important knowledge on how young people from different linguistic, cultural and social backgrounds learn in and across contexts such as school, home, and physical or virtual peer communities. Analyses of children and young people’s participation on different arenas and educational trajectories are studied in light of the formation of identity, gender, ethnicity, social background, changes in family patterns, and the values, norms and perceptions of reality that peer networks represent. Studies in this field will also give us new knowledge about how pupils and students’ backgrounds and knowledge affect their choices and future directions. The research follows a variety of methodological approaches, but qualitative longitudinal studies play a particularly important role.
Related resaerch groups at the Department: MEDIATE
Language development, text comprehension and literacy
The core of the research in this area focuses on identifying factors that form the basis of the development of language skills and literacy from pre-school age to adulthood. The research also examines the interaction between language and literacy and other skills such as memory, problem solving and mathematics. Part of the research focuses on language skills and literacy in children, young people and adults who have a typical development, for example by examining a child’s language and literacy development over time, or young people and adults’ abilities in critical reading and learning in the information society. The development of language skills and literacy in different risk groups is also a central part of the research. In addition, research in this area has a special focus on minority language groups. The research has a major practical relevance and an applied perspective since it helps to develop knowledge about the impact of measures and interventions from kindergarten to upper secondary school. A key ambition is to become a leading international research community in this area of Research.
Related research groups at the Department: Text comprehension: Development, Instruction and Multiple Texts (TextDIM)
Culture, cognition and technology: learning in digital environments
Within this area of research, the focus is on how different digital environments and tools mediate various learning processes and learning outcomes in the interaction between culture and cognition. Technological advances enable knowledge to be represented and organized in new ways (e.g. visualization and simulation), which creates specific learning challenges. Learning based on multiple resources is an important area in our understanding and explanation of learning in today’s society. Studies of learning trajectories in and outside educational institutions are therefore important in this area, and the analysis of competence challenges in the 21st century in relation to the future labour market and society is a central component. Also, the field of “learning analysis” creates new opportunities to understand pupils and students’ learning. Using digital tools for learning analysis allows us to investigate process data and data on the pupils/students’ learning outcomes in context. Research in this area will provide us with new knowledge on how learning conditions are changing socially, culturally and cognitively in an increasingly digitized knowledge society.
Related research group at the Department: MEDIATE
Other prioritized areas of research at the Faculty of Educational Sciences
- Teaching, learning and subject didactics
- Educational leadership, school reform and education governance
- National and international studies of competence development from pre-school age to adulthood
- Special needs education
- Teacher education and professional development in schools