A Comparative Study of Disruptive Behavior Between Schools in Norway and the United States

Head of Project: professor Liv Duesund

This project aims to bring forth new knowledge that will enhance our understanding of problems and challenges related to disruptive behavior in schools. It also aims to strengthen the link between theory and practice in teacher education in Norway and USA.

An important concern for teaching in primary-and middle schools is the quality of the learning environment and interactions in the classroom. One of the most serious challenges on the environment and interactions are disruptive behaviors in schools.

The aim of this project is to broaden an understanding of the sources and contexts of disruptive behavior and generate knowledge that can be valuable for institutions educating Teachers and for the supervisors (teachers) of students "interning" in school.

We want to examine the following:

  • How disruptive behavior is manifested in class and what kinds of situations arouse disruptive behavior.
  • Which strategies do experienced teachers apply in the classroom when disruptive behavior occurs?
  • What characterize the contexts of disruptive behaviors?
  • What are the importance of the subject taught, teaching methods, and compositions of classes and social backgrounds of the pupils?

Researchers from University of California, Berkeley and The University of Oslo will conduct the research in American and Norwegian schools, involving students in teacher practice, pupils at the intershipschools, and the supervisors at internships schools in Norway and USA. We will compare similarities and differences in the ways disruptive behavior occurs in the two national contexts and how teachers identify behavior as disruptive? Using surveys, observations, and interviews, the project aims to bring to the fore a comparative perspective by conducting research in schools during class and recess, the consequences for the learning environment, the quality of learning outcome for the students and the quality of the teachers' professional life.

The study includes BA and MA-students in teacher education, their teachers (supervisors) during their internships in primary and middle schools in US and Norway, as well as researchers from University of California Berkeley, USA and University of Oslo, Norway.

Phd Project: Magnar Ødegård

The goal of the study is to investigate how disruptive behavior manifests itself in classrooms, how this may vary between the two countries and which strategies teachers use in order to deal with disruptive behavior. The study will use a quantitative approach.

The study is a substudy of the research project "A Comparative Study of Disruptive Behavior Between Schools in Norway and the United States".


Main supervisor is Professor Dr.scient. Liv Duesund.
Secondary supervisor is Professor Dr.med. Finn Skårerud.

Podcasts of Relevant lectures

"The Development of Morality" with Professor Elliot Turiel, UC Berkeley and Professor Liv Duesund, University of Oslo

Dr. Elliot Turiel is an American psychologist and Chancellor’s Professor at the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches courses on human development and its relation to education.

Download audio file


Previous Podcasts: All things shining -  (sound only)
Video: All Things shinng With prof H Dreyfus and prof S Kelley 


Peder Sather Center

Video: Presentasjon av University of Carlifornia, Berkley 


Tags: USA
Published June 6, 2013 8:41 AM - Last modified Mar. 27, 2018 10:12 AM


Detailed list of participants