QUINT at ECER 2019: Hamburg

QUINT researchers are well rerpresented at the ECER Conferen 2019 'Education in an Era of Risk – the Role of Educational Research for the Future', 3-5 September 2019.

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QUINT Symposium Ways of Measuring Teaching Quality – Taking a Nordic perspective

When: Thursday 5 September 2019, 09:00-10:30

Chair: Professor Kirsti Klette

Discussant: Florence Ligozat

Various measures are required when analyzing teaching quality and in this proposed symposium we discuss the differential impact and possibilities linked to rather different measures: classroom observations, student feedback measures and analyses of copies of students’ work. Drawing on classroom data from lower secondary Language Arts classrooms in respectively Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland we discuss how observation data and observation instruments, student perspective surveys and copies of students’ work serve as analytical and methodological lenses when trying to understand features of classroom teaching and learning. Using Nordic classroom data for such an endeavor – however interesting on a European scope - is especially interesting since the Nordic countries, at the one hand, share many structural similarities (e.g. a comprehensive, non-tracked, non- streamed model of schooling; the tradition of national curricula; and an emphasis on inclusive and heterogeneous classrooms). On the other hand there are interesting cultural differences in instructional practices across the Nordic countries such as the amount of whole class teaching  and classroom discussions (Klette et al., 2017), the role of technology (Olofsson et al., 2011) and scores on international achievement tests (Matti, 2006). 

Researchers have long known that teachers and their instruction matter more to student outcome than any other school factor (Baumert, Klieme, 2009, Klette et al., 2017). Yet, measuring teachers’ instruction and instructional quality has been, and is, extremely challenging. Different understandings of teaching quality across countries prevail, and issues pertain to the utilization of different conceptual frameworks, different types of assessment in quantitative and qualitative measures, their cultural bias, and the factor structure and measurement invariance across subjects, age and countries.

Our concern in the present symposium is to discuss how different conceptual frameworks and instruments such as student surveys, classroom video recordings and copies of students’ work provide possible lenses into understanding teaching quality. Voluminous research on teaching quality (see for example Nilsen & Gustafsson, 2016; Seidel and Shavelson, 2007) indicate that teachers’ ways of presenting content, supporting it with sufficient scaffolding techniques, nurture classroom discussion and knowledge sharing among the students, and providing a supportive climate has proven critical for teaching quality. Thus, the four dimensions cognitive challenge, instructional clarity, classroom discourse and supportive climate seem to establish a common ground when trying to understand and analyze instructional qualities in classrooms. By using different instruments and with different, yet similar enough conceptual grounding, we, in this symposium, discuss the potential strengths and constraints linked to the different approaches and instruments.

Paper 1 (Klette and Blikstad-Balas) use observation data from Language arts Classrooms in Norway to discuss challenges linked to analyzing teaching quality

Paper 2 (Roe and Tengberg) report from how student perception surveys from Finland, Norway and Sweden might inform us about features of teaching quality

Paper 3 (Elf and Illum Hansen) discuss how multiple approaches – that is quantitative and qualitative measures - are required when analyzing qualities in literary education in Danish Language arts Classrooms

Paper 4 (Svanbjornsdottir and colleagues) report from methodological and analytical challenges when analyzing teaching quality in Icelandic classrooms

Together these four paper summarize recent dilemmas and developments in our search for trying to understand features of high quality classroom teaching and learning relevant for Nordic and European educational practices.


  • Kirsti Klette
  • Marte Blikstad-Balas
  • Astrid Roe
  • Michael Tengberg
  • Nikolaj Elf
  • Thomas Illum Hansen
  • Birna Svanbjornsdottir
  • Hernina Gunnborsdottir
  • Stig Toke Gissel
  • Runar Sigurdsson
  • Sólveig Zophoníasdóttir

More information on the conference's website

Doing Classroom Research after the new General Data Protection Regulation. The experience from the Nordic QUINT project

When: 6 September 2019, 15:30-17:00

Chair: Hermina Gunnthorsdottir

Discussant: Georg Breidenstein

Introduction of the QUINT project The Nordic Centre of Excellence «Quality in Nordic Teaching» (QUINT) will focus on teaching quality in Nordic classrooms asking questions like: In what way does teaching make a difference to student learning and engagement across and within school subjects, with and without digital-rich support, in mono- and multi-cultural contexts across the Nordic countries? How can classroom videos be effective tools for teacher training? Does the use of video-technology and other digital systems generate potential for new forms of collaborative research between researchers and practitioners? Often Nordic welfare states and their educational systems are described as homogeneous, but studies indicate that there are significant differences when researchers observe the practices of teachers and interactions in classrooms. There is a need for systematic and comparative research efforts to go deeper and broader into these patterns that also take into account the changing landscape of Nordic schools, such as the digitalization of learning processes and a stronger multicultural profile. QUINT addresses these issues by bringing together excellent researchers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. By doing large and small scale video-studies of classrooms at grades 5-7/8-10 and by logging on-line interactions they will be in a position to produce new insights into what characterizes teaching quality in Nordic classrooms. Video-technology provides researchers with rich data that they can analyze together and also do one or several new analyses of the empirical material. Thus this approach is excellent for comparative and longitudinal research. However, when collecting large amount of video data there is a need for a research infrastructure that organizes this material in a safe, searchable and accessible format. Video-recordings are also proven to be effective learning resources for teachers professional learning, and QUINT will support several research projects that go deeper into how video data enhance the teaching quality of pre- and in-service teachers. An overarching theme for the Centre is the use of video in new forms of collaborative research that enable productive and concrete discussions about improvements in teaching practices. The QUINT partnership achieves its objectives by working together with highly reputed international scholars.

More information on the conference website 


Published Aug. 29, 2019 3:16 PM - Last modified Aug. 2, 2021 10:09 AM