Humanities, Education and Culture

The research group Humanities, Education, and Culture works with issues related to the interaction between humanities, education and culture in kindergartens, schools, and the rest of society.

Formal education institutions such as kindergartens, schools, as well as higher education institutions (teacher education in specific) and museums and their role as cultural institutions in their own right are special fields of interest. The educator at these institutions and their role in the development and dissemination of culture, and how this affects education processes is further within the group's special interests. Humanities, Education and Culture is an interdisciplinary research group primarily with members from the humanities. The group's members have developed their theoretical standpoints based on theorists such as Dewey, Rancière, Klafki, Ricoeur and Gadamer.

More about the research group

Humanities, Education, and Culturewas established in 2011 and has since grown in member numbers. As of 2019, the group has members at several of Nord University's campuses, but the majority of the members are situated in Bodø. The group is interested in recruiting more members from the other campuses, but it is also interested in associated members from other universities both from home and abroad.

The group's original name in 2011, Studies in visual arts, reflected the group's first members' professional profiles and common academic focus area. In 2013, the group changed its name to Humanities, Education, and Culture to emphasize specific developments that had already changed the group's field profile and common academic focus. It was first and foremost necessary to show the group’s broad field of interest. The group's professional profile has since been deeply rooted in the traditional humanistic subjects, for example defined as the academic disciplines of languages, linguistics and literature, philosophy, music, history, archaeology, anthropology, art, and religion. Common to these disciplines is a historical, critical and analytical research methodology. Also subject areas that in our time are often defined as natural science subjects, such as mathematics, are considered as a humanistic subject in light of the group's interests, since mathematics was traditionally not empirically based. Furthermore, new subject areas, such as media studies, are of interest to the group.

The name change was also desirable for the group's joint research interests to be clearly reflected in the research group's name. Humanities, Education, and Culture was chosen to emphasize the group's interest in what research and studies of these humanistic subjects have as their purpose to produce or stimulate as mindsets in others. As the group is positioned in professional educations, with an emphasis on teacher education, Humanities, Education, and Culture is particularly interested in what and how the humanistic subjects contribute to the growth and development of children and young people in formal, informal and non-formal learning arenas and situations.

In other words, the group's joint field of research is to a lesser extent about the subjects themselves, and to a greater extent what and how these subjects affect individuals in the face of the interests of these subjects; such as literature, art, philosophy, etc. Comparative method and research relevant to the group in addition to subject didactic and cultural subject didactic analytical and historical research.

The development in 2013 emphasizes the inclusion of all the humanities subjects, at the same time as it pointed to the group's theoretical grounding in traditional research. As a humanistic research - and not just research in humanities - the group's connection to the Center for Practical Knowledge and Professional Research is also emphasized. Some of the members of the research group are administratively associated with the center.
The main objective of the group's research efforts is to contribute with current research that facilitates, critically analyses, and promotes democratic participation through the research issues and research methods of the humanities. Analytical, critical, and contextual thinking is thus the core of the research.

The research group produces emphasis on upstream praxis and downstream research effects and has a clear ethical profile.


Humanities, Education, and Culture has several active main and subordinate projects. The main projects are wider projects which include a wider range of the group’s members’ field profiles. Since 2013, the group has conducted annual research seminars, where all members are invited to participate. The annual seminar themes are agreed upon at the beginning of the year, simultaneously with the financial planning for the research group's activities the following calendar year. The seminars are central in establishing a common starting point for larger NFR and EU research applications, and common publication projects which encompass the group’s interests in different ways. 

In addition, the group leads a number of subordinate projects, where some but not the majority of the members are active. Such projects are the NUV project, financed by Norgesuniversitetet, which was clearly anchored in the group's main objective. Another such project is Museer på nett - museer og wikipedia (Museums online / Museums and Wikipedia), which was a collaboration with Nordlandsmuseet, financed by Arts Council Norway, and had the Norwegian National Library and Wikimedia Norway as main collaborators. As the members Humanities, Education and Culture are active lecturers and researchers in humanities or related fields, it is appropriate for the group to include more such subject-specific research projects as well. 

Active projects

PhD Supervision (The Praxis, Roles and Future of PhD Ecucation)

Humanities, Education and Culture has been particularly concerned with the research area Higher Degree Research, which concentrates on research on supervision at the master's and doctorate level with emphasis on the guidance in the humanities subjects in teacher education. The group has received international guests from among others IDERN and has held papers internationally on the subject.

The group’s members (apart from its PhD students) are all qualified supervisors. The group is interested in receiving more PhD students and fellows. The leader of the research group is also qualified to develop PhD supervision courses, through the program "Facilitator of the Development of Doctoral Supervisors" (Train-the-trainers).

Humanities – Politics – Society

Humanities, Education and Culture has since 2016 had education and democracy as a seminar theme and has the pleasure of inviting international guests to us in connection with our seminars. Humanities, democracy, and critical thinking has as such been a central theme for the group. Our work on this theme also links us closer to the research group in Practical Knowledge. 

Masterteach – a continuation

Humanities, Education and Culture has worked on the MASTERTEACH theme since 2016, which then had the title TEACH. The project’s main topic of concern is pedagogical competency in the humanities subjects in teacher education and its relation to deep subject competence in the specific humanities subjects. In 2019, the groups will visit our Finish collaborative colleagues and collaborate together on a session at the Nordic conference on education and learning in all school subjects (NOFA7 ) in Stockholm.

Previous projects

Form without content

Form without content is a book project that was developed as the conclusion of the group's Norgesuniversitetet project on iPad in higher education.
iPad in higher education is a completed project and the book, Kategorial danning og bruk av ikt i undervisning , is the rounding off of this project. The book is published by Universitetsforlaget and the editor of the book is Kåre Fuglseth. The group's work was financed through Norgesuniversitetet.

Collaborate workshop with Practical knowledge Theory: The Value(s) of Education

Humanities, Education, and Culture co-operated with the research group on Theory of Practical Knowledge on a long-term collaborative project, resulting in a workshop entitled The Value (s) of Education. The theory of practical knowledge research group continues with this work.

Digital humanities (DH)

The group worked with digital humanities from a culture and education perspective in the period 2015-2017. The use of digital tools has changed both the content and practice of teaching and lecturing of humanistic subjects, and in the space between the meeting of humanistic subjects and digital tools new research questions and fields have crystallized. This space helps to strengthen the cultural disciplines' transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature. 
While the digital has had a clear impact on these traditional academic disciplines, these disciplines and their research progress methods and issues can also play a significant role in challenging and further developing our use of digital tools and digital media. This two-sided interaction is at the center of the group's work in DH.

 Research Group Leader