Social Justice and Diversity in Education

The research group Social Justice and Diversity in Education aims to facilitate interaction and promote research at Nord university. The group is multi- and interdisciplinary and formed around research focused on diversity, multilingualism, minority perspectives, societal sustainability, social justice in education, democracy and teacher education.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The research group is a part of the research division 
Speech therapy, Adapted education and Special needs education.

The research group Social Justice and Diversity in Education aims to facilitate interaction and promote research at Nord university. The group is multi- and interdisciplinary and formed around research focused on diversity, multilingualism, minority perspectives, societal sustainability, social justice in education, democracy and teacher education.  

The research in the group is ranging from early childhood education to adult and higher education studies. In our research we use a variety of research methods like interviews, ethnography, discourse analysis, different quantitative methods to video and photography. Our goal is to do socially relevant research, to have an impact on the development of the educational research and practices and to take positions in societal debates.  

The group has several ongoing research projects as well as collaboration with partner organisations outside the university setting. Main activities for the group is to organise seminars and to promote research at the faculty as well as to jointly apply for funding and to publish. The groups organises several research meetings, summits and seminars per year. We are glad to invite all PhD students and faculty to be a part of our research group. 



Online Research Café

May 26th, 2pm 

Welcome to our online research café at Nord university! The research café is organised by the research group 'Social justice and diversity in education' at the Faculty of education and arts. During the research café meetings you will have unique opportunities to meet and listen to researchers around the world working with groundbreaking projects and to get familiar with their gloabl work. You are more than welcome to join us and get inspiried by a variety of educational development projects and research! The presentation is around 30-45 minutes and after the presentation the audience can ask questions and discuss the topic. The presentation will be recorded and uploaded after the presentation on these pages. 

Time: May 26th, 2pm (Norwegian time). 

Place: 
Zoom

Speaker:
PhD Jonna Kangas from the University of Helsinki.

Presentation title:
'Explore. Dream. Discover. A voyage to development of early chilhdood education in the cultural context of Finland, Brazil and Morocco'.

Other information: Bio and presentation abstract can be downloaded here: 

Jonna-Kangas-abstract.pdf

Watch recording of the meeting: 

June 3rd, 10am

Welcome to our second online research café. 

The research café is organised by the research group 'Social justice and diversity in education' at the Faculty of education and arts. During the research café meetings you will have unique opportunities to meet and listen to researchers around the world working with groundbreaking projects and to get familiar with their gloabl work. You are more than welcome to join us and get inspiried by a variety of educational development projects and research! The presentation is around 30-45 minutes and after the presentation the audience can ask questions and discuss the topic. The presentation will be recorded and uploaded after the presentation on these pages. 

On June 3rd our guest is Ed.D. Christopher J. Garnier, former Dean of Ace International Business School in Kathmandu, Nepal and is currently transitioning to the Dean of Student Affairs at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a progress-driven educator, motivational leader and student advocate with a passion for empowering and supporting the most vulnerable and historically marginalised communities around the world. Prior to his work in education, Dr. Garnier rose to the rank of Captain in the US Marine Corps earning 6 Air Medals and numerous other awards as a combat helicopter pilot while serving twice in Iraq and once in Afghanistan for OEF. 

Time: June 3rd, 10.00 (Norwegian time). 
Place: Zoom

Speaker: Ed.D. Christopher Garnier, Ace International Business School, Kathmandu, Nepal

Presentation title: Serviude as Global Educational Leaders
Other information: Bio and presentation abstract can be downloaded here: 



Watch recording of the meeting:

September 24th, 4pm

Time: 24.9.2020. 4pm (Norwegian time)
Place: Zoom (Meeting ID: 696 2065 7535 Passcode: 876707)​
Speaker: Associate Professor João Marôco
Presentation title:How ILSA has shaped the Portuguese Education

During this Online Research Café meeting, our keynote speaker will be João Marôco, Associate Professor of Statistics and Research Methods at ISPA-Instituto Universitário and a consultant on assessment and statistics of education for the World Bank. From 2014 to 2018 he was a member of the Board of Directors of IAVE, I. P. (the Portuguese National Assessment Institute) and National Research Coordinator/National Program Manager for TIMSS, PIRLS, ICILS, and PISA. He has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, 4 books and a dozen book chapters in statistics, psychometrics, biology, and the health sciences. According to Google Scholar, as of February 2020, his academic works have been quoted more than 26 000 times (H=42, I10=172). His main research interests are reading literacy prediction, student engagement and burnout, structural equation modeling and psychometric scale development.

How ILSA has shaped the Portuguese Education

From the bottom of the league table for PISA 2000, Portugal has raised to the OCDE average being the only OECD member that showed, up to PISA 2018, consistent growth in both reading, mathematics, and science. In this talk, I give a brief description of the Portuguese Education system and how PISA outcomes are valid indicators of Portuguese 15-years old literacy and have shaped the Portuguese education policies. I identify the policies that probably explain the improvement in PISA, and pinpoint weakness of the Portuguese education system through the lenses of PISA.​

Watch recording of the meeting:

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September 28th, 4pm

Time:  28th of September, 4 pm. (Norwegian time)
Place: Zoom​  Meeting ID: 633 4436 5956, Passcode: 509015.
Speaker: Professor Tiina Itkonen
Presentation title: Disability Accommodations in Higher Education: 
A Framework for 
Exploring Resource Distribution

During this Online Research Café, our keynote speaker will be Professor Tiina Itkonen.Dr. Tiina Itkonen is a professor of education and political science. Her research examines special education policy and politics, and has been published in the American Journal of Education, Education Policy, Comparative Sociology, and International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, among others, and in several book chapters. Her empirical book titled “The Role of Special Education Interest Groups in National Policy” was published by Cambria Press. She frequently presents in national and international conferences, including in her native Finland.

She received her Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2004, with interdisciplinary studies in the education and political science departments. Her dissertation received the 2004-2006 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Politics of Education Association of the American Educational Research Association. She was an American Educational Research Association - Spencer Doctoral Fellow during her studies.

Prior to her position in higher education, Dr. Itkonen had over fifteen years of experience in public schools as a special education teacher, school district specialist, and State Department of Education project coordinator. She holds two teaching credentials, a behavior intervention case manager certificate, a mental health rehabilitation specialist certificate, and has served on numerous local and state-level task forces on a variety of reform initiatives. More information about Professor Itkonen can be found here.

Disability Accommodations in Higher Education: 
A Framework for 
Exploring Resource Distribution

Context. Universities are more diverse than ever (Davis 2011), including an increasing number of students with disabilities (Cole and Cawthon, 2015). The population of students with disabilities enrolling in higher education programs is not only growing in number, but is becoming increasingly diverse. Students with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are among largest growing portion of students with disabilities (National Center for Education Statistics, 2013); but also students with autism (Grogan 2015), US student veterans seeking disability services (Hitt et al. 2015), and students with comorbid mental health issues, including anxiety and depression (Condra et al. 2015). Students with disabilities take longer to complete their degree and are more likely to drop out (Atkins et al., 2015).

An earlier study used two large de-identified data sets from Institutional Research from the case study campus. Our results (Dean et al., 2019; Itkonen et al., 2018) showed that students on the autism spectrum were significantly more likely to be white, middle class, and have parents with some post-secondary education, compared to other disability groups. These results raise questions about higher education access for students of color who have disabilities, and general issues of equity.

Presentation purpose. The present study analyzes the organizational structures with which a university is meeting the needs of students with disabilities, using structure decisions as issues of distribution of existing resources. The presentation will outline an organizational framework applied in the study, the mixed methods research design, and preliminary results.

Watch recording of the meeting:
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October 30th, 9am

Time: 30.10.2020, 9am (Norwegian time)
Place: Zoom
Meeting ID: 691 0576 6097 
Passcode: 980455 ​
Speaker: Professor Susanne Garvis
Presentation title:Exploring access inequalities in preschools – Critical reflections on what we know and what we need to know


On this Online Research Café, our keynote speaker will be Professor Susanne Garvis. Susanne Garvis is a professor of early childhood education and Chair of the Department of Education at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. Prior to this she was a professor of child and youth studies at Gothenburg University and a guest professor at Stockholm University. Her research is renowned within the field of early childhood education around policy, quality and learning. She is currently working a number of meta-analyses with the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale.

Exploring access inequalities in preschools – Critical reflections on what we know and what we need to know. 

"The potential of preschool to address inequality has motivated many governments, including Sweden to invest in preschool services with a focus on quality, access and affordability. However, not all children attend preschool, especially those from a foreign background. Children who stay at home are usually in immigrant communities where the foreign born mother may have low levels of education and may never access preschool. Recent research has also shown however that educated parents are also choosing to keep children at home, based on current research around interactions and child wellbeing.

Other research also shows that there is unequal access to quality preschools. Van Lancker (2017) points out that preschool use and preschool inequality are inversely related- where if there is a shortage of places, higher income families benefit the most as they are able to navigate the system to obtain a place where needed, in a desirable location and understand the importance of early education. Higher income families are also able to access higher quality preschools, with children from lower income families having to choose lower quality preschools or no preschool at all. 

In this presentation I will discuss and critically reflect on current research around preschool access, quality and affordability, especially around notions of universal access and participation."

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November 24th, 2pm

Time: 24.11.2020 2​ pm. Norwegian time. 
Place: Zoom
Passcode: 730571​
Speaker: P​rofessor Ylva Odenbring
Presentation title: “Fucking slut!”: minority girls’ perceptions of sexual harassment in lower secondary school
 
During this Online Research Café meeting, our keynote speaker will be Ylva Odenbring. She is associate professor of education at the Department of Education, Communication and Learning at University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research is renowned within the field of sociology of education around social justice, student welfare and student victimisation. She is currently the convener of NERA’s Gender and Education network and the research leader of the research project Youth, vulnerability and school. Students’ perspectives on violence, harassment and violations, funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare.

​Presentation abstract
Studies worldwide have shown that female students generally report greater exposure to sexual harassment and experience more frequent acts of sexual harassment than male students do. Sexual harassment in school is manifested in various ways. A distinction is often made between physical  and verbal harassment. 

The main focus of harassment research has often been on acts of physical harassment, whereas verbal/psychological harassment has been regarded as more difficult to approach and define. Micro-aggressions often become a part of everyday school life, and they coalesce to become norms in the young person’ s life. There is also a risk that ongoing, chronic acts of sexual harassment will become normalized, and thereby made invisible. In this way, sexual harassment becomes normal and thus unquestioned. This presentation draws from results from one of my recent research projects and more specifically how teenage girls with minority backgrounds at an urban multicultural lower secondary school experience different forms of sexual harassment in the everyday life of school and their strategies for handling their own and other students’ exposure to different forms of sexual harassment. 

In this presentation I will discuss and critically reflect on sexual harassment among students in school, gender equality and student welfare.​

November 25th, 5pm 

Open online webinar at Nord university: "How to Support Language Learners of South-Sámi? "
 
Welcome to join our free online research webinar organized by Nord university’s research group Social Justice and Diversity in Education. During this webinar you will have a possibility to listen to the latest results of the project ‘How to support Language Learners in South-Sámi language?’ funded by Regionale forskningsfond. The webinar will be recorded and freely available for future usage. 
 
Date: 25.11.2020 
Time: 17:00 - 19:00 (Norwegian time) 
Place: Zoom
Passcode: 288553 
 
17:00:
Professor Heidi Harju-Luukkainen 
Opening words 
 
17:10-17:25: 
Principal Hans Linderg 
But how do we go about doing it? Revitalisation and reclamation or regeneration of Åarjel-saemien, an Indigenous and minoritised language 
 
17:25-17:50:
Associate Professor Asbjørn Kolberg 
The Saami language situation and Nord University’s role in the revitalization of Lule Saami and South Saami 
 
17:50-18:10:
Associate professor Karianne Berg, Professor Heidi Harju-Luukkainen & Associate Professor Asbjørn Kolberg 
Highlighting Collaboration with Parents. A case study in an indigenous early chilhdood education setting in Norway 
 
18:10-18:40:
Professor Heidi Harju-Luukkainen, Associate Professor Karianne Berg & Associate Professor Asbjørn Kolberg 
“I sámifize it...” Preschool in the Centre of South Sámi Language and Culture Learning in Norway 
 
18:40-18:50: 
Ellen-Marit Oskal Gaup 
“Statped and SEAD (Sami special educational support)” 
 
18:50: 
Discussion 



Research collaboration

Associated members

The group takes part in research collaboration both in national and international settings. Our research group consists of 14 faculty members as well as of six honorary associate members from other institutions. They are  

  • Professor Susanne Garvis (university of Gothenburg),  
  • Professor Arniika Kuusisto (University of Stockholm),  
  • Associate Professor Alicja R. Sadownik (BARNEkunne center, Høgskolen på Vestlandet),  
  • Professor Joao Maroco (ISPA - Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da Vida), 
  • Director, Professor Eva Baker (University of California, Los Angeles) and 
  • Director, Professor Nele McElvany (Dortmund Technical University).  

The research group collaborates actively with UArctic Thematic Network Teacher Education For Social Justice and Diversity as well as organises joint program.

UArctic Thematic Network

The research group collaborates actively with UArctic Thematic Network Teacher Education For Social Justice and Diversity as well as organises joint program.



Research projects

How to Support Language Learners in South-Sámi language?

A Study of Teachers’ Competence in Instructional Strategies (2019-2020) 

The project is led by Professor Heidi Harju-Luukkainen and Co-led by Associate professor Karianne Berg and Associate Professor Asbjørn Kollberg.

The aim of this project is to identify how teachers are able to 1) recognize important instructional strategies as well as 2) use them in everyday communicational and pedagogical contexts with the language learners of South-Sámi. This will be studied in a school in Snåsa municipality providing education with South-Sámi, with the help of structured interviews and video-based observation methods. 

The Project is funded by Regionale Forsknings
fond. 

Feature Analysis Approaches in International Assessments. 
International Research Network (IRN) (2019-2020) 
The Network is led by Professor Eva Baker (UCLA) and Kilchan Choi (UCLA). 

As partner Nord University, Heidi Harju-Luukkainen. 
Member countries are Korea, China, Chile, Mexico, Finland, Norway, Germany and USA. 
The project is funded by WERA (World Education Research Association)

Feature Analysis Approaches in International Assessments​

International Research Network (IRN) (2019-2020) 
The Network is led by Professor Eva Baker (UCLA) and Kilchan Choi (UCLA). 

Heidi Harju-Luukkainen, Nord University,  is a member in the research network
Member countries are Korea, China, Chile, Mexico, Finland, Norway, Germany and USA. 

The project is funded by WERA (World Education Research Association

This International Research Network (IRN) will report the use of common qualitative measures on country-specific, large-scale tests in mathematics and language arts and PISA exams. Participants from the United States, Mexico, Panama, Chile, Germany, Finland, China, and South Korea will apply a feature analysis tool to at least one of their country’s accountability tests and PISA exams. 

Using feature analysis, qualitative ratings of content distribution, cognitive demands, and task elements (e.g., representation) will be systematically obtained. In subsequent quantitative analysis, the impact of such features on available quantitative indicators such as item difficulty is provided, moderated by phase of assessment development. The proximal intention of these metrics is to inform teachers about instructionally relevant inferences and to influence assessment design. An additional goal is to compare features and indicators across countries for similar, mediating patterns.

 A case study of children’s language development and participation in a multilingual environment

Project leader: Hege Myhre. 

The research project is about language development, democracy and citizenship and experienced participation of minority language students and parents at a school (grades 1-10), and how the school's management and teachers at the school can contribute to better language development and participation of both students and their parents. 

The project has several sub-projects, including concept development in science, beginner reading and writing training, collaborative learning and school-home collaboration. The school is a university school, and the research and development projects at the school are part of the focus on university schools at Nord University. 

Inequalities in Access to Preschool in Sweden

Project Leader: Professor Susanne Garvis (Univesity of Stockholm) 
Partner Professor: Heidi Harju-Luukkainen (Nord university) 

Early childhood education is considered a great "equaliser" to prevent the intergenerational transmission of poverty and exclusion (Morabito et al. 2013). The potential of preschool to address inequality has motivated many governments, including Sweden to invest in preschool services. This is in part because accessible childcare allows parents to work, improving their overall economic situation and leading to better living conditions. 

This pilot study will investigate the barriers of immigrant families to preschool access in Sweden. Thirty families will be interviewed in three kommuns who do not currently send their children to preschool. 

Results will be compared with access barriers in other countries and provide working hypotheses that will be explored in a larger study across Sweden. By reducing inequality to access of preschools, better social outcomes can be acheived for the overall families (such as increased wealth, better integration) and children (increased school readiness and a better understanding of the Swedish language), regardless of their socioeconomic status. 

Funded by Forte (Sweden).

Transformative Teacher Education (TTE) for the Sustaibale North (2019-2020)

​Professor Heidi Harju-Luukkainen is a partner in the project. 

The funded project will contribute to a better understanding of the contextual and cultural issues in education via engagement with local communities through institutional and research collaboration. As the year 2019 is being celebrated as a UN International Year of Indigenous Languages, the project will concentrate its activities to the theme of indigenous languages and education. 

The project organised a summit in Levanger in January 2020.

University school project – School Improvement

Project leader: Associate professor Katharina Jacobsson, Nord University.

Participants in the project: Senior lecture Arve Thorshaug, doctoral student Ingrid Elden, doctoral student Elise Arnsby and associate professor Katharina Jacobsson. 

A process study which focuses on collaboration between teacher education and school participants -  also with a dual mission; to develop the teacher education and the students students' mastery of their education. The study will specifically study professionally-oriented guidance and supervisor education and examine the extent to which guidance practice can contribute to the student's experience. The theory part will consist of theories of guidance and professional education and theories of change and innovation in organisations. The project has two doctoral students attached to the research. The  University schools are Nesheim and Ytterøy skole. 

Distance Teaching and Learning in the Arctic Communities (DistARCTIC)​

UArctic Thematic Network on Teacher Education for Social Justice and Diversity is focusing on three themes formed collaboratively within the Network: indigenous education, inclusive education and rural education. The project DistARCTIC aims to open new horizons on rural education, especially what kind of pedagogical practices could be used in online/distance teaching and learning to secure equal educational possibilities and high-quality education for all, regardless of their location. In the current situation of COVID-19 virus, developing online/distance teaching and learning practices has become essential. Pandemic has highlighted the importance of quality online pedagogical models. It has become evident, that not all teachers have knowledge and skills to use online possibilities in their everyday work. 
 
Project partner is Professor Heidi Harju-Luukkainen
 
Other partner institutions are University of the Faroe Islands, University of Lapland, Leeds Beckett University, Luleå University of Technology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Murmansk Arctic State University, Nord University, Northern Arctic Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Sámi University of Applied Sciences, The Arctic University of Norway, University of Aberdeen, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Iceland, University of Oulu and University of Prince Edward Island.



PhD Projects

Parent engagement in the Swedish preschool 

Research fellow: Tina Yngvesson

Main supervisor: Professor Susanne Garvis (Göteborg University, Stockholm University
Co-supervisor: Professor Heidi Harju-Luukkainen (Nord University, Göteborg University). 


Children in Sweden are usually introduced to preschool between fifteen to eighteen months of age and commonly attend more than forty hours a week. The assumption is that children (with exceptions) will attend preschool during parents working hours, making the fostering of children a shared task between the state and the individual family. Promoting child agency, the curriculum states that "the preschool should reflect the values and rights expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)" (Lpfö 18, p. 5). Thus, the preschool assumes a holistic approach to the child with the ambition to enter into close partnership with the home in order to promote the healthy development of children. In reality however, how this is to be achieved is a matter of interpretation of the curriculum on both the home- and the preschool's behalf.

This study examines the construct of children's, parents and preschool teachers understanding of parent engagement in the Swedish preschool by investigating the phenomenon of parent engagement through the child's proximal processes (PPCT) and against the CRC. The overarching aim of the study is to surface the children's voices and the central research questions to be answered in this s

tudy are:

?

How does this interconnection affect the child's meaning-making in preschool and overall understanding of parent engagement?

How does this understanding align with the preschool's holistic approach to the child as well as the Convention of the Rights of The Child?

By assuming a narrative approach from three perspectives (child, parent and teacher), this study explores the interconnectedness and tri-directional understanding and execution of parent engagement in early childhood education and care (ECEC) in an effort to promote the children's voices and identify discrepancies between adults and children's lived teachers lived experience.


Publications:

Parent engagement in Swedish preschool: what do the children say?
tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03004430.2019.1673385

Parental Involvement in ECEC in Finland and in Sweden.
link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-16866-7_5

Towards a test driven early childhood education: Alternative practices to testing children.
link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-18925-9_4

Parent engagement in Swedish preschool: A narrative inquiry through the conceptual lens of proximal processes (Master thesis)
hdl.handle.net/2077/62908






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