This week, the Center for Advanced Teaching and Learning is hosting two visiting teachers from Stavanger, Norway: Frode Josang and Knud Jen. Both educators work at the Lenden School and Resource Center, a public entity serving the 41 primary and secondary schools in Stavanger. Located on a peninsula on the southwest coast of Norway, Stavanger is the country’s third largest urban area.
The Lenden School, located in a scenic area by the sea, is an alternative school comprised of 20 secondary pupils who have emotional and behavioral problems, Josang said. He and Jen both teach there part time. The remainder of their time is devoted to working with the mainstream schools in the city. They teach professional development courses both in primary and secondary schools, mainly on topics such as class management, relations, adjusted learning, home to school issues, social climate, and behavioral problems. Together with other European colleagues, they have developed an educational intervention program that includes self-evaluation schemes for teachers on these topics.
Over the past two years, Jen said, “we have been developing materials around Learning Environments on the secondary level, which includes observation, interviews, and data based questionnaires to pupils. We have now presented the program at five secondary schools. The data based evaluation schemes both for teachers and pupils have been very successful.”
Josang and Jen said they learned about CASTL through colleagues at the University of Seville in Spain, then read some of CASTL’s published research. “We feel that we are working more or less in the same fields although at a smaller scale, and we thought it would be very interesting to visit, learn more about CASTL’s work, and maybe exchange ideas,” Josang said.
“We are excited to host these teachers as they bring a vast expertise in dealing with the challenges of working in international classrooms” says Manuela Jimenez, a CASTL graduate student who has been helping to organize the visit. Josang and Jen are both doing work that compliments the research happening at CASTL with an international perspective.
The pair will meet with CASTL faculty and staff this week, as well as with local school teachers who have participated in professional development through the MyTeachingPartner coaching program. They will present a lecture entitled “Classroom Learning Environment: How to Measure Quality and Research Findings” on Thursday, April, at 12 p.m. in Bavaro Hall.