An introduction

Elaine Munthe (Stavanger U College, Norway) elaine.munthe at SAF.HIS.NO
Fri Jun 29 09:28:22 UTC 2001

I have just been added to the CRITICS-L list, and the proper thing to do
is to introduce myself:

First of all, I feel a need to say that I have been added to the list even
though I have not worked or published in CDA yet.  I've only just started!
 So I don't know how much I'll be able to contribute to the discussions, I
might lay low for a while to come.

The field I will be studying is the discourse of 'social and emotional
development' or as it is commonly referred to: 'social and emotional
problems among children and adolescents'.  A colleague of mine (at the
faculty of teacher Education) and I started a new research project this
spring which involves both questionnaire surveys of all 3rd and 4th year
students at the Faculty of Teacher Education and a more in-depth and
longitudinal study of a group of 19 students who volunteered.  These 19
students have been /will be observed and videofilmed during their practice
session plus interviewed.  We will observe, videofilm and interview the
same group next year and the year after - follow along as they qualify as
teachers and start working.  In addition, a new group will be selected
spring 2002 from two colleges that will be followed up in the same way,
giving us a chance to make comparisons too.   Our total number of
students/teachers should then be about 40+.  We have funding from the
Norwegian Research Council for 3 years but believe it will be possible to
continue so that we plan to meet the same group of teachers after they
have taught for 5 years as well.

How do Norwegian teachers talk about and interact with students who are
struggling in school?  (There might also be a possibility to compare with
American teachers - will investigate this further!)  In which contexts?
And what about the discourse of social and emotional development in the
greater society?  What does this mean for the pupils?  One of the
'interesting' (when speaking in research terms...)  results from the
questionnaire survey we conducted this spring is that the students in this
pilot study report not having learned much about this field and they
spread out quite evenly over all of the response categories on questions
about their understanding of the stability or possibility of change
concerning children who show more aggressive or introvert behavior.  Will
we see any changes as the students in our group develop into qualified and
then experienced teachers?  Where will changes occur?

These are some of my initial questions - I'm very open for comments and
suggestions!!!  I am very aware that I have a long way to go before I have
an idea about how I can best analyze our material to investigate 'How do
Norwegian teachers talk about children who are struggling in school'...  I
am also wondering how to include the child perspective in this.  I see
that it might be possible to extend the project to include some of the
children in question since our student teachers will most likely have the
same class of children over several years once they start working as
teachers.  There are possibilities, and I truly believe it is necessary
and timely to focus more on this discourse in a critical way!

About me: My field is pedagogy - I started out as a teacher (have taught
most grade levels) and I am currently working on my PhD on 'teachers'
professional certainty'.  The project described above has become a natural
prolongation of my PhD work and will keep me busy both besides working on
my PhD and after I've completed it.  Otherwise; I'm 43, my closest family
is my husband and three children who are now 20, 16 and 12.  The city we
live in (Stavanger) is located in the south western part of Norway and is
known as 'the oil capital of Norway' - a lot of international business! It
has a population of about 100 000 and is the 4th largest city in Norway -
a nice place to visit, too!

Wishing you all a great summer - and looking forward to taking part on
this list!


Elaine Munthe
Center for Behavioral Research
Stavanger University College
POB 2557, Ullandhaug
N-4091 Stavanger

tel: 47-51832919      fax: 47-51832950
home page: http:/
e-mail: elaine.munthe at
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