The strengths of Norway’s initial teacher preparation system lie in the high level of stakeholder input into policies, ITE accreditation system based on continuous improvement with strong consequences, and strong subject knowledge training with frameworks and standards for ITE content. The great challenge and opportunity for Norway is to build capacity in order to ensure the success of new initiatives, such as an integrated 5-year Master’s programme, a mathematics exam for all teacher candidates, strengthening the teacher education pathway across ITE, induction and CPD, and building on existing partnerships between schools, universities and municipalities.

Who's who in ITP in Norway?

From 24 to 28 April 2017, the OECD Review team spoke to more than 100 different stakeholders in national government and government agencies, school boards, teacher education institutions, schools, associations and teacher unions in Oslo, Hamar and Trondheim

Meet the stakeholders
National ministry of education

National ministry of education

Ministry of Education and Research

The Ministry is responsible for kindergartens and primary, secondary, vocational education and training, and higher education, in addition to cultural schools and research.

The Research Council of Norway

The Research Council’s role is to promote an integrated R&D system that supplies high-quality research; develop knowledge for dealing with key challenges to society and the business sector; foster dynamic interaction within the R&D system nationally and internationally; and create a framework for learning, application and innovation. Research funding may be awarded to all qualified Norwegian research environments, companies and public entities.

The Norwegian Directorate of Education and Training

The Directorate is an executive agency of the Ministry of Education and Research, with national responsibility for supervising quality and governance of pre-primary, primary and secondary education and training. It ensures the implementation of acts and regulations and assists the different levels of the education system in implementation of national education policy.

The Knowledge Centre for Education (KCE)

Part of the Research Council of Norway, the KCE was established in May 2013 to identify, collect and summarise educational research. It is in the process of summarising research on various aspects of teachers education. The KCE has established a strategic alliance with ProTed, a Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education.

The National Council for Teacher Education (NRLU)

The NRLU is responsible for revising and developing national guidelines for teacher education programmes in Norway.

NOKUT (Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education)

NOKUT is the regulatory authority for all Norwegian universities, special field universities and university colleges. It conducts quality assurance procedures to recognize the institutions’ internal quality assurance systems and carries out checks to see if their educational provision meets national quality standards.

The Directorate is an executive agency of the Ministry of Education and Research, with national responsibility for supervising quality and governance of pre-primary, primary and secondary education and training. It ensures the implementation of acts and regulations and assists the different levels of the education system in implementation of national education policy.

Part of the Research Council of Norway, the KCE was established in May 2013 to identify, collect and summarise educational research. It is in the process of summarising research on various aspects of teachers education. The KCE has established a strategic alliance with ProTed, a Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education.

The NRLU is responsible for revising and developing national guidelines for teacher education programmes in Norway.

NOKUT is the regulatory authority for all Norwegian universities, special field universities and university colleges. It conducts quality assurance procedures to recognize the institutions’ internal quality assurance systems and carries out checks to see if their educational provision meets national quality standards.

Sub-national authorities

Sub-national authorities

Municipalities

The 426 Municipalities in Norway are responsible for arranging their own educational activities, organising and operating school services, allocating resources, and ensuring quality improvement and development of their schools. Municipalities are also responsible for recruiting and hiring teachers in primary and lower secondary education (counties are responsible in upper secondary) although this can be delegated to the school level.

 

The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS)

The KS advises and informs its members – all of the 426 municipalities and 19 counties in Norway, in addition to 500 public enterprises – about all matters and developments of importance to local government. The KS advocates the interests of its members towards central government, the Parliament, labour organisations and other organisations, and conducts the central collective bargaining on behalf of its members (healthcare, education, etc.).

Oslo municipality

The Oslo municipality, which is also a county, is responsible for kindergartens, schools, afterschool activities, vocational education and training, adult education and school construction in the city of Oslo.

Area:454 km2

Population 670 000 (2017)

Students (primary and lower secondary): 65 906 (2016-17)

Schools (primary and lower secondary): 160 (2016-17)

Teachers: 5 297 FTE  (2016-17)

Education Authority of the City of Oslo

The Education Authority is responsible for running, developing, supervising and guiding educational activities in Oslo according to laws, guidelines and regulations set by national and municipal authorities.

Trondheim municipality

The Trondheim municipality, located on the Trondheim Fjord in central Norway, is responsible for kindergartens, schools, afterschool activities, vocational education and training, adult education and school construction in Trondheim.

Area: 341 km2

Population 190 000 (2017)

Students (primary and lower secondary): 21 128 (2016-17)

Schools (primary and lower secondary): 62 (2016-17)

Teachers: 1 820 FTE (2016-17)

The Oslo municipality, which is also a county, is responsible for kindergartens, schools, afterschool activities, vocational education and training, adult education and school construction in the city of Oslo.

Area:454 km2

Population 670 000 (2017)

Students (primary and lower secondary): 65 906 (2016-17)

Schools (primary and lower secondary): 160 (2016-17)

Teachers: 5 297 FTE  (2016-17)

The Education Authority is responsible for running, developing, supervising and guiding educational activities in Oslo according to laws, guidelines and regulations set by national and municipal authorities.

The Trondheim municipality, located on the Trondheim Fjord in central Norway, is responsible for kindergartens, schools, afterschool activities, vocational education and training, adult education and school construction in Trondheim.

Area: 341 km2

Population 190 000 (2017)

Students (primary and lower secondary): 21 128 (2016-17)

Schools (primary and lower secondary): 62 (2016-17)

Teachers: 1 820 FTE (2016-17)

Teacher education institutions

Teacher education institutions

Teacher educators

In Norway, there are two paths for recruitment of teacher educators: employing teachers, most frequently as part-time teacher educators, or selecting PhD scholars or candidates who hold a PhD in an academic subject or ITP related field. Both have advantages: to provide a valuable link between ITP institutions and school practices, and to establish robust research-based ITP. However there is no formal training of teacher educators.

 

Teacher candidates

In Norway, there were almost 4 500 teacher candidates enrolled into ITE in 2015, mostly women in their early twenties. The emphasis of the training is put on subject knowledge.

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Hamar Campus

Criteria for selection: The Faculty of Education and Natural Sciences is located on the Hamar Campus, which is one of 6 INN campuses recently merged with a university college. The Faculty of Education has a new Master’s programme with 9 specialisations and a Center for Practice in Education Research

Number of programmes: 80

No. of enrolments: 2 600 students on this campus, of which 1300 are studying initial teacher education for all levels of teaching (from kindergarten through upper secondary).

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim

Criteria for selection: Following a merger in 2016, NTNU is the largest university in Norway. It is a public research university with campuses in 3 cities. The Department of Teacher Education is located in Trondheim

Number of ITE programmes: 39

No. of ITE enrolments: 1700 students are enrolled in initial teacher education from primary through upper secondary.

Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Criteria for selection:  Situated in the capital, Oslo, this institution used to be the largest producer of teacher candidates for primary and lower secondary school. The University College has a multicultural profile, and three centres with different specialities. The Faculty of Education and International Studies supplies the capital and Norway with all kinds of teacher candidates with many different specialisations.

Number of programmes: 134

No. of enrolments: 7 000 in this faculty, of which 3 800 are studying initial teacher education for all levels of teaching (from kindergarten through upper secondary)

Criteria for selection: The Faculty of Education and Natural Sciences is located on the Hamar Campus, which is one of 6 INN campuses recently merged with a university college. The Faculty of Education has a new Master’s programme with 9 specialisations and a Center for Practice in Education Research

Number of programmes: 80

No. of enrolments: 2 600 students on this campus, of which 1300 are studying initial teacher education for all levels of teaching (from kindergarten through upper secondary).

Criteria for selection: Following a merger in 2016, NTNU is the largest university in Norway. It is a public research university with campuses in 3 cities. The Department of Teacher Education is located in Trondheim

Number of ITE programmes: 39

No. of ITE enrolments: 1700 students are enrolled in initial teacher education from primary through upper secondary.

Criteria for selection:  Situated in the capital, Oslo, this institution used to be the largest producer of teacher candidates for primary and lower secondary school. The University College has a multicultural profile, and three centres with different specialities. The Faculty of Education and International Studies supplies the capital and Norway with all kinds of teacher candidates with many different specialisations.

Number of programmes: 134

No. of enrolments: 7 000 in this faculty, of which 3 800 are studying initial teacher education for all levels of teaching (from kindergarten through upper secondary)

Teacher educators
Teacher candidates
Schools

Schools

Schools

In Norway, there are 2 867 schools (primary and lower secondary) mostly run by the municipalities. Since the 2010 reform, schools have played an important role in teachers training by developing deeper relationships with teacher education institutions. There are “ordinary” practice schools, that is schools co-operating with teacher education institutions. Some institutions also have so-called “university schools”, which are partnerships between universities and schools that demonstrate excellence in a number of ways (e.g. projects, competence, innovative approaches, social relations etc.). These partnerships also provide a common ground for academia and schools to enter into joint research projects. From 2017, every teacher education institution will eventually have a few “university schools”  in addition to practice schools.

School management

In Norway, school leaders are typically former experienced teachers who apply for the position through open competitions. The school owners are responsible for advertising school leadership positions, as well as appointing, developing and dismissing school leaders. In recent years, there has been an increasing concern about shortages of qualified candidates for school leader positions. School leadership is currently under development by the government in particular to develop pedagogical leadership for newly appointed principals.

Experienced teachers

In Norway, career paths for experienced teachers are limited.

2nd career teachers

In Norway at present, there are no incentives to attract this group into teacher education.

Mentor teachers

In Norway, school-based mentors receive formal training, though school-based mentors are generally not used to support beginning teachers.

New teachers

In Norway, there is no teacher certification or registration for new teachers. After completing their studies, teachers can apply for teaching positions anywhere in Norway. New teachers are hired by schools or municipalities directly. Induction is not mandatory but is made available (around 50 hours) by schools or municipalities, who have developed their own mentoring programme.

Lovisenberg Primary school, Ridabu

Criteria for selection: Rural setting, mixed socio-economic background.

Location: Hamar municipality

Enrolments: 106 (Grades 1-7) (2016-17)

Teaching staff: 10 (FTE) (2016-17)

Høyeggen primary school, Melhus

Criteria for selection: Rural setting, mixed socio-economic background, innovative approaches

Location: Hamar municipality

Enrolments: 323 (Grades 1-7) (2016-17)

Teaching staff: 29 FTE (2016-17)

Hallagerbakken Primary School, Oslo

Criteria for selection: Urban setting, mixed socio-economic background, innovative approaches

Location: Oslo municipality

Enrolments: 367 (Grades 1-7) (2016-17)

Teaching staff: 33 (2016-17)

Marienlyst primary and lower secondary school, Oslo

Criteria for selection: Urban setting, mixed socio-economic background

Location: Oslo municipality

Enrolments: 880 (Grades 1-10) (2016-17)

Teaching staff: 74 FTE (2016-17)

Criteria for selection: Rural setting, mixed socio-economic background.

Location: Hamar municipality

Enrolments: 106 (Grades 1-7) (2016-17)

Teaching staff: 10 (FTE) (2016-17)

Criteria for selection: Rural setting, mixed socio-economic background, innovative approaches

Location: Hamar municipality

Enrolments: 323 (Grades 1-7) (2016-17)

Teaching staff: 29 FTE (2016-17)

Criteria for selection: Urban setting, mixed socio-economic background, innovative approaches

Location: Oslo municipality

Enrolments: 367 (Grades 1-7) (2016-17)

Teaching staff: 33 (2016-17)

Criteria for selection: Urban setting, mixed socio-economic background

Location: Oslo municipality

Enrolments: 880 (Grades 1-10) (2016-17)

Teaching staff: 74 FTE (2016-17)

School management
Teachers
Experienced teachers
2nd career teachers
Mentor teachers
New teachers
National associations

National associations

In Norway, there are many unions and associations representing the education community: parents, teachers, new teachers, student teachers, school leaders and others.

Teacher education

The National Association for Teacher Education (NATE) is one of 5 councils of the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR). NATE’s main objective is to co-ordinate and strengthen Norwegian teacher education and research on teacher education. Its 40 members represent all HEIs that provide teacher education, as well as student representatives, external representatives and observers.

 

Student teachers

The Association for Student Teachers (ES) (part of Union of Education Norway)  is a politically independent trade union within the Union of Education Norway working to promote the legal rights and interests of the 17 500 student teachers in its membership.  Its members include everyone who is studying to become a teacher or a pedagogue, working within the educational system.

Graduate teachers

Norwegian Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGT) is a 5 230-member professional organisation for graduate teachers and other graduate academics. Its members all have Master’s degrees. Its primary mission is to improve graduate teachers’ working- and salary conditions, improve the quality of teaching at all levels in  Norwegian education, and maintain and encourage the need for high teaching qualifications. NAGT is a member of The Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations (Akademikerne).

Parents

National Parents’ Committee for Primary and Secondary Education (FUG) was established in 1976 and is legally founded on Section 11-9 of the Norwegian Education Act. The current FUG was appointed on 18th December 2015 for the period 2016–2019. It is a national committee for parents who have children in primary and/or secondary education.

FUG’s role involves:

  • Home – school partnership
  • Safeguarding the interests of parents in connection with school
  • Distributing information on how the home-school partnership works
  • Distributing information on how parents can support their children
  • Setting the agenda and supporting parents as regards key issues such as indoor climate, bullying, parent meetings, schoolwork, etc.
School Leaders

Norwegian Association for School Leaders is a trade union and a professional association for school leaders – principals as well as assistant and deputy heads – and administrators from all areas of education. It is the only organisation organising only pedagogical leaders. The Association is a member of The Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS), a politically independent umbrella organisation for employees. The Association of School Leaders was founded in 1977 and has more than 3 500 members. They focus on the following issues:

  • Wages and conditions for school leaders better than that of their personnel
  • A national standard for school leadership competence
  • Continual development of competence through education paid by the employer
  • Giving school leaders the right to teach, but not the obligation to do so
  • Conditions for school leaders to have sufficient time and resources to exercise good leadership
  • Organising the teachers’ working year flexibly in accordance with the need of the pupils
  • Giving school leaders autonomy and authority to organise the total resources of their school in continual discussion with the representatives of the school’s personnel.

The National Association for Teacher Education (NATE) is one of 5 councils of the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR). NATE’s main objective is to co-ordinate and strengthen Norwegian teacher education and research on teacher education. Its 40 members represent all HEIs that provide teacher education, as well as student representatives, external representatives and observers.

 

The Association for Student Teachers (ES) (part of Union of Education Norway)  is a politically independent trade union within the Union of Education Norway working to promote the legal rights and interests of the 17 500 student teachers in its membership.  Its members include everyone who is studying to become a teacher or a pedagogue, working within the educational system.

Norwegian Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGT) is a 5 230-member professional organisation for graduate teachers and other graduate academics. Its members all have Master’s degrees. Its primary mission is to improve graduate teachers’ working- and salary conditions, improve the quality of teaching at all levels in  Norwegian education, and maintain and encourage the need for high teaching qualifications. NAGT is a member of The Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations (Akademikerne).

National Parents’ Committee for Primary and Secondary Education (FUG) was established in 1976 and is legally founded on Section 11-9 of the Norwegian Education Act. The current FUG was appointed on 18th December 2015 for the period 2016–2019. It is a national committee for parents who have children in primary and/or secondary education.

FUG’s role involves:

  • Home – school partnership
  • Safeguarding the interests of parents in connection with school
  • Distributing information on how the home-school partnership works
  • Distributing information on how parents can support their children
  • Setting the agenda and supporting parents as regards key issues such as indoor climate, bullying, parent meetings, schoolwork, etc.

Norwegian Association for School Leaders is a trade union and a professional association for school leaders – principals as well as assistant and deputy heads – and administrators from all areas of education. It is the only organisation organising only pedagogical leaders. The Association is a member of The Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS), a politically independent umbrella organisation for employees. The Association of School Leaders was founded in 1977 and has more than 3 500 members. They focus on the following issues:

  • Wages and conditions for school leaders better than that of their personnel
  • A national standard for school leadership competence
  • Continual development of competence through education paid by the employer
  • Giving school leaders the right to teach, but not the obligation to do so
  • Conditions for school leaders to have sufficient time and resources to exercise good leadership
  • Organising the teachers’ working year flexibly in accordance with the need of the pupils
  • Giving school leaders autonomy and authority to organise the total resources of their school in continual discussion with the representatives of the school’s personnel.
Teacher unions

Teacher unions

Union of Education Norway

Founded in 2002 and Norway’s largest trade union for teaching personnel, Union of Education Norway represents approximately 165 000 professionals with teaching and academic qualifications. Union of Education Norway is a politically independent organisation. It is not associated with any political party.  Particular areas of work are:

  • Work for salaries and working conditions that reflect the teaching professions role, responsibilities and competence and the need to attract good candidates to the profession.
  • Work for a good physical and psycho-social working environment for both pupils and members.
  • Work for the right and obligation for all members to enhance and update their competence through their working career.
National Union of Students

The National Union of Students in Norway (NSO) represents almost 200 000 students and more than 40 student democracies from universities and university colleges. The NSU believes in publicly financed higher education, which is free from any discrimination with equal access for all parts of society. The NSU work for better educational quality, student participation and student housing, among many issues.

Founded in 2002 and Norway’s largest trade union for teaching personnel, Union of Education Norway represents approximately 165 000 professionals with teaching and academic qualifications. Union of Education Norway is a politically independent organisation. It is not associated with any political party.  Particular areas of work are:

  • Work for salaries and working conditions that reflect the teaching professions role, responsibilities and competence and the need to attract good candidates to the profession.
  • Work for a good physical and psycho-social working environment for both pupils and members.
  • Work for the right and obligation for all members to enhance and update their competence through their working career.

The National Union of Students in Norway (NSO) represents almost 200 000 students and more than 40 student democracies from universities and university colleges. The NSU believes in publicly financed higher education, which is free from any discrimination with equal access for all parts of society. The NSU work for better educational quality, student participation and student housing, among many issues.

The study focused on which levels of education in Norway?

NORWAY’S FOCUS WAS ON PRIMARY AND LOWER SECONDARY EDUCATION

Who contributed to
the OECD ITP study in Norway?

A national co-ordinator was nominated by each participating country to manage the ITP study with the OECD and the 4-person OECD Review Team.

Meet the team
NATIONAL
CO-ORDINATORS
OECD
REVIEW TEAM
OBSERVERS
NATIONAL
CO-ORDINATORS
Toril Fiva
Senior Advisor, Ministry of
Education and Research, Norway
Brynhold Simonsen
Senior Advisor, Ministry of
Education and Research, Norway
OECD
REVIEW TEAM
Danielle Toon
Manager, Learning First,
Australia
Hannah von Ahlefeld
Project lead, OECD
Initial Teacher Preparation Study
Philippa Cordingley
Chief Executive, CUREE,
United Kingdom
Liesbeth Hens
Deputy Director, Department of
Education and Training, Flanders
OBSERVERS
Makito Yurita
Senior Researcher Fellow,
NITS, Japan
Kjetil Helgeland
Analyst, OECD Initial Teacher Preparation Study
Annelise Sprenger
Policy maker, Ministry of Education,
Culture and Science, Netherlands

OECD wishes to thank…

The team is grateful to the Ministry of Education and Research for organising such a great trip to Norway!