Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences

Doctoral theses

In 2016, 49 candidates were awarded a doctoral degree by the Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management. Please see the following list with summaries of some of the most recent theses. Search in NTNU Open for more.

Elin Thoresen

Kindergarten teachers as mediators in sociodramatic play interaction
— A study of how kindergarten teachers function as mediators in sociodramatic play interaction with children aged four and five

Elin Thoresen

This study investigates how kindergarten teachers function as mediators when they attempt to interact in sociodramatic play frames with children aged 4–5. This study focuses on the adults—on the kindergarten teachers and their communicative and interactional skills within the sociodramatic play frame. The aim of the study is to look at what is and to discover and chart mediational signs, areas and levels that may enable kindergarten practitioners to gain a better, reflected, and nuanced understanding of the intricacies of play participation.

This study is hermeneutic in its approach, and it has become an ethnographic cultural portrait of mediational signs as creators of play actions and cultures. It is a qualitative study within the sociocultural paradigm. In the field, I use ethnographic methods such as observations, interviews, video recall, research diaries, video observations, and focus groups to generate data. The data-generating approach employed is ethnographic at its base. Later in the research process, after the initial analysis, I organise the empirical data as cases in which selected transcripts and video episodes are my focus. The epistemological frame for this study is sociocultural theory, represented in part by Lev Vygotsky and theories of social-semiotic mediation. In the analysis, I apply an approach inspired by grounded theory (GT) for the coding and generation of categories.

This study identifies mediational signs and acts within sociodramatic play frames and the interactions therein. The study reveals four principal areas of mediation: oral, corporeal, spatial, and connected mediation. The overriding core function levels of the kindergarten teachers’ mediation in sociodramatic play are categorised as the apprentice dramatist teacher level and the master dramatist teacher level. The relevance of this study is connected to the development of pedagogical and didactic practice among kindergarten teachers working with children in various pedagogical and cultural settings.

Hanne Seter

Climate variability and conflict

Hanne Seter

While there is an overall consensus on many aspects of the natural science of climate change, the understanding of the potential effects that climate change and climate variability have on human societies is limited. Among the most severe suggested social outcomes is the increased risk of social conflict. In recent years, there has been a vast increase in the number of quantitative studies published on the topic of climate variability and conflict. Despite remarkable advances in, for instance, the development of high-resolution datasets, there is still a lack of consensus in the research area.

This dissertation asks: Is there a relationship between climate variability and conflict, and if there is a relationship between these phenomena, how is it likely to materialize? The dissertation consists of four essays which, together with the introduction, focus on increasing the understanding of those conditions where we can expect climate variability to be related to conflict. This is an important question to answer for the research area of climate variability and conflict if we want to move beyond correlation analyses and understand how these two phenomena are potentially related. Answering this question is also a prerequisite for discussing how security levels are likely to be affected by climate change in the future.

The findings in this dissertation support the hypothesis that individuals and groups are likely to respond strategically to their environment, but this does not necessarily result in conflicts. Humans have the ability to act in a magnitude of ways when facing climate change and climate variability, and conflict represent only one of these possible outcomes.

Bodil L. Svendsen

Inquiries into Teacher Professional Development
– A longitudinal school-based intervention study of Teacher Professional Development (TPD) conducted in the frame of a Cultural Historical Activity Theory perspective (CHAT)

Bodil L. Svendsen

This thesis is based on testing and designing of a professional development “model” for science teachers at one middle school and two high schools. The Ph.D.-project is based on experience from both national (SUN) and international projects (SINUS), and builds on school based intervention research. The focus is directed towards the professional development of teachers’ practice by using Inquiry Based Science Teaching (IBST) methods in science, and the study gives an account of teachers’ professional development in the period of 2013-2015.

The longitudinal intervention study was divided into three sub-studies. The first study studied the effect the SUN program had on teachers’ professional development. The second study looked at the 5E model as a mediating artefact in teachers’ professional development. The third study investigated teachers’ collaboration when designing their professional development. The thesis is based on an activity theoretical approach, and uses qualitative methods which are the basis for the various analyses of the findings of the study. The conclusion is based on the findings of the project, and suggest that changes in teachers’ professional development is not structural or linear, but is built on the following principles:

  • Ownership of the development process and a bottom up development
  • Time spent in the developmental process
  • Collaborative learning through reflection
  • Development of collegial professional relationship

Mariann Doseth

Praktisk dømmekraft i vår tid og lærerens forståelse av sin praktiske kunnskap
- En analyse av Aristoteles' kunnskapsbegreper

Mariann Doseth

The thesis starts with discussions of education policy and evidence-based practice that appears to weigh heavily in today's school. Education policy adds strong guidance for the teacher's practical knowledge, and in this context there is a strong belief that knowledge about what works to control the teacher's practical knowledge. The key phrase is ‘what works’. In other words, what works is the only true perfection, and fronesis are of use only as a means toward the end. A central question is whether knowledge of what works can limit the opportunities the teacher has to be able to reflect on in relation to their own practical knowledge in situations the teacher is closely associated with. There is already a concrete political reality in which the teacher has to decide on the question what is the right thing to do through deliberation.

Fronesis still exists and this knowledge is understood/interpreted in new ways. Fronesis is a term that has gained renewed interest, and fronesis is a knowledge form that many have an idea about what is. There’s no lack of perspectives on what the practical judgment fronesis can be, and how fronesis can work in practice.

Per Marius Frost-Nielsen

Betingede forpliktelser
— Nasjonale reservasjoner i militære koalisjonsoperasjoner

Per Marius Frost-Nielsen

Why do states commit military forces to multinational coalitions and at the same time decide to set conditions – national reservations – for how the coalition can use the forces? There are several references to this phenomenon in the academic literature. However, so far there are few established definitions or theoretical explanations. Through case-oriented studies, this dissertation gives two overarching contributions to fill the knowledge gap on national reservations. First, the dissertation offers a definition for national reservations to distinguish the concept from other forms of ambiguous national support to military coalitions. Second, this dissertation demonstrates that national reservations can have three different functions in decision-making processes concerning a state’s participation in military coalition operations.

  • National reservations can balance a state’s security interests by reducing the cost and risk of obeying to international pressure to take part in coalition operations
  • National reservations can represent compromises necessary to reach domestic support for participation in military coalitions.
  • Independent of the outcome of the two above-mentioned concerns, political decision-makers might want to control that a national contingent does not operate outside the intentions behind the decision to make a national contribution to the coalition. In this regard national reservations can solve problems connected to national control and supervision.

See more theses: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:52:44 +0200