General information about the host and our research

The old main building at NTNU Gløshaugen. photo

General information about the host and our research

Trondheim

The city of Trondheim, which is located just below the Polar circle, has for decades been the hub for writing research in the Nordic countries. The city hosts the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - and a rich environment for research on writing and writing education, anchored both at The Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences and The Faculty of Humanities.

NTNU

NTNU is Trondheim’s largest provider of higher education. The university is organized in nine faculties and 70 departments and divisions. NTNU’s vision is Knowledge for a better world and one of the core objectives in NTNU's strategy is internationalisation. NTNU has some 42,000 students, a staff of approximately 7,400 faculty members and administratives (39 % female), and collaborates closely with the research foundation SINTEF, an R&D organization with 1,800 employees. The annual budget is NOK 9.4 billion (roughly 1.2 billion US$). NTNU hosts the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, four national centres of excellence and elite, and seven centres for research-based innovation, as well as a wide range of research schools. The Nobel Prize for 2014 in physiology or medicine was given NTNU Professors May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser. Department of Teacher Education, where most of the writing researchers is affiliated, has 4200 students and 400 employees, making it the largest teacher education in Norway.

Writing research

The university holds two centres for writing, The National Centre for Writing Education and Writing Research, focusing on K12, and Centre for Academic and Professional Communication, focusing on writing in higher education and professional life. Since the early 1990s, NTNU has formed a base for several multimillion dollar writing projects, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The latest includes Developing national standards for the assessment of writing. A tool for teaching and learning (The NORM project) and Functional Writing in Primary School (FUS).

IWR

Writing researchers representing these environments form the so-called Interdisciplinary Writing Research Group (IWR) that recently got high scores in an international evaluation of the humanities in Norway (HUMEVAL3).

IWR is here described as "an excellent research group", working in close cooperation with local teachers as well as internationally respected scholars. The group has conducted research with high impact on teaching and assessing writing in Norwegian schools as well as educational policies.

Members of the IWR group are central in the organizing committee, along with representatives for the Department for Teacher Education and the National Centre for Writing Education and Writing Research - supported by distinguished writing researchers from University of Southern Denmark and Uppsala University in Sweden. With a strong basis in Scandinavian writing research, the committee will thus be able to bring together researchers from all over the world to share experiences and open up new possibilities or writing research across borders.

The benefit for the local and regional writing research 

It is our believe that local and regional writing research groups would benefit from arranging WRAB but also already today be capable of it. The IWR as well as the greater community of Nordic writing researchers represents several writing research approaches or paradigms. In Norway there is currently a trend of sociocultural approaches to writing research resulting in strong ethnographical accounts of writing communities. There are also several projects set up as quasi experiments blending quantitative and qualitative methods. Finally, Norwegian writing researchers has for several years been in the forefront when it comes to writing assessment. 

In Denmark there is a strong tradition for theory development and ethnographic research. There are several research environments in Sweden taking both qualitative and quantitative approaches to writing. There are also quite a few milieus in Sweden researching writing from a cognitive perspective. Additionally, from the 1970s an onward, in Sweden and to some extent Norway there has been quantitative text linguistic research recognized around the world. In all, we do believe that the greater Nordic writing research community will have the capability to accommodate different writing research strands. However, we will include researchers from around the world in the peer review process.