The role of fiction in the teaching of public health and life mastery in the Norwegian subject in high schools
I am a teacher of Norwegian, History and Religion. In 2016, I wrote my master thesis on how mental illness is presented in autobiographies, with a didactic perspective on how to use such stories in high school teaching. Around the same time, the Norwegian government announced that the topic public health and life mastery (PHLM) would be an overarching topic in high schools. My dissertation comprises three articles researching this topic. The first article is in Norwegian, «En affektiv vending i norskfagets litteraturundervisning. Et grunnlag for folkehelse og livsmestring» (2019) (“An affective change in teaching literature- A foundation for public health and life mastery”), discusses how the genre pathography can emphasise PHML if the perspective of ‘Bildung’ is expanded to also include salutogenesis and the affective turn. The second article: «Bridging Disciplines: On Teaching Empathy Through Fiction» (2019), illustrates narrative empathy through the Norwegian novel Begynnelser (Beginnings) (2017) by Carl Frode Tiller. The aim is to give a theoretical account of combined methods and insights from literary studies and narrative medicine in the teaching of PHML. The last article is an interview study examining Norwegian teachers’ experiences, attitudes and understanding of teaching public health and life mastery.
My project is supported by the research group Health, Art and Society (HAS) at UoT, and NAFOL. I am happy to be a part of the professional and social network that NAFOL creates for the PhD-students!