NAFOL profile: Julie Lysberg

Julie Lysberg. photoTeacher´s professional development as a collective phenomenon

I have a master degree in special education. Previously, I worked as a teacher educator at Nord University, a teacher in lower secondary school, in educational and psychological counseling service, and as a supervisor in seven municipalities in a national initiated strategy called «Lower Secondary Schools in Development. » Today, I am employed as a supervisor in the school section of Bodø Municipality, where I work with school development.

In all my jobs, I have been devoted to development work and the relation between praxis and theory, especially how to design proper learning processes, and how can individuals learn from each other through practical work? In recent years, I have worked extensively in planning and implementing professional learning communities, learning meetings, and learning networks. A central question of my project is “How can experience-based knowledge and research-based knowledge together contribute to learning in these learning communities”?

The project evaluations suggest that this way of working has given teachers and principals “increased competence and pride in the profession” and helped to become more confident as professional practitioners. It has made me curious, and I want to know what is going on in these learning communities, and why does it work?

The purpose of the project is to develop research-based knowledge about:

  1. teacher collaboration within the context of school-based professional development
  2. teachers’ reasoning about the collaboration
  3. teachers’ perceptions of what is essential for their professional development to support students’ learning processes.

This project, therefore, zooms in on meeting arenas established to strengthen teachers’ professional development, and then meetings where teachers collaborate within the context of school-based professional development. The results of the study will contribute with additional knowledge of teachers’ professional development.

Currently, I’m in California on a four-month research stay at UC Berkeley. I’m working on completing the first article, and here I get the opportunity to meet other researchers in school development and teacher collaboration.

I am pleased to be part of NAFOL. It gives me as a Ph.D. -student unique opportunities to experience being part of a large research environment. The fact that I gain insight into other projects, from a variety of fields, clearly has added value and helps me get a meta-glance on my project.