Video abstracts

In this selection of video abstracts, we provide a glimpse into exciting and important research topics about early childhood education, school, and learning, based on articles written by researchers at the Norwegian Centre for Learning Environment.

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Ingunn Størksen: The playful learning curriculum

In this study we examined the effects of a new playful learning curriculum.

Professor Ingunn Størksen. Photo: Jeanette Larsen.

Norwegian Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) is offered to all children aged 1 – 5 years. It is highly subsidized and contains a lot of free play and learning in natural settings. However, recent research has revealed a pattern of weak or absent educational interactions in Norwegian ECEC.

Theory related to playful learning tells us that children need free play to learn and develop. Importantly, they also need guided play where teachers engage them in the discovery of toys, games and activities that are intended to stimulate learning and development. The playful learning curriculum suggests games and activities to promote guided play.

In a previous study we found both immediate and one-year follow-up effects of this curriculum, but teachers were also given a lot of resources that may have driven – at least partly - the intervention effects. In the present study, teachers were only given the curriculum, a one-day introduction course, and an inspirational webpage.

Results showed significant intervention effects on both measures of early mathematics. However, no significant intervention effects were found on literacy and self-regulation. This indicates that simply adding a playful learning curriculum with focus on guided play within the Norwegian playful ECEC context may enhance learning in important areas before school start.

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Størksen, I., Rege, M., Solli, I. F., ten Braak, D., Lenes, R., & Geldhof, G. J. (2023). The playful learning curriculum: A randomized controlled trial. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 64, 36-46.  

Rege, M., Størksen, I., Solli, I. F., Kalil, A., McClelland, M. M., ten Braak, D., Lenes, R., Lunde, S., Breive, S., Carlsen, M., Erfjord, I., & Hundeland, P. S. (2021). The Effects of a Structured Curriculum on Preschool Effectiveness: A Field Experiment. Journal of Human Resources. 

Størksen, I., ten Braak, D., Breive, S., Lenes, R., Lunde, S., Carlsen, M., Erfjord, M., Hundeland, P. S., & Rege, M. (2018). Playful learning - a research based preschool curriculum from the Agder project. GAN Aschehoug.

Professor Ingunn Størksen on the effects of a new playful learning curriculum.
Upper secondary school

Sigrun Ertesvåg: Enhancing upper secondary students’ engagement and learning

This protocol outlines the mixed-methods cluster randomized controlled trial of the INTERACT teacher coaching intervention in upper secondary schools.

Sigrun Ertesvåg
Professor Sigrun K. Ertesvåg. Photo: Jeanette Larsen.

The study investigates how video-based online coaching can support teachers’ competencies in teacher-student interactions (TSIs) and thereby improve student engagement and learning. The intervention takes place over a school year with 98 teachers and a group of students they are teaching, in total 1342 students. The core element of the intervention is the seven coaching cycles. Each coaching cycle contains six steps starting with the teacher recording an ordinary lesson. Clips from the recording are viewed and commented on both by the teacher and the coach in preparation for their coaching dialog. At the end of each dialog a plan for further work and training until the next cycle starts. In addition to the coaching cycle, the professional development intervention contains seminars, workshops, a video library, and online resources. During the implementation and one-year follow-up, we will conduct an extensive implementation and process evaluation to understand the intervention’s effects on TSI and student engagement and learning outcomes. This protocol outlines the background, design, intervention, and primary and secondary outcome measures as well as moderators. 

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Ertesvåg, S.K., Vaaland, G.S. & Lerkkanen, M-K. (2022) Enhancing upper secondary students’ engagement and learning through the INTERACT online, video-based teacher coaching intervention: Protocol for a mixed-methods cluster randomized controlled trial and process evaluation. International Journal of Educational Research , 22, 102013.

Professor Sigrun Ertesvåg on teacher coaching in upper secondary school in the INTERACT project.