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Policy implementation as a strategy to improve schools and early child care DSP158

Politicians as well as the public are engaged in development of the best of education and development in schools and child cares. The institutions are governed by politicians through laws, curriculums, framework plans and instructions. However, the changes wanted from the politicians, needs to be implemented by the heads and teachers in order to come through. Research has shown that the way from a political enactment to change in the classroom is a long and complicated road.

The purpose of this course is to focus on research based knowledge on implementation in educational settings, included organizational factors affecting the implementation process.


Conveners: Professor Sigrun Ertesvåg, professor Unni Vere Midthassel, dosent Pål Roland

Course description for study year 2020-2021. Please note that changes may occur.



Vekting (SP)


Semester undervisningsstart


Antall semestre




Tilbys av

Faculty of Arts and Education, Faculty of Arts and Education

Learning outcome

1. Knowledge: Participants develop

  • an in-depth understanding of implementation theory and strategies
  • knowledge on international research on implementation in educational settings
  • awareness of how organizational contexts influence the implementation process


2. Skills: By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • consider relevant contextual aspects that might promote or inhibit implementation in educational settings when planning a project
  • reflect on their role as researchers on implementation projects


3.Competencies: Participants will:

  • have a knowledge based understanding of the complexities connected with implementation in educational settings, and of implementation as organizational learning.
The course consists of four days combining lectures and seminars. The students will meet updated knowledge on implementation and implementation research. There will be seminars that include possibility to present and discuss own research on implementation.
Required prerequisite knowledge
Recommended prerequisites
Eksamen / vurdering

Coursework requirements:
• Participation in the four-day course.

• A 4000 word essay, based on a chosen theme relevant to the subject of this course. The chosen theme has to be approved from the faculty in charge of the course beforehand.

 Or. A paper presentation in the seminar part of the course. The abstract and the manuscript of the presentation (about 2000 words) has to be handed in. The chosen theme has to be approved from the faculty in charge before the course.

Course teacher(s)
Course coordinator: Sigrun Karin Ertesvåg
Course teacher: Unni Vere Midthassel
Course teacher: Pål Roland
Open for
Students enrolled on a doctoral programme. If available places other faculty can participate
Course assessment
A discussion with the students to learn their opinion with the purpose to improve the course.

Blase, K. A., Van Dyke, M., Fixsen, D. L., & Bailey, F. W. (2012). Implementation science: Key concepts, themes, and evidence for practitioners in educational psychology. In B. Kelly, & D. F. Perkins (Eds.), Handbook of implementation science for psychology in education (pp. 13-34). Cambridge: University Press.

Domitrovich, C.E., C.P. Bradshaw, J.M. Poduska, K. Hoagwood, J.A. Buckley, S. Olin og N.S. Ialongo (2008). Maximizing the Implementation Quality of Evidence-Based Preventive Interventions in Schools: A Conceptual Framework. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 1(3), 6–28.

Ertesvåg, S. K. (2015). Improving anti-bullying initiatives: The role of an expanded research agenda. Journal of Educational Change, 16(3), 349-370.

Espelage, D.Colbert, CL.C. (2015). School-based interventions to prevent bullying and promote prosocial behaviors. In K.R. Wentzel & G.B. Ramani (Eds.), Handbook of Social Influences in School Contexts (pp.405-422). Routledge.

Hargreaves, A., & Stone-Johnson, C. (2009). Evidence-imformed chage and the practice of teaching. In J. D. Bransford, N. J. Vye, D. J. Stipek, L. M. Gomez, & D. Lam (Eds.), The role of research in educational improvement (pp. 89-109). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Press.

Harris, A. , Chapman, C. , Muijs, D., Reynolds, D., Campbell , Creemers, B., L. Earl , L. Kyriakides , G. Munoz ,Stoll, L., Stringfield, S., Boudewijn van Velzen & Jose Weinstein (2013). Getting lost in translation? An analysis of the international engagement of practitioners and policy-makers with the educational effectiveness research base, School Leadership & Management: Formerly School Organisation, 33:1, 3-19, DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2012.723622

Honig, M. (2006a). Building policy from pracice: Implementation as organizational learning. In M. Honig (Ed.), New directions in education policy implementation. Confronting complexity. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Honig, M. (2006b). Complexity and policy implementation: Challenges and opportunities in the field. In M. Honig (Ed.), New Directions in educational policy implementation. Confronting complexity. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Humphrey, N., Lendrum, A., Ashworth, E., Frearson, K., Buck, R., & Kerr, K. (2016). Implementation and process evaluation (IPE) for interventions in education settings: A synthesis of the literature. Retrieved from Manchester: http://educationendowmentfoundtation.org.uk/public/files/Evaluation/Setting-up-an-Evaluation/IPE_Review_Final.pdf

Leithwood, K. (2018). Postscript: Five Insights About School Leaders’ Policy Enactment. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 17(3), 391-395.

Lightfoot, S., & Frost, D. (2018). The professional identity of early years educators in England. Implications for a transformative approach to continuing professional development. I J. Waters, J. Paylor & K. Jones (red.), The professional development of early years educators. New York: Routledge., 243-260.

Meyers, D. C., Katz, J., Chien, V., Wandersman, A., Scaccia, J. P., & Wright, A. (2012). Practical implementation science: developing and piloting the quality implementation tool. American journal of community psychology, 50(3-4), 481-496.

Meyers, D. C., Durlak, J. A., & Wandersman, A. (2012). The quality implementation framework: a synthesis of critical steps in the implementation process. American journal of community psychology, 50(3-4), 462-480.

Midthassel, U. V. (2017). University-school partnerships as arrangements in policy implementation. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 2(3), 134-145.

Muijs, D. (2011). Leadership and organisational performance: from research to prescription. International Journal of Educational Management, 25(1), 45-60.

Muijs, D., Kyriakides, L., van der Werf, G., Creemers, B., Timperley, H., & Earl, L. (2014). State of the art–teacher effectiveness and professional learning. School effectiveness and school improvement, 25(2), 231-256.

Schwartz, R. B., & Kardos, S. M. (2009). Research-based evidence and state policy. In J. D. Bransford, N. J. Vye, D. J. Stipek, L. M. Gomez, & D. Lam (Eds.), The role of resaerch in edudational improvement (pp. 47-66). Cambridge, MA: Hardvard Educational Press.

Smylie, M., & Evans, A. (2006). Social capital and the problem of implementation. In New directions in education policy implementation. Confronting complexity. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Solheim, K., Ertesvåg, S. K., & Berg, G. D. (2018). How teachers can improve their classroom interaction with students: New findings from teachers themselves. Journal of Educational Change, 1-28.

Spillane, J. P., Reiser, M., & Gomez, L. (2006). Policy implementation and cognition: The role of human, social, and distributed cognition in framing policy. In M. Honig (Ed.), New directions in education policy implementation. Confronting complexity (pp. 47-64). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Vermunt, J. D. (2014). Teacher learning and professional development. In S. Krolak-Schwerdt, S. Glock, M. Böhmer (Eds.), Teachers’ professional development (pp. 79–95). Rotterdam: SensePublishers.

Wubbels, T., Brekelmans, M., den Brok, P., Wijsman, L., Mainhard, T., & van Tartwijk,J. (2015). Teacher-student relationships and classroom management. In E. T. Emmer, &






Extra Literature:


Emmer, E. T., & Sabornie, E. J. (2015). Handbook of classroom management (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ertesvåg, S.K. (2012). Leiing av endringsarbeid i skulen. Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk.

Greenberg, M.T., Domitrovich, C.E., Graczyk, P.A., & Zins, J.E. (2005). The Study of implementation in school-based preventive interventions. Theory, research, and practice. Rockville, Maryland: Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Centre for Mental Health Services

Hall, G.E., & Hord, S.M. (2015). Implementing change. Patterns, principles and potholes (4. utgave). Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson.

Honig, M.I. (Eds) New directions in educational policy implementation. Confronting complexity. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press

Kelly, B. & Perkins, D. (Eds.), Implementation science for psychology in education. New York: Cambridge University press.

Roland, P. & Ertesvåg, S.K. (2018) Implementering av endringsarbeid i barnehagen. Gyldendal Akademisk.

Roland, P., & Westergård, E. (Eds.). (2015). Implementering: å omsette teorier, aktiviteter og strukturer i praksis. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Omdal, H. Creating teacher capacity in early childhood education and care institutions implementing an authoritative adult stile. Journal of educational change,’ .

Waters, J. Paylor & K. Jones (Eds.)The professional development of early years educators. New York: Routledge.