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NOU 2015: 8

The School of the Future — Renewal of subjects and competences

To table of content

1 Subject renewal and competence for the future

Figure 1.1 Illustration Chapter 1

Figure 1.1 Illustration Chapter 1

Primary and secondary education and training shall contribute to developing the knowledge and competences of pupils so they may become active participants in an increasingly knowledge-intensive society. School must also support pupils in their personal development. Today’s and tomorrow’s society has and will have new requirements when it comes to participating in a number of settings like work, organizations, home and leisure. Individuals and society also face local and global challenges relating to social, cultural, economic and technological development, and to how we can ensure sustainable development.

School as a communal arena is gaining greater importance than was previously the case. School is an important institution in society where pupils interact with each other, and with teachers and other resource persons to develop knowledge and competences that will enable them to participate and contribute productively in the various arenas of life. Values, norms and attitudes are undergoing continuous change. School must support but also influence the values and norms that are the foundation of society.

School must help to develop pupils’ potential as individuals. They must be able to share the key aspects of our cultural heritage. In today’s society, knowledge is changing its content and form – in scientific disciplines, in new emerging knowledge fields and in working life. If the potentials of pupils are to be realised, the subjects must be renewed and school must be developed. This is how new conditions for pupils’ learning can be created and how competences for the future may be developed.

The development of pupils in school is an important aspect of social development, and school actively interacts with the surrounding communities. Different arenas offer different learning opportunities that pupils may use for their own development and to become active citizens in society.

In this report the Committee provides knowledge on this issue and proposes choices we as a society should make when it comes to competences for the future and renewal of subjects. This will lay the foundation for creating good lives for Norwegian citizens and for creating a productive society that can contribute in a globalised world.

1.1 Summary

The subjects in school need to be renewed to satisfy future competence needs in working life and society. If school is to enable pupils to master life as private persons, citizens of society and members of working life, it must cooperate with parents to help pupils develop many different competences and a good understanding of what they are learning.

The goals for pupils’ learning must reflect the values underpinning school as expressed in its objects clause, society’s needs and research-based knowledge. The rationales for the Committee's recommendations are based on these considerations.

The Committee’s mandate was to assess and report on what pupils will need to learn in school in a perspective of 20 to 30 years. The main questions asked in the report are the following:

  • Which competences will be important for pupils in school, in further education and working life, and as responsible members of society?

  • Which changes must be made in the subjects if pupils are to develop these competences?

  • What will be required by the various stakeholders in primary and secondary education and training if renewed subjects are to lead to good learning for the pupils?

The recommendations in the report apply to the content of the Norwegian and Sami schools.

Textbox 1.1 The chapters in the report

Chapter 2 Competences in the school of the future describes the competences the Committee recommends that pupils should develop in the school of the future. The Committee proposes four areas of competence as the basis for setting priorities for the school’s activities.

Chapter 3 Renewal of the school subjects describes and propose how the subjects may be developed to focus on the areas of competence described in Chapter 2. The Committee recommends renewal of the subjects in school that will ensure the breadth of the competence concept.

In Chapter 4 Curriculum model, the Committee recommends frameworks for the design of national subject curricula and national support and guidance resources.

Chapter 5 Teaching and assessment discusses how the recommendations relating to competences in the school of the future will change the requirements for teaching and assessment practices, and how assessment schemes may support the goals in renewed subjects.

In Chapter 6 Implementation an implementation strategy is recommended with different phases and parallel processes. Planning, dialogues and embedding, school-based competence development and local curriculum work are key parts of the implementation.

Chapter 7 Financial and administrative consequences explores the cost and administrative aspects of realising the committee’s recommendations.

1.1.1 The four areas of competence

As shown in the interim report NOU 2014: 7 Pupils’ learning in the school of the future, several trends point in the direction of a society that has greater diversity, a high degree of complexity and rapid changes. Changes in society include rapidly changing communication and media technologies, challenges related to sustainable development, demographic changes, both locally and globally, with ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, urbanisation, growth in consumption and a knowledge-based and internationalised working life. These trends are not new, but developments in all these areas are changing society at a rapid pace, influencing societal life locally, regionally and globally to a much higher degree than ever before.

Bearing these trends in mind, the Committee recommends four areas of competence as the basis for renewing the content of school:

  • subject-specific competence

  • competence in learning

  • competence in communicating, interacting and participating

  • competence in exploring and creating

Pupils develop competence by working with the subjects. The Committee therefore recommends renewal of school subjects to reflect that pupils in Norwegian and Sami schools will need to develop competences from these four areas – subject-specific competence, being able to learn, being able to communicate, interact and participate, and being able to explore and create.

A broad concept of competence which involves both cognitive and practical skills and social and emotional learning and development is reflected in all the four areas of competence. Social and emotional competences include engagement in and attitudes relating to the subjects and one’s own learning in the subjects, persistence, expectations for one’s own mastering, the ability to plan, carry out and evaluate one’s own learning processes and being able to communicate and interact with others. If these aspects of pupils’ learning are to be given priority in the day-to-day school, they must be part of the subjects’ objectives.

School’s social responsibility comprises more than competence objectives in subjects. School must also support the pupils’ identity development, facilitate good interpersonal relationships and work systematically with the social environment in school.

In the proposal by the Committee, school’s social responsibility, competences for the future and renewed subject curricula constitute a comprehensive whole, as illustrated in Figure 1.2.

Figure 1.2 Subject renewal

Figure 1.2 Subject renewal

Subject-specific competence

In the future, pupils will need to develop competence in key disciplines, such as mathematics, natural science and technology, languages, social sciences and ethics, and practical and aesthetic subjects. This will give the pupils a foundation for making educational and vocational choices. Primary and secondary education and training shall allow the pupils to choose education and vocational studies based on their interests and abilities, and thus ensure recruitment to all areas of society and its working life.

Subjects and disciplines are changing more rapidly than previously. Robust knowledge on the most important methods and ways of thinking, and the concepts and principles the subjects consist of will give the pupils insight and skills in the subject that will continue to be relevant over time. The report uses the principle of building blocks for important content and key competences in the disciplines. The Committee emphasizes that the methods and ways of thinking in the subjects are particularly important parts of the building blocks, including the ability to think critically and resolve problems – practically and theoretically, professional problems and everyday problems. In all the subjects the building blocks are of both a practical and theoretical nature. Practical subjects and vocational subjects have a knowledge base, and all theory subjects have a practical aspect.

The Committee recommends that mathematics should be strengthened in school, and also that it should be made more important in subjects where mathematical competence is an important aspect of the subjectcross-curriculum competence, particularly in social studies and natural science. In light of the increase in globalisation and an internationalised working life, strengthening the language subjects is recommended. Technological developments affect all subjects, a fact that means digital competence must be present in all school subjects.

Being able to learn

Metacognition is the term used when pupils are able to monitor and reflect on the purpose for what they are learning, what they have learnt, and how they learn. Pupils who develop awareness of their own learning, who learn about learning and think about how they learn are better equipped to solve problems in a reflected manner, both on their own and with others. Being able to use various strategies to plan, carry out and assess one’s own learning and work processes is part of this concept. Self-regulation is the term used to describe when pupils learn, in cooperation with their teachers and co-pupils, to take initiatives and work purposefully to learn, and learn to regulate their own thinking and their own actions and emotions. The Committee recommends that metacognition and self-regulated learning should be emphasized in all subjects.

Being able to communicate, interact and participate

The pupils will need to master different forms of communication in working life and society to a higher degree than has been the case earlier. They must be able to communicate verbally and in writing with different purposes and recipients. The Committee believes that reading, writing and oral competence must continue to be part of all subjects. How these work together to form the underpinning for pupils’ learning should be made clearer than in the current subject curricula. It is also recommended that collaboration and participation should be included in all subjects, focusing on cooperation on problem-solving and participation in discussions relating to subject content. A key goal for pupils’ learning must be that they are able to interact in a number of social arenas, not least when it comes to democratic participation, tolerance and social responsibility.

Being able to explore and create

This area of competence includes critical thinking and problem-solving, i.e. being able to reason and analyse, identify relevant issues and apply relevant strategies to solve problems. The ability to judge claims, arguments and evidence from various sources is part of this competence. The ability to use scientific methods also comes under this competence. Critical thinking and problem-solving are linked to creativity and innovation. Creativity is understood as being inquisitive, persevering and willing to be imaginative when solving problems, alone and not least in cooperation with others. Innovation includes key aspects of creativity, but also means being able to take initiatives and transform ideas into action.

To contribute to new ideas, innovation and restructuring in working life, and to deal with future societal challenges, the Committee emphasizes school should help pupils to develop the ability to explore, see new possibilities and develop new solutions. Having the competence that enables one to be creative, alone or with others, is important for each person, in school, in working life and in other arenas. Creativity, innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving are key competences in many subjects.

Figure 1.3 illustrates the competence areas.

Figure 1.3 The four competence areas

Figure 1.3 The four competence areas

1.1.2 In-depth learning and progression

In-depth learning

The most important point of a competence is its application, in other words, the capacity to use and apply knowledge and skills to master challenges and solve problems. The knowledge and understanding pupils have of what they have learnt, how they can use what they have learnt and when to use it, play an important part in acquiring competence. Thus the development of competence and in-depth learning are closely linked, the acquisition of competence requires in-depth learning.

Developing understanding in a discipline or across disciplines requires that pupils acquire knowledge and skills, reflect on what they learn and place it in context with what they know and can do from before. Learning something thoroughly and with good understanding demands active participation in one’s own learning processes, the use of learning strategies and the ability to assess one’s own mastering and progress. Hence in-depth learning is closely connected to learning competence.

Learning new competencies is just as important for theoretical knowledge areas as for areas demanding practical skills. In-depth learning is equally important for developing competence in all subjects, in primary and lower secondary education as well as the common core subjects and programme subjects in upper secondary education. Learning and mastering the methods and ways of thinking are essential for all school subjects – mathematics and natural sciences, languages, social studies and ethics, the practical subjects and aesthetic subjects. When the teaching is adapted to each pupil, they will have different needs in terms of what they study in depth and how. To be able to study in depth in individual topics the pupils have to have the opportunity to make choices.

Learning content thoroughly rather than superficially requires the pupil’s active involvement, but it is the school’s responsibility to provide conditions for good learning. Sufficient time for in-depth study, challenges adapted to each pupil and the level of the group of pupils, as well as support and guidance, are key concepts for the teachers’ work. The teachers’ work in promoting in-depth learning assumes varied teaching methods.

The Committee argues that in-depth learning in school will help the pupils to master key elements in the subjects better, and make it easier to transfer learning from one subject to another. Understanding of what the pupil has learnt is a requirement for and consequence of in-depth learning. Schools that provide better learning processes that lead to understanding may help strengthen the motivation of their pupils and their sense of mastering and relevance in the day-to-day life in school.

Progression

Progression refers to development in pupils’ learning and is closely connected to in-depth learning. In the report, progression has a learning-psychological aspect relating to how pupils’ understanding develops over time, seen as learning progression in a subject area. In the subject curricula, learning progression will be expressed by the fact that the key concepts, methods and relationships in a subject will be connected to students’ development.

The Committee recommends clearer progression between the main levels in the subject curricula. Clear descriptions of expected progression give teachers and the teaching staff support in following up the pupils’ learning within areas in the subjects over time. This will be useful for planning teaching and learning progression for individual pupils and for a whole class, and for being able to adapt the teaching to each pupil’s level during the learning process. It is also important in terms of assessment and being able to determine where the pupils are in their understanding of the subject, and being able to give both relevant advice about what to work on and a relevant and fair final assessment.

To help pupils on their way to the expected progression in the subject, the teachers must determine and reflect on whether their teaching contributes to the learning of each pupil and the group of pupils. Thus flexible teaching is required, where teachers are able to make changes if the methods or work forms they have chosen do not give the desired results in their pupils’ learning outcome. The Committee recommends that national guidelines should be developed for learning progress in the subjects. This will clarify the expectations for progression in pupils’ learning. It should also be assessed how the subject curricula for school years that have a final assessment can provide descriptors for different levels of achievement. An important consideration to make here is whether criteria for final assessment should be rendered as part of the statutory subject curricula or in guidance documents.

Figure 1.4 Illustration Chapter 1

Figure 1.4 Illustration Chapter 1

1.1.3 Subject renewal

Pupils mainly learn by working with the subjects. The Committee finds that the competence areas form the point of departure for a future renewal of all school subjects. This will contribute to better coherence between the school’s objects clause and the subject content in school than is the case today.

In the interim report the Committee attaches importance to the fact that curriculum overload in school, i.e. the problem that arises from bringing new themes and new competence into school without removing anything from what is already there, is a challenge when school is to provide good learning processes and lasting understanding. The subjects must be developed to help pupils study in depth. Research show that it takes time for pupils to develop understanding. This raises the question of how many disciplines it would be realistic for the school subjects to have.

If the subject curricula are to be efficient governing documents and tools for schools and teaching staffs, the content should be connected to the central methods, ways of thinking and contexts of the subject. The Committee argues that by prioritising key building blocks, combined with clearer descriptions of progression in the curricula and guidance material, better conditions will be established for good learning. These measures will make it easier for the teachers to prioritise their work at school.

When the subjects are to be renewed, goals must still be set for the pupils’ learning through competence objectives. This will place pupils’ learning in the centre of the school’s activities. The Committee recommends a reduced number of competence objectives, and that they should be more uniform than they are today. To ensure that the subjects are renewed in a systematic and knowledge-based manner, it is recommended that renewal should be based on

  • the abilities and aptitudes for pupils’ learning,

  • pedagogical, didactic, subject-didactic and learning research,

  • relevant disciplines and competences for the future,

  • horizontal and vertical coherence in the Core Curriculum, and

  • the breadth of the school’s objects clause.

The Committee recommends continuous development of subjects and competences in school, which takes into consideration that subject didactics knowledge and knowledge about pupils’ learning and productive teaching practice are in ongoing development.

Subject renewal through the disciplines

The Committee recommends that subject renewal should not begin in individual subjects, but rather in disciplinary areas:

  • mathematics, natural science and technology,

  • languages,

  • social studies and ethics, and

  • practical and aesthetic subjects.

When the competence areas are to be emphasized in the subject curricula, the different subjects in each discipline must be considered coherently. In part, the subjects may reinforce each other by having goals for pupil competence in important areas. This means emphasising the common responsibility of the subjects. The subjects may also be developed with a higher degree of work division. Not all competences need to be present in all the subjects.

The Committee argues that an increase in the flexibility in the distribution of subjects and allocation of teaching hours per subject may be considered as a measure to stimulate learning activities across subjects in the disciplines. This may provide good opportunities for spending a sufficient amount of time on the priority areas.

The Committee argues that three interdisciplinary topic areas are particularly important in the future and must be clear in the subject curricula: Sustainable development, the multicultural society and public health and well-being. These three topic areas must have competence objectives in the subjects across the disciplines.

The Committee also argues that the common core subjects in upper secondary education must be renewed in accordance with the same principles as the subjects in primary and lower secondary education, and must build on the competence achieved by the pupils in primary and lower secondary education. The four competence areas must be emphasized in all the subjects, and must open for good progression through the entire learning trajectory. To achieve stronger relevance in the common core subjects, particularly in vocational study programmes, it is recommended that subject curricula are prepared in the common core subjects to fit the various education programmes, and which may function together with the programme subjects. A reduced number of competence objectives in the common core subjects may contribute to reducing curriculum overload in the subjects.

1.1.4 Teaching and assessment practices

Teachers’ planning and their teaching are of great importance if pupils are to develop the recommended competences. It is very important for pupils’ learning that schools work systematically to develop productive learning environments, where pupils dare to try and fail, and learn to share the responsibility for the social climate in the school. The social and emotional development of pupils is important for their own learning in the subjects, but is also important when it comes to the responsibility everyone has to create and have impact on a good school, class and learning environment. A productive social environment is essential for an individual to succeed, but it is also important for the school community to function and to be experienced as a safe and good place for all. In the opinion of the Committee it is of great importance that the pupils learn the value of meaning something to others, and that they stand up for and assume responsibility for others, also considered in the light of the individualisation of society.

The teaching and assessment practices must be developed to deal with the renewed subjects, and will demand a long-term effort to develop teacher competences. Formative assessment should be given emphasis as an integral part of the teaching practice in the subjects. The competences recommended by the Committee require that the pupils have an active role in the teaching. The pupils must develop awareness of their own learning process, and should be challenged to apply what they learn in the subjects.

In a future curriculum renewal the Committee recommends that greater importance should be attached to the professional responsibility of schools to choose subject content, work methods and organisation that are based on research, are relevant for what the pupils are to learn and are adapted to the group of pupils in question. The professional autonomy teachers have means having the responsibility for making reasoned and research-based choices of methods in their teaching.

The Committee argues that formative assessment, overall achievement grades and exams may be developed so that they support and reflect the content of the school of the future. Formative assessment is an important measure for promoting pupils’ learning, and through the overall assessment grades the teachers have the opportunity to assess the breadth of their pupils’ competence. There will be a need to develop these schemes and the competence and practice of teachers, particularly with a view to the challenges that arise when assessing a broader competence concept in the subjects. A long-term, knowledge-based development is recommended, where the point of departure will be the renewed subject curricula.

1.1.5 Implementation

The Committee recommends that a comprehensive strategy is made for the introduction of new subject curricula where the various phases of the implementation work are described, and where this includes what is expected of the stakeholders on the national, regional and local levels. The Committee recommends that the national education authorities should provide for goal-oriented and systematic work over time, and that good structures should be established for meeting places and dialogues that will be used throughout the implementation process. Clear goals and expectations and good support from the national authorities are important for realising school policy on the local level. The key aspects of the implementation strategy proposed by the Committee are

  • dialogue and anchoring,

  • coordination of resources and measures,

  • building capacity and developing competence,

  • strengthening the local work on the subject curricula,

  • necessary changes in the Quality Assessment System and

  • research-based evaluation.

One of the measures in the strategy is to formulate a plan for building capacity and the development of competence which has a strong focus on the four areas of competence and the renewed subject curricula. Competence development in the form of continuing education and school-based competence development programmes will be important measures for creating changes in school practices. To make changes, the teaching staff and school leaders must be actively engaged, involved and motivated to organise and develop the school’s practice. School leaders and school owners have responsibility for the quality of the teaching and must provide frameworks for the teachers’ work, and it is necessary to support their capacity and competence during the implementation process.

The Quality Assessment System should be developed according to the changes in the content of the subjects, and the measures recommended by the Committee must be examined, studied and evaluated by researchers.

The Committee would like to point out that the capacity and competence that have been developed through the introduction of the Knowledge Promotion Reform [Kunnskapsløftet] provide a solid foundation for the future development work because the recommendations in the report are advancements of the competence-oriented subject curricula we have today.

Textbox 1.2 Key concepts in the main report

Competence

Competence means being able to master challenges and solve tasks in various contexts, and comprises cognitive, practical, social and emotional learning and development, including attitudes, values and ethical assessments.

Knowledge, skills, attitudes and ethical assessments are all requirements for and part of developing competence. To display competence, pupils must often apply different types of knowledge, skills and attitudes in context.

Four areas of competence

The Committee recommends that these four areas of competence should be the focus in the future school:

  • subject-specific competence

  • competence in learning

  • competence in communicating, interacting and participating

  • competence in exploring and creating

Subject-specific and cross-curricular competence

The report distinguishes between subject-specific and cross-curricular competences. Subject-specific competences are related to science subjects and other subjects or knowledge areas that school subjects build on. Cross-curricular competences are relevant for many subjects and knowledge areas. Subject-specific and cross-curricular competences must be integrated in subjects and together constitute the competence in a school subject.

In-depth learning

In-depth learning refers to pupils’ gradual development of understanding of concepts, concept systems, methods and contexts in a discipline. It also refers to understanding topics and problem formulations across subjects or knowledge areas. In-depth learning means that the pupils use their ability to analyse, solve problems and reflect on their own learning to construct a robust and flexible understanding.

Progression

Pupils’ understanding develops over time in a learning progression in a particular discipline. Progression creates development processes that enable in-depth learning.

1.2 About the Committee and its mandate

This section discusses the composition of the committee, its mandate, the interpretation of the mandate and how the Committee has worked to satisfy it.

1.2.1 Composition of the Committee

The background for the Committee is described in Report to the Storting no. 20 (2012–2013) On the right way – Quality and diversity in the comprehensive school [På rett vei – Kvalitet og mangfold i fellesskolen] and has been described in the interim report.

On 21 June 2013, the Stoltenberg II Government appointed a committee to assess the degree to which the content of school covers the competences pupils will need in the future society and its working life.

The Committee is composed of the following members (plus region of residence):

  • Sten Ludvigsen, Professor, Head of the Committee, Oslo

  • Eli Gundersen, Chief Municipal Education Officer, Stavanger

  • Sigve Indregard, journalist, Oslo

  • Bushra Ishaq, social commentator, Oslo

  • Kjersti Kleven, Chairperson of the board of The Federation of Norwegian Industries, Ulsteinvik

  • Tormod Korpås, Head of a Upper secondary school, Sarpsborg

  • Jens Rasmussen, Professor, Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Mari Rege, Professor, Stavanger

  • Sunniva Rose, Ph.D candidate, Oslo

  • Daniel Sundberg, Professor, Växjö, Sweden

  • Helge Øye, Project manager, Gjøvik

1.2.2 Mandate for the Committee’s work

The Committee’s mandate is to assess the subjects1 in primary and secondary education and training in accordance with the requirements for competence in the future society and its working life.
The Committee shall submit an interim report within 1 September 2014 presenting a knowledge base and an analysis of:
  • the historical development in the subjects in primary and secondary education and training over time

  • the subjects in primary and secondary education and training compared to countries it is natural to compare Norway with, including structure, grouping and content

  • reports and recommendations from national and international stakeholders on the future competence requirements which are relevant for primary and secondary education and training

The Committee shall submit its main report within 15 June 2015 with assessment of:
  • the degree to which today’s subject content covers the competences and the basic skills the Committee finds pupils will need in the future society and its working life

  • the changes that should be made if these competences and skills are to be incorporated within the content of the education

  • whether today’s subject structure should continue to form the foundation for the education, or whether the content of the education should be structured differently, and

  • whether the content of the objects clause for primary and secondary education and training adequately reflects the education and training’s subject content

At least one of the Committee’s proposals for change should be able to be realised within the current resource framework.
The Committee’s has been instructed that the objects clause currently in force for primary and secondary education and training is to be maintained. The proposals must be based on the idea that pupils leaving compulsory school will still be able to choose from among all the education programmes in upper secondary education. The Committee shall not propose a concrete distribution of subjects and allocation of teaching hours.
The Committee must assess the need to hire additional expertise to support its work, and should open for representatives of relevant organisations and research communities to present their points of view and problem formulations. This could, for example, be done through a reference group. When the Committee finds the need to interpret or delimit its mandate this shall be addressed to the Ministry of Education and Research. The ministry will arrange for secretariat services for the Committee.

1.2.3 The Committee’s understanding of its mandate

The Committee has emphasised the following in its work on the main report:

The relationship between the interim report and the main report

The Committee has in general chosen to deal with the division between the main report and interim report as outlined in the mandate. The interim report NOU 2014: 7 Pupils’ learning in the school of the future comprises an important knowledge base for the main report.

Research and report-based knowledge foundation

The Committee propose that the content of school should be developed according to a strong knowledge base. Trends in societal developments, knowledge from different research fields and school’s social responsibilities are key premises for the assessments and recommendations in the main report.

Results from research on learning and subject didactics and didactics research have been given special focus.

Various international organisations, education authorities in a number of countries and comprehensive research and report projects have contributed perspectives on which competences will be especially important in the future. The Committee has examined the knowledge from these fields and included it in its assessments in the report.

In the main report the Committee provides a number of examples from schools which today are doing productive work on key aspects of what the Committee recommends should be strengthened in the school of the future. The report also has some examples of what form subject renewal may have. The purpose of the various examples has been to shed light on some key dimensions or illustrate some important matters. The Committee is responsible for the interpretation and use of the examples.

The main report builds on the interim report. The Committee refers to the interim report for a description of the knowledge base.

A broad competence concept

The Committee bases its findings on a competence concept that has a wide breadth. Competence is connected to school’s broad “bildung“ and qualification responsibility, as described in the objects clause and the main curriculum in their entirety. This means that the competence concept comprises academic knowledge and skills, social and emotional learning and development, attitudes, values and ethical assessments.

A system with coherence

The subject curricula are both governing and pedagogical tools for planning and implementing teaching. The content and form of the curricula thus impact school practices. How the intentions behind the subject curricula are realised is, however, closely connected to other circumstances around them, including systems for pupil assessment and quality assessment. All changes in school are dependent on the teachers’ practices and on teachers and school leaders becoming engaged and involved in the implementation work.

Figure 1.5 Illustration Chapter 1

Figure 1.5 Illustration Chapter 1

1.2.4 Openness and involvement

The Committee has chosen an open work form to include a broad target group, both in the school sector and other sectors in society. An important measure has thus been to establish the blog https://blogg.regjeringen.no/fremtidensskole/.

The blog contains information about the Committee’s mandate and composition, case documents from all Committee meetings, as well as blog posts from Committee members, researchers, school stakeholders, organisations and others. It has been possible to enter comments in the blog, and other input has been sent in writing to the Committee.

The blog was launched in December 2013. It has had an average of 2400 readers had 6000 hits a month. At the time this report is going into print, the blog has had more than 30 000 visitors and more than 80 000 hits.

The Committee has invited a number of organisations and research environments to meetings and to provide input on key issues in the Committee’s work. There have been regular meetings with the Union of Education in Norway [Utdanningsforbundet], the Norwegian Association of Heads of School [Skolelederforbundet], the Norwegian Union of School Employees [Skolenes Landsforbund], the Norwegian Association of Graduate Teachers [Norsk Lektorlag], the National Parents’ Committee for Primary and Secondary Education [Foreldreutvalget for grunnskolen], the School Student Union of Norway [Elevorganisasjonen], the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions [LO], The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise [NHO], employer organisation for local and regional authorities [KS], a Norwegian Employer's Organisation [Spekter], the Confederation of Vocational Unions [YS], the Enterprise Federation of Norway [Virke], the confederation of employee organisations [Unio], the Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations [Akademikerne], the Sami Parliament [Sametinget] and the National Council for Teacher Education [Nasjonalt råd for lærerutdanning], who have offered input to the Committee’s work.

The Committee has also had meetings with a number of experts and research groups in different fields, such as the national centres, various national associations for school subjects and a number of research environments in universities and colleges. Several of these have provided important input for the Committee’s work. The Committee has additionally been in contact with a number of NGOs. Much of the input to the work is available on the blog website.

The Committee has assessed the subject curricula, research and experiences from a number of other countries and been in contact with education authorities in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Scotland, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

To ensure the quality and long-term effect of our work a researcher group and sector group were established as external readers of drafts of the report. See the blog website for a list of members of these groups.

The Committee invited interested parties to a conference when our work commenced, where many academic and research groups and organisations participated.

The Committee has had very good experiences from being open and involving others throughout our work. The level of interest, engagement and input to the Committee work has helped us to increase the quality and relevance of our work. The open work form may also contribute to good processes for the consultation process and implementation processes.

The Committee has had ten meetings during the committee period.

Footnotes

1.

This is here limited to all subjects in primary and secondary education and training and the common core subjects in upper secondary education (Norwegian, mathematics, natural science, English, social studies and PE).

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