January 2020 - Looking back to 2019
Academically 2019 was an interesting year - and socially very pleasant.
After the nice time with Dianne and David, Jakob and Birgitte visited us twice and J-C and Mary Lee came during the summer. Dísa and I went abroad twice with Heiða and Robert, once to Ghent and also to Sicily. We were reasonably active playing golf in Iceland, and went also to Spain, Sweden and England playing golf with our friends. We had ample and lively time with our children and two granddaughters.
After NERA in March, I examined a very good thesis, defended by Bent Sortkær on “Feedback, elevperspektiver og ulighed i skolen” at Arhus university at the beginning of April, where I also presented on the directional value of data.
The doctoral students I supervise are doing very well. Björk defended her proposal already last year and is progressing well with her very good and valuable work on school evaluation. The two other projects I supervise went successfully through the interim evaluation, one in the hands of Pascale Mompoint-Gaillard in early May, examined by professors Charles Crook and Hafdís Ingvarsdóttir, and the other run by Jakob Frímann Þorsteinsson in September, examined by professors Beth Christie and Pat Maher. I am very interested in the work og all these colleages, as I feel they are doing both novel and exciting research and I am optimistic that they will defend their final thesis soon, pehaps some in the first half of next year.
I was a partner to three presentations at ECER and presented one paper on my own. Similarly, at Menntakvika, the Icelandic research conference, I was partner to two presentations and presented one on my own. I was honoured to be asked to present at the opening of the annual Delta, Kappa Gamma international conference held in Iceland in July and at conference on educational issues held by the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities in November. I was also happy to participate as a moderator in a very interesting discussion on policy issues and cooperation between different stakeholders at a Nordic conference: Newly Qualified Teachers and Induction: A Nordic Cross-sectorial Network. In late November an Albertan group of teachers and students, lead by Jean Stiles and JC Couture visited Reykjavík schools, where they visited and lead a very successful Social innovation laboratory mainly with Icelandic and Canadian students, but also professionals.
I wrote up, in Icelandic for publication, my reflections on the directional value of data and I was asked to reflect, also for publication on a very wide-ranging and wealthy study on Norwegian upper secondary schools – a project lead by Ellen Saur at NTNU.
I was unusually busy with peer reviews, both for Icelandic and inetrnational journals. I sit on the board for Sprotasjóður, a fund for innovative projects in Icelandic schools and on the advisory board for the Directorate of Education (Menntamálstofnun). I was asked to chair the board for the Science fund for the University of Akureyri, but this work has hardly started.