I have been fortunate to be working with a number of very interesting people. The people I am supervising for their PhD, Björk Ólafsdóttir (How external evaluation may influence internal evaluation), Jakob Frímann Þorsteinsson (The nature and value of outdoor education in Iceland in an international perspective) and Pascale Mompoint-Gaillard, President of Learn to Change, Change to Learn (Teachers’ participation in online professional learning communities) are all very active and helping to keep me academically on my toes. As a co-supervisor I am also inspired by Guðrún Ragnarsdóttir (School Leaders’ Perceptions of Contemporary Change at the Upper Secondary School Level in Iceland) who has more or less completed her thesis work.
I was very pleased to be involved as an applicant in two projects that were funded this January by the Icelandic Research Fund. One, lead by professor Sigurður Kristinsson at the University of Akureyri, on the role played by the modern university in a democratic society and the other, lead by associate professor Kristjana Stella Blöndal at the University of Iceland, an ongoing international longitudinal study on pupils' development through compulsory school, into upper secondary, to work or potentially dropping out and how their school experiences influence their lives more generally (the ISCY project).
I have found the JustEd Nordic Center of Excellence a particularly successful projects. I have in particular followed the many PhD students who have been involved. I have been involved in one paper that has been published under the leadership of Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret, in Turku and currently working with colleagues on the potential usefulness of large-scale data sets in comparative studies, related to the JustEd arena.
I have been involved with a number of professional development projects for teachers and given presentations related to this. It is very important and inspiring for me to have this good contact with the teachers themselves. The work with the consultation committee on teacher professional development, involving the municipalities, the Teacher's Union, the universities and the ministry has also been rewarding. The project I have been most involved with, is documenting the changes that have taken place within the pre-schools, the primary schools, the upper secondary schools and the music schools for the last decade or so; changes that obviously call for extensive professional development. I have also been involved with Reykjavík municipality on their very ambitious project, envisaging development well into the 21st century. I was involved with the TU, receiving a group of school-leaders and students from Alberta in Canada, Finland and Norway and looking forward to the TwinPeak and ULead conferences in Banff in April, with quite a number of Icelanders participating.
I am looking foward going to NERA in Oslo in March, participating in a panel on educational science and pedagogy, TwinPeaks and Ulead in Banff in Alberta in April, participating in panels and presentations, attending a JustEd final conference in Helsinki in May, presenting with my colleagues, and possibly to ECER in Bolzano in September, also presenting with my colleagues. I will be presenting at three Icelandic conferences in the spring, so this is a busy time (also hoping to play golf in Spain, England and Sweden).