Nordic Centre of Excellence: Quality in Nordic Teaching (QUINT)

The Nordic Centre of Excellence «Quality in Nordic Teaching» (QUINT) will focus on teaching quality in Nordic classrooms asking questions like: In what way does teaching make a difference to student learning and engagement across and within school subjects, with and without digital-rich support, in mono- and multi-cultural contexts across the Nordic countries? How can classroom videos be effective tools for teacher training? Does the use of video-technology and other digital systems generate potential for new forms of collaborative research between researchers and practitioners?

Often Nordic welfare states and their educational systems are described as homogeneous, but studies indicate that there are significant differences when researchers observe the practices of teachers and interactions in classrooms. There is a need for systematic and comparative research efforts to go deeper and broader into these patterns that also take into account the changing landscape of Nordic schools, such as the digitalization of learning processes and a stronger multicultural profile.

QUINT addresses these issues by bringing together excellent researchers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. By doing large and small scale video-studies of classrooms at grades 5-7/8-10 and by logging on-line interactions they will be in a position to produce new insights into what characterizes teaching quality in Nordic classrooms. Video-technology provides researchers with rich data that they can analyze together and also do one or several new analyses of the empirical material. Thus this approach is excellent for comparative and longitudinal research. However, when collecting large amount of video data there is a need for a research infrastructure that organizes this material in a safe, searchable and accessible format.

Video-recordings are also proven to be effective learning resources for teacher’s professional learning, and QUINT will support several research projects that go deeper into how video data enhance the teaching quality of pre- and in-service teachers. An overarching theme for the Centre is the use of video in new forms of collaborative research that enable productive and concrete discussions about improvements in teaching practices. The QUINT partnership achieves its objectives by working together with highly reputed international scholars.

What benefits does a research project focusing on teaching quality get from Nordic cooperation? Kirsti Klette, the project leader for QUINT, gives her thoughts about the Nordic cooperation.