This course is discontinued

UV9915H15 – Teachers work in schools: micropolitics, collaboration and leadership as organisational working conditions

Course content

Subject: Macropolitics caugt up in micropolitics – collegiality as workplace conditions

Location: University of Oslo, Helga Engs Hus, U 35

Dates: October 26-27, 2015

Responsible: Professor Jorunn Møller and Associate Professor Kirsten Sivesind, University of Oslo.

Guest Professor: Geert Kelchtermans, Center for Educational Policy, Innovation & Teacher Education, University of Leuven, Belgium

Work format: Open lectures and seminars

Registration deadline: October 18, 2015

Subject outline:

Claiming that teachers are working in schools may sound like stating the obvious. Yet, in much research and teacher education the focus is often very much on the micro-level of the classroom (teacher, students, curriculum), while implicitly or explicitly neglecting or ignoring the fact that practices in the classroom are in a pervasive way determined by the organisational and institutional realities in schools and policy.

In this seminar we will focus on three of these essential working conditions: teacher collaboration and collegiality (and its balance to autonomy), leadership and leadership practices and the micropolitical dynamics driving life in schools.
Through introductory lectures each of the working conditions will be presented, including relevant theoretical framework and based on empirical research. In combination with the preparatory readings, the lectures will set the floor for in-depth discussions and interactions of the participants. The final slot of the seminar will be devoted to research methodology (more in particular narrative-biographical approaches), with a focus on the actual enactment of methodological principles and techniques in practice and the inevitable complexities and compromises they bring with them. Put metaphorically: the session will focus on the practice of “cooking” rather than the rules and recipes from the “cooking books”.

Learning outcome


  • Presenting relevant theoretical perspectives for the empirical study of essential organizational working conditions for teachers
  • Relating the theoretical concepts to the participants’ own research practice
  • Providing opportunities to share concrete experiences, issues and concerns related to data collection and analysis and discuss them as practical issues as well as reflecting methodological principles.


Open lectures for all signed up for the seminars. Closed workshops for course participants after lunch on the second day. PhD-candidates enrolled in NATED will be given priority, but it is also possible for other PhD-candidates to apply for the course. Candidates admitted to a PhD-program at UiO: Apply by Studentweb. Other applicants: apply through registration form.


Recommended previous knowledge

Recommended Reading: 

  • Kelchtermans, G., Piot, L., Ballet, K. (2011). The lucid loneliness of the gatekeeper. Exploring the emotional dimension in principals' work lives. Oxford Review of Education, 37 (1), 93-108.
  • Kelchtermans, G. (2007). Macropolitics caught up in micropolitics: the case of the policy on quality control in Flanders (Belgium). Journal of Education Policy, 22(4), 471-491.
  • Kelchtermans, G. (2006). Teacher collaboration and collegiality as workplace conditions - A review. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, 52 (2), 220-237.
  • Kelchtermans, G. & Piot, L (2014). Living the Janus Head: Conceptualizing leaders and leadership in schools in the 21st century. In Flores, M.A., Carvalho, A.a. Ferreira, F.I. & Vilaca, T. (Eds.). Back to the Future: Legacies, Continuities and Changes in Educational Policy, Practice and Research. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Piot, L. & Kelchtermans, G. (2015). The micropolitics of distributed leadership: four case studies of school federations. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 1-18 DOI: 10.1177/1741143214559224.
  • Vangrieken, K., Dochy, F., Raes, E. & Kyndt, E. (2015). Teacher collaboration: a systematic review. Educational Research Review, 15, 17-40.



Monday, October 26

09.15 – 09.30: Welcome by Jorunn Møller

09.30 – 11.30: Open lecture by Professor Geert Kelchtermans: Will teacher collaboration save the schools and educational quality? Towards a balanced answer

11.30 – 12.30: Lunch

12.30 – 14.45: Open lecture by Professor Geert Kelchtermans: Unpacking the micropolitical dynamics in schools: power, influence, interests and literacy

15.00 – 17.00: Plenary discussion and workshop activities for course participants

1900: Dinner

Tuesday, October 27

09.15 – 11.30: Open lecture by Professor Geert Kelchtermans: Conceptualizing leadership practices: positions and processes, actions and feelings

11.30 – 12.30: Lunch

12.30 – 17.00:  “Welcome to my research kitchen! Methodological stories from the research practice” Seminar/workshop activities for course participants.



Paper after the seminar: 5000-6000 words.

Send to track leaders no later than December 6, 2015.

Email addresses:

Track 3 and CLEG: Jorunn Møller or Kirsten Sivesind

SISCO: Kirsti Klette

TEPEC: Eyvind Elstad

Facts about this course






Autumn 2015

Extent: 14 Hours


Autumn 2015

Examination: 2 days attendance/submission of paper

Credit points: 3 credit  points with documentation, 1 credit point without documentation

Teaching language