This course is discontinued

UV9917V3 – Reviewing the Literature: Situating your Study in the Field

Course content

Subject outline

This two-day program will address a number of judgments and decisions about which literatures to engage with, and which to ignore, in reviewing the literature in order to situate a study in the field.

Organizer: Department of Teacher Education and School Research in collaboration with the research group “Curriculum Studies, Educational Leadership and Governance” (CLEG)

Responsible: Professor Jorunn Møller, Associate Professor Guri Skedsmo and Associate Professor Ruth Jensen, ILS, University of Oslo

Guest Professors: Helen Gunter, University of Manchester and Tina Trujillo, UC Berkeley

Work format: Open lectures and seminars

Extent: 14 hours

The first day will include a session on knowledge production, and how to gain understanding of the KP processes in the respective fields, and what this means for how to read and understand the literatures. It is about reviewing the literatures as a method of gaining data about projects, ideas, and people in their field.

On the second day of the seminar we will present examples of review chapter in doctoral theses and draw on the PhD-candidates’ own review of their fields. We will work in small groups and plenary. Each participant is asked to submit a draft (an unfinished manuscript) which still may be altered, reframed and re-analyzed prior to the seminar. Each PhD candidate will be asked to give a short presentation of how they try to gain understandings of the knowledge production in their respective fields (15 minutes). There will be two discussants for each candidate, one senior researcher and one PhD candidate. The feedback will be given in relation to:

  • how major debates are identified,
  • how gaps in their field are located,
  • how the PhD - candidate creates the warrant for the study in question
  • the composition and the quality of writing and argumentation

Learning outcome


The seminar aims to discuss how to:

  • sketch out the nature of the field or fields relevant to the inquiry and adopt a critical stance
  • identify trends, major debates and locate gaps in the field
  • create the warrant for the study in question
  • identify the contribution the study will make


All applicants must hold at least a Master's degree.

All candidates admitted to a PhD-program at the Faculty of Educational Sciences (UV): Apply by using Studentweb.

Other applicants: apply through registration form.

Registration deadline: May 11, 2017


Location: University of Oslo, Helga Eng’s House, Room 231

Dates: May 29 – May 30, 2017


Monday, May 29

09.15: Welcome

09.30: Knowledge production: How researchers gain understandings of the knowledge production processes in their respective fields. Guest lecture by Prof. Helen Gunter, University of Manchester

Lectures and discussion in plenary based on examples

12.00: Lunch

13.00: Positioning the paper theoretically and methodologically. Guest lecture by Prof. Tina Trujillo, University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Education

Lectures and discussion in plenary based on examples

16.30 – 17.00: Summing up the first day

Tuesday, May 30

09.15: Examples of review chapter in doctoral theses and articles

Work in plenary and small groups

11.00: Responding to PhD-candidates’ own review of their fields

Work in small groups and plenary

12.00: Lunch

13.00: Responding to PhD-candidates’ own review of their fields: continued

Work in small groups and plenary

15.30 – 16.00: Summing up the second day


Boote, D. N. & Beile, P. (2005). Scholars Before Researchers: On the Centrality of the Dissertation Literature Review in Research Preparation. Educational Researcher 34(6), 3-15.

Gough, D., Thomas, J., & Oliver, S. (2012). Clarifying differences between review designs and methods. Systematic reviews, 1(1), 1-9.

Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91-108.

Gunter, H. M. (2016). An intellectual history of school leadership practice and research. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. Chapter 1 – 4 (pp. 15 – 73)

Kamler, B., & Thompson, P. (2006). Helping doctoral candidates to write: Pedagogies for supervision. London: Routledge. Chapter 3 (pp. 28 – 45).

Mausethagen, S. (2013). A research review of the impact of accountability policies on teachers’ workplace relations. Educational Research Review, 9 (1), 16-33.

Montuori, A. (2005). Literature Review As creative inquiry reframing scholarship as a creative process. Journal of Transformative Education, 3(4), 374-393.

Randolph, J. J. (2009). A guide to writing the dissertation literature review. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 14(13), 1-13.

Trujillo, T. (2013). The reincarnation of the effective schools research: rethinking the literature on district effectiveness. Journal of Educational Administration, 51 (4), 426 – 452.

Vescio, V., Ross, D., & Adams, A. (2008). A review of research on the impact of professional learning communities on teaching practice and student learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(1), 80-91.

Review chapter in doctoral thesis:

Jensen, R. (2014). Leadership development as boundary work. Inspired moments and longitudinal efforts. Chapter 2.

Ottesen, E. (2006). Talk in practice. Analysing student teachers’ and mentors’ discourse in internship. Chapter 2.

Prøitz, T. (2014). Conceptualisations of learning outcomes in education – an explorative cross-case analysis of policymakers, teachers and sholars. Chapter 2.

Søreide, G. (2007). Narrative construction of teacher identity. Chapter 1-2.


Credits: Participation two days and submitted paper: 3 credits. Participation two days, but not submitted paper: 1 credit

80% attendance is required.

Paper for seminar: 3000-5000 words: draft of chapter for thesis: Situating your study in the field.
Send to Ruth Jensen and Guri Skedsmo no later than May 11, 2017.


Evaluation form.

About our Guest Professors:

Helen Gunter is Professor of Education Policy at the University of Manchester, U.K. Her main research interest is in the modernisation of education as policy and practice at national and local levels. This has two strands to it:

  • How teachers, teaching , learners and learning are being structured through performance management systems, and more recently remodeling

  • How knowledge production within the field of educational leadership has sustained or challenged these policy strategies

She is particularly interested in using Bourdieu’s tools of field, habitus and capital to describe, understand and explain modernisation. Furthermore, she has been involved in a range of projects on policy change in education and how these developments are being handled, and in particular how interventions in practice support learning and learners. In addition to this she has lead major projects on public policy and knowledge in the field of educational leadership.

Tina Trujillo is Associate Professor at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education. She earned her Ph.D. in Education from UCLA and her M.A. in Education from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a former urban public school teacher, school reform coach, and educational evaluator. At Berkeley, she teaches Ph.D. students in Policy, Organization, Measurement and Evaluation (POME) and school and district leaders in the Leadership for Educational Equity Doctoral Program (LEEP) and the Principal Leadership Institute (PLI).

Dr. Trujillo uses tools from political science and critical policy studies to study the political dimensions of urban district reform, the instructional and democratic consequences of policies and reforms for students of color and English Learners, and trends in urban educational leadership. Her recent research examines the instructional and political implications of private intermediary organizations as technical assistance providers for public school districts.


Facts about this course






Spring 2017

Teaching language