Doctoral defence in Educational Sciences: Svava Björg Mörk
The defence will be streamed online.
Ph.D. student: Svava Björg Mörk
Dissertation title: Partnership in the Third Space: Creating a new learning arena in Icelandic preschool teacher education
The oral defence takes place Friday, February 4, at 9 am in the assembly hall in the main building of the University of Iceland, as well as in live stream.
Dr. Frances Rust professor at University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Liv Torunn Grindheim professor at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.
Main supervisor: Dr. Kari Smith professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Co-supervisor: Dr. Arna H. Jónsdóttir associate professor at the School of Education, University of Iceland.
Expert in the doctoral committee was Dr. May Britt Postholm professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Dr. Kristín Jónsdóttir Head of the Faculty of Education and Pedagogy will conduct the ceremony.
Open to all.
About the project:
The doctoral project deals with collaboration between universities and preschool teacher education in Iceland. The project focuses on exploring the concept of the "Third space" as a shared learning platform for those involved in the education of preschool teachers in Iceland. The purpose was to explore the relationship between theory and practice and how the third space can be used to link theory and practice. The research question is: "How can 'the Third Space' become a meaningful learning arena in preschool teacher education?" As a result, the emphasis was on essential aspects of the development of this third space. That is cooperation in the education of preschool teachers, the training of preschool teachers in field studies, and the communication and division of tasks between stakeholders.
Data was collected in three diverse ways to achieve the goal of the project. Starting with a historical analysis of official documents. Official data was coded and analyzed using third space theory and theory of third space in teacher education. Then focus groups interview preschool teacher students, preschool principals, guidance teachers, and university teachers. The most recent data collection was individual interviews with university teachers in positions of responsibility, local politicians in Boards of Education, and preschool teachers with further education in mentoring. The interviews were analyzed in terms of theories on partnership n teacher education and the third space, and a thematic analysis was also used. At the end, the overall results of the research were summarized and examined from Engeström's model of extended learning.
The main results show that the participants considered it essential to form a good partnership, involving more actors, and strengthen collaboration between the field and the university. The overriding goal is to ensure professionalism in preschool work. They saw this as an essential part of creating a shared learning platform that included innovation, power, and flexibility - but all of these are fundamental to the formation of real partnership. Participants also discussed that the lack of communication and discussion seemed to hinder the collaboration and reduce the opportunities for developing real collaboration. The results indicate that the partnership is more separate than a joint effort. The results show that partnership in preschool teacher education in Iceland needs to be better defined in order to be able to strengthen the connection between universities and the field of education and work.
About the candidate:
Svava Björg Mörk was born in the Westman Islands in 1971. She grew up in Iceland and the Faroe Islands and has strong connections to both countries. Svava Björg has worked widely as a teacher. After graduation, she worked primarily as a preschool principal, then as a self-employed preschool consultant and part-time lecturer at the University of Iceland's School of Education during her doctoral studies. In 2021, Svava Björg started working as an assistant professor in preschool teacher education at the University of Akureyri. Svava Björg is married to Jóhann Kristmundsson, mate on Aðalbjörg RE5 and they have 3 children: Valey Ýr, Pál Herbert and Ólavía Steinunn. They also have 2 grandchildren: Anika Bríet and Olivia Styff.
Svava Björg Mörk doctoral defence