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Doctoral defense in education science: Friðborg Jónsdóttir

Doctoral defense in education science: Friðborg Jónsdóttir - Available at University of Iceland
Wed, 19/06/2024 - 12:00 to 15:00


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Friðborg Jónsdóttir defends her PhD thesis in Educational Sciences from the Faculty of education and pedagogy, University of Iceland: 

Transition from preschool to primary school for culturally and linguistically diverse children in Iceland. A praxeology study with teachers.

The oral defence takes place Wednesday JUne 19th., at 12:00 pm in the Aula in the main building of the University of Iceland as well as in live stream.

Opponents are Dr Ghazala Bhatti Associate Professor at Bath Spa University, UK and Dr Wendy Goff Associate Professor at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

Main supervisor was Dr Jóhanna Einarsdóttir Professor Emeritus at the School of Education, University of Iceland and co-supervisor Dr Sue Dockett Professor at Charles Sturt University, Australia.

Expert in the Doctoral Committee was Dr Hanna Ragnarsdóttir Professor at the School of Education, University of Iceland. 

Dr Karen Rut Gísladóttir head of the of education and pedagogy will conduct the ceremony.

All are welcome.

The docoral defense will also be in live stream.

About the project:

The research was conducted with two preschool teachers and two primary school teachers in Reykjavík. Additional data were obtained through interviews with ten professionals working in matters related to the education of culturally and linguistically diverse children and the principals of the two participating schools. The aim of this research project was for teachers to reflect on their own practice and, in collaboration with the researcher, create and develop new knowledge and approaches to better respond to and work with culturally and linguistically diverse children, especially with regard to transition and continuity between school levels.

The study followed the framework of praxeology, a participatory paradigm for educational research that encourages participants to take control of their own practices and actively engage in their development and change.

The study's findings, show that, despite Iceland's inclusive educational policy, cultural responsiveness was not apparent in the educational practices or the schools’ environment. The findings further suggest that standardized tests and measurements have an impact on teachers' pedagogical practices in the primary school, highlighting the contradictions between formal learning standards and the inclusive school policy that states the importance of meeting all students on their own terms. Transition practices did not account for the children's diverse backgrounds, and ideas on transition and continuity seemed somewhat influenced by schoolification and school readiness discourses. The principal’s encouragement and support had influence on the teachers overall research experience and those who felt supported reported more benefits from the research. The research encouraged the preschool teachers to evolve their pedagogical practices but failed to do the same for the primary school teachers. The findings also highlight some of the challenges that can arise during a research collaboration between teachers and researchers, such as establishing common goals and mutual understanding of key concepts.

About the doctoral candidate

Friðborg Jónsdóttir was born in Reykjavík in 1971. She graduated as a primary school teacher with a B.Ed. degree from the University of Education in 2000, and with a M.A. degree in education from the University of Iceland in 2007.  Her parents are Jón Símon Gunnarsson and Eygló Magnúsdóttir. Her husband is Pétur Valgarð Pétursson and their children Eygló Anna Pétursdóttir and Tómas Pétursson.

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Doctoral defense in education science: Friðborg Jónsdóttir