Assistant Professor

Anne Grethe Sønsthagen

Field of work

I am an associate professor in pedagogy at the Department of Pedagogy, Religion, and Social Studies


Ph.D. study 

I defended my Ph.D. on the 2th of November, 2021. My Ph.D. study is titled Leadership and responsibility: A study of early childcare institutions as inclusion arenas for refugees.


I have investigated the inclusion of parents with refugee backgrounds in early childcare institutions, where the relations and interactions with the staff are central. I am concerned with the staff's multicultural competence and need for professional development and the leadership's responsibility in this regard. I have studied two early childcare institutions that participated in the national in-service program Competence for Diversity.  

I have published four articles (linked to under selected publications):
Article I - "Jeg savner barnet mitt". Møter mellom somaliske mødre og barnehagen.
Article II - Early childcare as arenas of inclusion: the contribution of staff to recognising parents with refugee backgrounds as significant stakeholders.
Article III - 'Learning by talking`' - The role of local line leadership in organisational learning. 
Article IV - Interkulturell kompetanseutvikling - ein studies om leing av barnehagepersonalet som lærer å lære om foreldresamarbeid.

I participate in the doctoral program "Pedagogical resources and learning processes" at South-Eastern Norway University (USN).
Heidi Biseth at USN is my main supervisor and Øyvind Glosvik at HVL is my co-supervisor. 


Other research studies 

Karin Street and I started the study "Cooperation between early childhood education and care and the home - before and during the Corona-epidemic" during the spring of 2020. This is a quantitative study, where the objective is to investigate the experiences of cooperation reported by parents and pedagogical leaders in early childcare centers in relation to the Corona-epidemic. The management in 630 childcare centers in the region Vestland, has been invited to distribute online surveys to the staff and the parents in their childcare centers. Additionally, the management has been asked to fill out background information about the childcare center. 


I worked as an assistant professor from January 2015 until August 2016, teaching in early childhood teacher education, emphasizing multicultural pedagogy and leadership in kindergartens. 

I was a coordinator for the national initiative "Competence for Diversity" in the region Sogn og Fjordane in 2016-2017.

I have previously worked as an assistant and a pre-school teacher in kindergarten and as a consultant at a refugee service center.


I have a bachelor degree in early childhood education, where I specialized in Global Knowledge, with a three-month stay in Zambia. I have a master's degree in multicultural and international education, with fieldwork in South Africa. Title of master thesis: "Education in post-apartheid South Africa: A limited approach to social justice and redress".

Courses taught

  • Pedagogy

Research areas

  • Multicultural education in kindergartens
  • Leadership and managament
  • Parental cooperation

Research groups

Selected publications