Tobias Christoph Werler

Arbeids- og kompetanseområde

Over the years, I developed expertise in the design and implementation of national and international research projects regarding students learning processes and outcomes, professionalization processes of student teachers, policy of teacher education and educational processes. My primary academic interest is developing Capability Approach (CA) inspired research related to educational processes in school and teacher education. Reciprocally, I wish to use this research to understand processes and outcomes of institutionalized teaching and learning. That will answer the question how the model of public education is transformed through commodification and accountability processes in education. In my further research work I will seek insight and evaluate capabilities and capability expansion among students in upper secondary schools. Beyond that my research will be aimed at understanding how future teachers can be enabled to build up professionalism for the public good. When the focus is directed towards schooling and teacher professionalization, it is because they are interdependent on each other. Examples of historic research activities Teachers' attitudes towards social pedagogy (2009 - 2011) The main objective is to explore student teachers' attitudes towards social pedagogy in England and Norway. The research project will make use of a four-way link as it combines empirical data (quantitative & qualitative) from two UK samples (York and Exeter) and two samples from Norway (Kristiansand and Stavanger). Project partners: Chris Kyriacou - University of York; Elias Avramidis – University of Exeter; Paul Stephens, University of Stavanger Follow-up research on Teacher Education Reform (2010 – 2015) In 2010 a teacher education reform was implemented in Norway. The focus of the reform was on implementing the concept of research based teacher education and improved integration of theory and practice. The group’s main task was to research and monitor implementation of the new teacher education programs for primary and secondary education. Further, the project was helping to ensure that the reform carried out the intentions of the Parliament. As co-author I was able to deliver five reports between 2010-15. Current research activities In my current research I apply the Capability Approach (Sen/ Nussbaum). The main purpose of my research is to trace the meaning of schools and their foundation in a regional environment. I am in search of student’s views on what they consider valuable results of schooling. This is done in order to see how collective, place based spaces of education inhibit or promote capability expansion among students. As a consequence, I am interested in how teachers and student teachers develop a sustainable understanding on how to generate the intangible public good of schooling, supporting pupils to live their lives. I labeled this important work as Teacher`s public good professionalism (Werler, 2017). Within these broad topics, I address three set of questions: The Education Landscape: opportunities of learning and student capabilities in Western Norway (2013-2017). • What capabilities are students able to build up by the end of their mandatory school career? What factors characterize the world around the students? In what ways does educational provision in a highly developed country inhibit or promote capability expansion among students enrolled in lower and upper secondary education? How do students perceive what they are able to do, to be or become, and what future perspective may they have compared to this? Lived Democracy (2014 – ongoing) • How is democracy lived and learned in lower secondary school, and how is it possible to strengthen this practice? How do critical scenarios dealing with local risk bound issues serve as catalyzers for deliberation? How can they contribute in students developing democratic capabilities? In what ways do becoming citizens act, exchange and express themselves when they apply scenario building in classrooms? Teacher work & teacher professionalism (2013 – 2018) • What are the consequences of transformation of schooling and teacher professionalism related to commodification and accountability processes? How do teachers use information from national testing systems to drive improvement and development work – even if the tests do not deliver knowledge on variables they could change? How do teachers improvise and cope with issues of insecurity? What are unique qualities of educational work at schools and kindergartens situated in rural, sparsely populated areas (Norway, Poland and Lithuania)? How do teachers, by their work, contribute to rural community capability building?

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  • students learning processes and outcomes, professionalization processes of student teachers, policy of teacher education and educational processes.


  • Synthesis: An elaborated understanding of lived democracy in education

    Hauge, Kjellrun Hiis, Werler, Tobias Christoph, Herheim, Rune (2022)
  • Lived democracy in education. Young citizens' democratic lives in kindergarten, school and higher education

    Herheim, Rune, Werler, Tobias Christoph, Hauge, Kjellrun Hiis (2022)
  • Preparedness for Lived Democracy. Exploring the Value of Capabilities and Controversies in Education.

    Werler, Tobias Christoph, Berg-Brekkhus, Åshild (2022)
  • Introduction: Exploring and defining lived democracy in education

    Werler, Tobias Christoph, Herheim, Rune (2022)
  • School Bullying: Norwegian Pre-service Teachers’ Knowledge and Practice to Reveal and Prevent

    Baraldsnes, Dziuginta, Kuginyte-Arlauskiene, Ieva, Werler, Tobias Christoph (2021)
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