Teacher Perspectives of Challenges Within the Norwegian Educational System

Sarah K. Anderson, Katherine L. Terras


This research examines teacher perspectives’ of educational challenges in Norway. Norway is one of the most well-resourced, prosperous, social welfare states in the world, yet the OECD (2011) recognized students’ weak basic skills and insufficient teacher ability in content and pedagogy, along with engagement and imbalanced resources as points for educational improvement. An open-ended questionnaire was administered to 138 teachers practicing in Norway to explore challenges from their perspective. Teachers reported the following challenges: completing government paperwork with competing pedagogical demands, adapting teaching to each student due to large class sizes, motivating students, managing social and emotional problems of students, and meeting society’s increasingly unrealistic expectations. Teachers perceived their challenges to be a result of a poorly built educational system, not from deficits in their teaching skills. We concluded from this study  that teacher voice and participation in improvement decisions are needed, given some discrepancy in perceived challenges among these findings, international surveys, and policy-related reports.


Norway; educational challenges; teacher perspectives; teacher appraisal; professional development

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