Changes and Continuities in the Development of Rural Teacher Education in the Fjords of Western Norway
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Original versionBerg, L. N., & Yttri, G. (2022). Changes and continuities in the development of rural teacher education in the fjords of Western Norway. In T. Iakovleva, E. Thomas, L. Nordstrand Berg, R. Pinheiro, & P. Benneworth (Eds.), Universities and regional engagement (pp. 26–40). Routledge. 10.4324/9781003150299-3
In this chapter, we apply historical institutionalism to study the development of teacher education in Sogndal, a Norwegian rural village, from the early 1960s to the present. The rationale for establishing teacher training within the county boundaries sprang from two interconnected needs: to have access to sufficient qualified teachers for primary schools and to stop the brain drain. In the analysis of the evolution of teacher education in a rural setting, key events and critical junctures over six decades are identified and highlighted. Developments and changes are understood within the historically determined and changing framework of institutional strategies, regional needs, and national policies. The study illuminates a story from a rural Norwegian teacher education, which was quite successful in supplying teachers for the region by the 2010s. Nonetheless, the regional success was no guarantee of satisfying higher academic requirements following national reforms. When the Sogn og Fjordane University College merged into the new Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in 2017, proven lack of academic qualifications in teacher education was a major reason for joining forces with other institutions.