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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Continuing professional development for teachers and trainers working in adult education and training


9.Teachers and education staff

9.9Continuing professional development for teachers and trainers working in adult education and training

Last update: 27 November 2023

Most adult education teachers in Norway have an undergraduate degree or higher, either in general teacher training studies or in the subject they teach. Teaching continuing education courses is not part of the teaching duties for academic staff at universities and university colleges. Some universities and university colleges offer special adult education programmes, for instance one-year part-time programmes with flexible learning. Such programmes may also be offered in cooperation with adult education organisations and municipalities.

Teachers in formal adult education (both lower and upper secondary) are eligible for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses organized by school authorities in mainstream formal education. The free education at these levels, which adults are entitled too, is in principle part of the standard system, and the CDP courses are therefore accessible to all teachers.

Adult education principles are not necessarily an element in initial teacher training, and only one higher education institution offers studies about Adult Learning (Bachelor – and Master programme through the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning at NTNU). Other academic institutions, however, offer postgraduate studies for the continuous professionalization of teachers, combining andragogic and specific competences for specific target groups or sectors of adult learning. One university offers a 30 ETS study in Adult Learning and Literacy, and another university offers a 30 ETS course in Adult Learning and Digital Competence. Several academic institutions include topics on Adult Learning in the courses given to future teachers of immigrant students.

30 ETS courses for teachers of adult immigrants are offered by several universities, some of which were established in cooperation with Skills Norway. Three separate courses are offered by the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (the INN University) in Hamar. One of these is targeted at teachers teaching adolescent and adult immigrants with no or limited prior schooling (initial literacy), whereas the other two are more general Norwegian as a second language courses targeted at adult immigrant teaching. One of these requires teacher study specialization in Norwegian language and literature, whereas the other one does not have this requirement. Furthermore, Høgskolen på Vestlandet  (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences) in Bergen offers a similar course. Two universities offer web-based studies, the University of Bergen offers a 30 ETS study called Prisme, whereas Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge (USN) offers a course comprising 15 ECT, In 2019, Skills Norway established a scholarship scheme for teachers of Norwegian to adult immigrants. 

Since 2008, Skills Norway has been responsible for the continuing, non-formal training of all teachers of adult immigrants, in two concrete fields: Language and Literacy training, and Social Studies, based on the national curriculum in Norwegian language and social studies for adult immigrants. Implementation is in the form of short courses held each term in each of the Norwegian counties. Multiplicator schemes, using a so-called cascading model, have also been used, gathering groups of experienced teachers from all over the country to be further trained at Skills Norway, and subsequently sent back to their regions to spread this knowledge to further groups of teachers. Continuing training courses for the bilingual teachers of social studies have been offered for several years. The courses consist of 30 lessons covering the relevant topics of National Curriculum in Norwegian language and social studies for adult immigrants.

From 2019 on, there is a change of model. Skills Norway still allocates funds to the county governors, who through cooperating with both regional and local authorities, as well as the university sector, are asked to target  and meet the qualification needs of the teachers – based on certain key areas and based on the national curriculum in Norwegian language and social studies for adult immigrants. Skills Norway is also in charge of the implementation of Skills Plus, which is a programme directed towards developing basic skills in working life. Therefore, non-formal, continuing training is arranged for adult basic skills teachers by Folkeuniversitetet, and as web-based training by Skills Norway.