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Research presentation

Silvia Edling

Silvia Edling, professor i didaktik.

Research presentation

Silvia Edling

PhD, professor in curriculum theory, Excellent teacher

Research subject: Curriculum studies
Research domain: Educational Science

Silvia Edling graduated as a primary school teacher (years 1-7) of Swedish and civics and later followed a teacher training programme in history and English. Since 2003 she has worked as a teacher educator, first of all at Uppsala University (graduate student/lecturer) and then as a lecturer in education at the University of Gävle. Edling defended her PhD thesis at Uppsala University in 2009, which was entitled Ruptured narratives. An analysis of the contradictions in young people’s responses to issues of personal responsibility and social violence in an educational context. The thesis highlighted young people’s sense of responsibility for others. From a curriculum perspective, the aim of the thesis was to acquire an in-depth understanding of the prerequisites for working with ethics, equal treatment and bullying in education.

In her role as an associate professor at Uppsala University, Edling was able to both broaden and deepen her research in areas such as history didactics/didaktik, policy/convention on children’s rights, democracy issues in teacher training, the teaching profession and leadership and maintain her original interest in democracy, ethics and social justice.

She writes that:

One of the challenges that we face now is not to fall into the simplistic black/white thinking that often characterises today’s debate (Lukacs, 2005), where there is a tendency to adopt extreme positions without taking the multifaceted knowledge of the field into account. This could be a one-sided focus on practice or theory, and knowledge or values/emancipation in education. What is instead needed is to create bridges between theory/science and practice, since everything we do in practice is based on ideas. This link needs to be made more visible in order to change and improve the practice. What is more, communities do not only need confident individuals, but also those with the necessary knowledge to address societal challenges. The space between either poles can be understood as a complex and existential difficult place where neat solutions are elusive. It can be tempting to ignore the opposition, allow others to think or lead or aggressively annihilate that which is perceived as difficult or complicated. The question to be asked is therefore: How can we stand in this space where the secure and insecure meet and help each other to deal with the challenges with the aid of the rich flora of scientifically-based knowledge that already exists? This is where my main contribution and commitment to the field lies.


Meetings between history and moral reflection

Theoretical and empirical points of intersection between historical consciousness and moral consciousness from a didactic perspective of history

This is a four year project (2018-2021) funded by the Swedish Research Council and  hosted by Linnaeus University, with Professor Niklas Ammert as the project manager. Participants in the project are Associate Professor Silvia Edling, University of Gävle, Associate Professor Jan Labiana, University of Helsinki, Finland, and Associate Professor Heather Sharp, Newcastle University, Australia. The project collaborators and sponsors are experts in historical consciousness and/or moral consciousness and contribute a rich comparative material and knowledge of the field to the project. The project’s strength lies in its potential to develop a robust research field and the possibility of using frameworks and didactic tools to promote the teaching of history in its mission to nurture democratic citizens.

The Gävle model: challenges and opportunities

The objective of this long-term project, which started in 2019, is to investigate why some schools in Gävle Municipality experience more bullying than others.  The project, which takes its starting point in the Gävle anti-bullying model, is part of the practice-based research funded by Gävle Municipality, ULF [Utveckling, Lärande, Forskning/Development, learning, and research] and the University of Gävle. The Gävle model was initiated in 2012 and is a collaboration between the University of Gävle and the municipality. The aim is to systematically combat bullying at the schools, to review anti-bullying policies and to take account of the knowledge that is available in scientific research. Those responsible for the Gävle model are tasked with helping schools to combat bullying by means of a systematic data collection and regular contact with the staff.

Read the news article Gävlemodellen effektiv mot mobbning svt.se

Bokprojekt för Routledge: Democracy and Teacher Education: Dilemmas, Challenges and Possibilities.

The book Democracy and Teacher Education: Dilemmas, Challenges and Opportunities is written for Routledge together with Associate Professor Geraldine Mooney Simmies from Limerick University, Ireland. The book project is funded by the University of Gävle and plans to be published in the spring of 2020.



  • (2009) PhD in education, May 27 2009. Thesis: Ruptured narratives. An analysis of the contradictions in young people's responses to issues of personal responsibility and social violence in an educational context.
    Supervisor: Professor Carl Anders Säfström, Professor Sharon Todd and Caroline Liberg Opponent: Lynda Stone
  • (2003) Teacher training programme at Uppsala University, majoring in English and history
  • (1999) BA at the University of Uppsala, specialising in Swedish and civics
  • (1999) BSoc.Sc in Education

Docent/Associate professor and Excellent teacher

  • (2019) Professor in curriculum theory
  • (2017) Received an Excellent teacher award
  • (2015) Associate professor of education at Uppsala University

Previous employments

  • (2015) Senior lecturer in education at the University of Gävle (AUE, didactics). Full-time/permanent contract, 20% skill time is included in the contract.
  • (2014-2015) Assistant lecturer at the University of Gävle, with 60% research
  • (2011 – 2013) Senior lecturer in education (specialising in special education), at EDU University of Uppsala. Full-time permanent contract, 20% research included in the contract. Leave of absence 2013-2015
  • (2009-2011) Acting professor in didactics. 10% research included in the contract.

Post-doctoral experience

  • 2013-2014 visiting research fellow at the University of Gävle

Experience of postgraduate supervision

  • Assistant supervisor for doctoral student Adrian Neaubauer, Madrid University, Spain (2020)
  • Ongoing: Assistant supervisor for doctoral student Daryl Pierson, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Research group

  • 2013- Research group: STORIES (Studies of Relationships in Educational environments for Sustainability)

Other academic assignments (a selection)

  • (2019) Invited to serve on the Board of Examiners for PhD student Isaac Benyamine, at Stockholm University, 22 March
  • (2019) Peer-reviewer ECER, Children's rights
  • (2018) Special Lecturer in education with a specialisation in didactics Dnr AN 2.2.1-500-18
  • (2018) Expert senior lecturer in educational work at Dalarna University [HDa 2.3 -2017/696]
  • (2017) Invited to serve on the Examination Board for doctoral student Helene Jenvén at Örebro University on Friday 17 March 2017.
    Contact person: Prof. Jan Orlenius: Kennert.Orlenius@hb.se
  • (2018) Invited to verve on the Board of Examiners for Mie Josefsson’s PhD thesis at Stockholm University, 2 February 2018.
    Contact person: Prof. Hillevi Lenz Taguchi hillevi.lenz-taguchi@buv.su.se
  • (2018) Peer-reviewer: ECER, Children's rights
  • (2018). Co-author of the research application on rights at the University of Gävle
  • (2017) Representative for AUE in the Pedagogical Merit Committee at the University of Gävle (PeMu)
  • (2017) Peer-reviewer: AERA
  • (2017) Peer-reviewer: Journal of Policy in Education
  • (2017) Peer-reviewer: Utbildning och Demokrati [Education and Democracy
  • (2017) Peer-reviewer: Journal of Teacher Education
  • (2017) Peer reviewer for Journal of Teacher Education
  • (2017-2021) Co-leader of a four year project financed by the Swedish Research Council for the sum of 5.6 million SEK: Meetings between moral and historical reflections. Participants: Professor Niklas Ammert (Linnaeus University), Associate Professor Jan Löfstedt (Helsingfors University, Finland) and Dr Heather Sharp (Newcastle University, Australia).
  • (2015-2016) Co-leader with Jan Löfstedt, Niklas Ammert, Gudmundur Frimannsson and Liisa Myyryn in the workshop and research network Towards an integrated theory of historical consciousness and moral consciousnes
  • (2017) Invited to UCLA for a research collaboration. Participated in academic events celebrating the first anniversary of the establishment of the UNESCO-UCLA Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, 6 February-11 February 2017 on the UCLA campus. Private academic meetings were held to coordinate collaborative and comparative research on global learning and global citizenship education, with a focus on programmes in Sweden and the United States. Contact person: Professor Dr. Carlos Alberto Torres catnovoa@aol.com
  • (2016-) Co-leader of the Higher Seminar on Education at the University of Gävle
  • (2016) Invited to participate in the committee responsible for the projection of the External Advisory Board, The Third Profile, University of Gävle.
    Contact person: Annika Elm: annika.elm@hig.se
  • (2016) Alternate for AUE in the Pedagogic Merit Committee at the University of Gävle (PeMu)
  • (2016) Peer reviewer for Journal of Moral Education
  • (2016) Invited to lecture at a conference on equality in the prechool teachers’ programme at Gothenburg University, Falkenberg (May)
    Contact person: Dr Christina Ekström, christina.ekstrom@hsm.gu.se
  • (2016) Invited guest lecturer on Democracy and Diversity at a master’s course in social didactics at Oslo University, Contact person, Associate Professor Elin Sæther, elin.sather@ils.uio.no, Oslo (October)
  • (2015) Peer reviewer for Journal of Curriculum Studies
  • (2015) Peer reviewer for Scandinavian Journal of Education
  • (2015) Peer reviewer for the journal Education and Democracy
  • (2012-) Gender agent at EDU, Uppsala University
  • (2012-) Peer reviewer for the journal Education and Learning, Skövde (Editor Maria Olson)
  • (2012-) Invited to study and develop the progression of Department EDU at Uppsala University
  • (2012-) Invited to compile a dossier for HSV's evaluation of Didactics at the Department of EDU, Uppsala University
  • (2011-2012) Representative on the Policy Board at the Department of EDU, Uppsala University (2010). Contact for honorary doctor Bronwyn Davies (2007-2008) PhD student Council President
  • (2007-2008) Representative of the Faculty Board (2007-2008) representative in The Research Committee (2004-) Peer reviewer for the journal International Journal of Learning
  • (2014) Teaching at graduate level (master’s course on Social Education) University of Granada, Spain – contact Associate Professor Antonio Luzón Trujillo: aluzon@ugr.se (until further notice)
  • (2014) Teaching at postgraduate level [WINTER SCHOOL FOR PHD STUDENTS], University of Limerick, Ireland – contact person Professor Mary Jenkins Parks: marie.parker.jenkins@ul.ie
  • (2013) Guest Lecturer, University of Limerick, Ireland – contact person Professor Mary Jenkins Parks: marie.parker.jenkins@ul.ie
  • (2012) Keynote speaker at the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Conference in Oslo, Nordic Democracy Conference for teacher training Våxenåsen, contact Ellen Almgren at the Swedish National Agency for Education: ellen.almgren@skolverket.se

Collaboration with the surrounding society (selection)

  • (2016) Invited lecturer on the democracy dilemma at the Ethics Council’s annual seminar for course managers. Contact person: J-Holst, Anna, Anna.Jandel-Holst@lr.se on teachers ' Association (September).
  • (2012) Employed by the Swedish National Agency for Education as a lecturer on the course Values and Equal Treatment 7.5 hp. Contact person, annika.hjelm@skolverket.se (visited several schools and preschools between Östersund and Uppsala.) CONTRACT TRAINING
  • (2010) Employed as a lecturer of the Swedish National Agency for Education on the course, Bullying, harassment and discrimination - school internships and research perspective, EDUCATION
Published by: Camilla Haglund Page responsible: Sara Perttunen Sundberg Updated: 2022-04-19
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)