Post Doctoral Fellow Position

The Center for Physically Active Learning (SEFAL) now is hiring a Post Doc fellow (2 y position), so if you know anyone that would fancy two years in Sogndal (, Norway, please let me know.

A brief description of SEFAL:
SEFAL will over the next few years further develop physically active learning (PAL), and to make SEFAL a sustainable center that will be a national and international driving force for PAL development and PAL research.
SEFAL is a 5-year project (because we got a €4million-over-5-year-grant from the Norwegian Gjensidige Foundation) and we are now 15 people working at the center.

SEFAL was established in 2018 at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Campus Sogndal. SEFAL works in close partnership with schools to offer a one-year, workplace- and web based continuing professional development program (CPD) in PAL, with two alternatives: 1) a CPD without study credits and 2) a CPD with 15 credits (ECTS) on master’s level. Our strategy is school-based competence development in partnership with schools, meaning: we are working closely with schools and see them as equal developing partners. We will cooperate with approx. 100 schools & 1000 teachers over the 5 years. Mostly primary schools, but also some secondary schools.

SEFAL will in August start year 3 (out of 5), and will continue to develop PAL as a quality-assured teaching method in theoretical subjects (math’s, English, science etc) through more physically active, practical and varied teaching – and we have three “foundation” we build our work on: motivation (both motivation for being a pupil in general and motivation to learn in subject), well-being (meaning: kids should have a lot of fun and experience joy when doing FAL) and relationship (teacher-pupil and pupil-pupil). Very import: we hardly tell our students (teachers) what PAL is but instead: ask them questions to spark reflective regarding their practice – and improve their professional development – so they hopefully will continue to develop PAL when the 1-year SEFAL FAL continuing teacher education programme is completed.

SEFAL`s CPD programme is a colleague-based and practice focused education and preferably involves all employees at the school and embraces a whole school system approach. Also, the CPD has a strong link between PAL and the professional development of the teacher’s pedagogical practice. The CPD is made up of five modules with a generic structure creating a natural progression. In each module, the teachers: 1) plan a teaching lesson in a theoretical subject such as mathematics or English where PAL is integrated, 2) carry out the teaching lesson and, 3) reflect on their own and colleague’s delivery in a structured evaluation process.

SEFAL`s 15 credits CPD is completed with a practical and theorical exam. The exam includes two components; 1) an individual PAL plan and, 2) a school-level plan to support the wider implementation of PAL. The school development plan is written in collaboration with the school leadership.

In the school year 2018/19, 44 teachers completed the SEFAL CPD in Nordland county and Telemark county. In 2019/20, approximately 200 teachers in Rogaland county and Østfold county completed the SEFAL CPD. During the first two school years, SEFAL only offered the 15 credits CPD. From August 2020, two paths will be offered: a CPD without study credits (and no exam) and a CPD with 15 credits (and with exam). Approximately three hundred teachers from Trøndelag county and Vestland county are already enrolled as students.

The SEFAL post doc fellow will work closely with Professor Geir K. Resaland, and the PAL will be the main focus.

People often ask: what is PAL?
After working together with hundreds of teachers and principals in schools, PAL is a term (or concept?) that teachers and principals use and understand in different ways. To this note, mine and SEFALs understanding of PAL has evolved over time, and, SEFAL has no blueprint of what PAL is. At this moment (August 2020), this is our understanding op PAL:

PAL is a teaching method that teachers can use in theoretical subjects such as mathematics, English or natural sciences where students are physically active. PAL practices can take place in the school yard, in the hallways or even in the classroom, and therefore represents a variety to the dominating sedentary teaching. PAL is planned and led by the classroom teacher. In this way, PAL becomes part of an educational entirety/whole and a part of the effort to achieve learning and competence goals in a subject. In PAL, students usually work together, often in groups of 2-5 students, organized by the teacher. PAL can be either A) repetition of subject matter that the teacher has already undergone in the classroom, or B) learning of subject matter for the first time. PAL activities can have different intensities, from the very low to high pulse, determined by the teacher.

If there is any questions about the SEFAL Post Doc fellow position, please send me an email