A short history of Storyline in Norway

Although there were probably many previous occasions when Danish Storyline tutors had been involved in that country, a workshop course organised by Jørgen Frost, a Dane now working in the Bredtvet Kompetansessenter in Oslo, was the first time that the author and his Danish colleague Cecilie Falkenberg had been involved in Norway. This two-day course given in the summer of 1997 created much interest, has become an annual event. In May of 2001 a workshop course was arranged specially for the staff of the Language Impairment department of the centre. The participants generally work with individual clients and so it will be interesting to see how the Storyline ideas can be adapted to cope with this rather special circumstance.

The visits to Bredtvet also led to a new series of courses being run with Baerum Education Authority. These were organised by Jorunn Tweita, a local authority adviser.

Link to websiteVestfold College of Education has become a Storyline centre through the interest and enthusiasm of a team of lecturers led by Liv Torunn Eik who published the first Norwegian book on the methodology in the Spring of 1999. This group paid a study visit to Glasgow in the Autumn of 1998.

Click for book detailsA group from the college is also organising a one-week long educational visit to Scotland in the Autumn of 2001 with the intention that, if successful, this could become an annual event.

Ringstabekk School in Oslo has been a project school, taking students from 13 to 16 years, since the 70s. After two members of staff had visited a Storyline course in Oslo in 1997 the whole staff were brought on a study tour to Edinburgh where they experienced a Storyline planning weekend. Elin Bonde the headteacher and Knut Aage Teigen a teacher, have been instrumental in experimenting with the methodology in its use with older students. A consultancy visit in May 2001 showed just how far the staff has succeeded in implementing Storyline ideas.

Norway page NEWS Articles - latest at the top

GAN goes Storyline! Norway page
Knut Åge Teigen
More informationThat was the motto of the seven editors from the Norwegian publishing company, GAN Forlag, visiting Steve Bell and Sallie Harkness at Strathclyde Universitiy Jordanhill Campus November 10th. Eager to learn more about the Storyline approach the editors were all ears and eyes during the day long work shop. Steve and Sallie brought us through the episodes of the Capital Tours storyline and in that way highlighting different aspects of Storyline. We all felt that bringing a 'family' to life, having the chance to go to different European capitals and exploring possible travel incidents were not only exciting, but also a good way of showing us the main principles of the approach.

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Norwegian Student Teachers & Trainers visit Scotland Norway page
Marit Storhaug
link to websiteIn October 2005, 75 student teachers and 4 trainers from Oslo University College visited Glasgow. They stayed for nearly a week to learn about the history of industrialisation in Glasgow, visiting New Lanark and having lectures at Glasgow University among other activities. Another important purpose for the visit was a one day meeting with Steve Bell and Sallie Harkness of Storyline Scotland.

We met at our hotel McLays Guest House and the workshops with Steve and Sallie took place in the dining rooms there. Steve gave the students an introduction to theory and practice of the Storyline method and Sallie presented literature-based Storylines. These two sessions gave the students new ideas and really inspired them to work with Storyline. Two weeks later during a short practice period some of the student teachers designed their own Storylines and performed them in their classes. For their next practice period all the students are to make Storylines.

Golden Circle Seminar: Havna Rica Hotel Norway page
Tjøme, Norway 5th to 7th May 2005
This delightful setting selected by Liv Torunn Eik and Knut Rune Olsen proved to be ideal for our purposes. The starting session reviewed the First Nordic Storyline Conference which had just finished and this was followed by a presentation and discussion of the forthcoming International Storyline Conference to be held in Glasgow in October 2006. What followed was a succession of presentations by Storyline practitioners describing in some detail major publications and developments from 11 countries.

Successful Nordic Storyline Conference Norway page
Quality Hotel, Toensberg, 2-4 May 2005
Cecilie Falkenberg and Ria Heilä-Ylikallio Organised by Liv Torunn Eik, Knut Rune Olsen and colleagues from Vestfold University College this conference proved to be a great success attracting 150 educators to the pre-conference courses and 180 delegates to the two-day conference. It was the first Nordic Storyline Conference and Vestfold are to be commended for their entrepreneurial enthusiasm. The programme was well-balanced with four keynote speakers supported by a menu of parallel sessions representing many educational interests. The full programme can be found at the following website link.

Student Week in School Norway page
Link to websiteFollowing the Storyline course in Oslo University College in January (see below) the students spent a week working with all the classes in a school. A record of their achievement can be seen on the website

Storyline Visit to Oslo University College Norway page
Report from Marit Storhaug
Steve Bell & Marit Storhaug - Larger imageOn January 17 and 18 student teachers and the staff at the Faculty of Education of Oslo University College had the great opportunity to meet Steve Bell and learn from his rich experience with Storyline. Steve was invited to present Storyline to staff and the student teachers who are preparing for their final practice period in their education programme. In the fourth and final year of their education programme, many of the student teachers are required to organise a Storyline project in their practice period. The overall themes are "multicultural understanding" and "human rights". The students take over a whole school for one and a half weeks. Their pupils are from 6 to 16 years old (primary and lower secondary school). Subjects that are involved are Social Studies (History, Geography and Social Science), English and Religious Studies, among others. By way of introducing the teaching practices Steve gave two very informative presentations about both practical and theoretical principles of Storyline. He greatly inspired the student teachers, their teachers and a wider audience as well.
Last year the students made storylines on the same topics and their experiences are described on this web site.

Nordic Storyline Conference Norway page
2nd-4th May 2005 in Toensberg, Norway
Link to websiteThe Conference is being organised by Knut Rune Olsen, Liv Torunn Eik and their colleagues at the Vestfold University College in Toensberg.The keynote speakers will include the noted Norwegian educationist Prof.Tom Tiller from Tromsoe, Cecilie Falkenberg, editor of the Danish Storylinebogen and Prof. Ria Heilä-Ylikallio from Finland whose special interest is in how Storyline links wirth the study of literature and the teaching of reading and writing. Steve Bell from Storyline-Scotland will give a presentation on the development of Storyline. over the last thirty years.

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Norwegian Teacher Trainers visit Glasgow Norway page
Marit Storhaug, August 2004
On Monday 16th August a group of lecturers from Oslo University College Faculty of Teacher Education visited the University of Strathclyde's Jordanhill Campus. The main purpose of this visit was to meet Steve Bell and discuss ways in which Storyline might be used as a tool in the initial and inservice training of teachers. The group represented a variety of different subject areas; geography, science, social studies, history and English. Several members of this group already knew Steve and his work and use Storyline in their own teaching. They felt it would be useful to introduce other colleagues to the method.This meeting inspired these "new" colleagues to return home and start using what they had learned. They were particularly interested in the possibilities the method offers for collaboration between colleagues who teach different subjects as this is an area which is strongly emphasised in the new plans for teacher education in Norway.

New Norwegian Storyline Books Norway page
Larger imageThis book is one of a series of three which have been written to support teachers and students who are working with Storyline in primary education. Each deals with a different stage - early education, the middle years and the upper stages. The authors are Liv Torunn Eik and Knut Rune Olsen, lecturers in Vestfold College of Education, Merete Fagernes a very experienced tutor in early education and Janne Fausganger of Stavanger College of Education specialising in mathematics. The books aim to model good practice with examples suitable for the selected stages and demonstrate how these link to sound educational targets in problem solving and social competence.Click here for the publisher's website

Norwegian Teachers visit American Community School, Cobham, England Norway page England page
Link to photo galleryOn Wednesday, the 14th of April, 35 Norwegian educators from Askollen skole, Drammen, Norway visited the American Community School, Cobham, England. The purpose of their visit was to learn about effective teaching strategies including Storyline. Rebecca Plaskitt hosted their visit sharing about a current historical storyline, multiple uses of math manipulatives, and ideas for teaching reading and writing. The photos show the Norwegian teachers participating in these activities. In addition, the guests were introduced to our art program as well as our special needs and guidance program. The ACS presenters included Mrs. Pike, a 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Meadows, the art teacher and Mrs. Walker-Williams, the guidance counselor. Everyone enjoyed a beautiful spring day as they ate lunches, toured the school and took photos. Anne-Margrete Marthinsen, Head of Askollenskole, presented our school with several Norwegian children's books that will be added to the International languages section of our school library. This opportunity to exchange educational ideas was a benefit for all the teachers involved.

News from Oslo Norway page
A message from Marit Storhaug, an associate professor at the faculty of Education at Oslo University College. "We are nine colleagues in both social science and science education. We work in an interdisplinary way with environmental issues in a course called ‘Nature, Society and Environment.' This year we got a ‘quality prize’ for the best learning environment from our college which we hope to use for a study tour to Scotland." Their programme, this September, will include a visit to the New Lanark Museum followed by a Storyline course at Jordanhill Campus of Strathclyde University . Marit says in her request for a presentation - "Some of us teach Storyline to the students and we are all interested to learn more about it." Their interesting website describes their previous experiences with this approach.

Storyline as a stimulus to dialoque (in Norwegian) Norway page
Link to webpage"Knut Åge Teigen, a teacher at Ringstabekk skole, has written an essay on storyline as a vehicle for tolerance and dialogue. The essay was the written exam for the course in Religion, "Can you learn dialogue?", at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. The storyline described and analyzed was called "Rainbow Street", based on the familiar "Our Street"- structure, and used in 9th grade secondary school. The main goals were related to the subjects Religion and Social Science. The essay's title was "Tolerance, freedom of beliefs and the multicultural Norway - storyline as an entrance to dialogue in the classroom".

Next Golden Circle Seminar in Norway Norway page
Liv Torunn Eik & Knut Rune OlsenLiv Torunn Eik, Knut Rune Olsen and their team of colleagues at Vestfold College of Education, Tønsberg, have established an exciting Storyline Centre in Norway. Apart from the growing number of publications they are producing, they also organise a Storyline Network which meets at regular intervals giving teachers and lecturers opportunities to share their experiences. At the recent meeting in Elsinore, Denmark, the Vestfold Team offered to host the next seminar of the Golden Circle in May 2005 in Tønsberg.

International Energy Project Norway page
Ringstabekk School, Norway
Link to websiteA new multinational energy company, ENERTIBE, was established in Baerum, Norway, last autumn. The company has branches on all continents and you'll find ENERTIBE in countries such as USA, China, South-Africa, Chile and India. It's all about green and alternative energy and ENERTIBE tries to follow up what was discussed at United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Johannesburg in the same period.

The teacher Knut Åge Teigen, Ringstabekk skole, Baerum, together with two students are the authors of an article where they present and comment on this storyline.

International Business Development Norway page
Using Storyline in Haram Upper Secondary School, Norway

Click for more informationTwo years ago a group of staff and colleagues from local businesses working in Haram Upper Secondary School in Norway visited Glasgow to find out more about using Storyline for their educational purposes.

Jan Magne Helland and Ivar Roald, the leaders of the study tour, have just been in contact to inform me about the latest developments. They report that since then they have expanded and developed further their way of using Storyline in close co-operation with industry and commerce.

They state that for the next few years they will develop a new future-oriented study offer which they call International Business Development (IBD). Storyline as a method has turned out to be suitable when they use industry and commerce as an extended learning area. They will try to develop this further when their students accompany the local firms to their international learning area.
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Knut Aage TeigenNews Item in Norwegian E-Magazine Norway page
Knut Aage Teigen, a teacher at Ringstabekk skole, Oslo, has written about the forthcoming International Storyline Conference and its significance to Norwegian teachers. The article can be reached by clicking below

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New Storyline books in Norwegian Norway page
Link to websiteLink  to websiteTor Arne Wølner of the Vestfold College of Education has just informed me that two new books have been published by the University Publishers in Oslo this August. The authors are Liv Torun Eik, Janne Fauskanger, Knut Rune Olsen and Tor Arne Wølner. To keep up to date with all the Storyline literature available in Norwegian and other Scandinavian languages please click below:
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Storyline-Toolbox for learning on the Net Norway page
Kvinesdal Upper Secondary School Team
Larger ImageMarch 7th 2003 was a very special day for Storyline in Norway. On this day Kvinesdal Upper Secondary School presented the Storyline-Toolbox to Steve Bell and many other invited guests. This programme gives the opportunity to use the Storyline Method in web-based teaching. It is a totally new web programme designed from scratch especially for this purpose. It is thought by the design team that it can be of value in the teaching of any subject and that it is suitable for use from kindergarten to college level. The first subject available is an internet-based teaching programme for kindergarten assistants. The team believe that this is just the start.
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A Norwegian Resource Centre for Storyline Norway page
Larger imageLink to websiteKvinesdal Upper Secondary School now has several years of experience in using Storyline for teaching students at that level, something which is not so common in Norway. In May 2002 it was decided that the school would become a Resource Centre for Storyline teaching in Norway. Courses are now being offered in ordinary classroom teaching and in the use of the Storyline-Toolbox mentioned above. For more information click on

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Comenius Project Norway page
Larger ImageKumi Tømmerbakke, a Primary 7 class teacher in Løkeberg school in Haslum, Norway, has recently reported a very interesting visit made to Gloucester Primary School in Peckham, London, as part of a Comenius project. A school in Italy, "A. Gandiglio" situated in Fano, completes the group of three schools connected to this project for a period of three years. The main thrust will be film-making and creating e-mail contact between pupils but teachers are also encouraged to visit each other's schools to get to know the staff involved and also each other's school systems. On this first visit the Norwegian teachers involved the English pupils in a Storyline about Trolls. The picture shows class 4D, taught by Mrs Diana Valcheva, and the children who participated.

New building material and Storyline Norway page
Link to websiteLarger imageWhile attending the Seminar of the Norwegian Storyline Network in Vestfold College of Education recently I met Arvid Undebakke, the managing director of a company called Percolo A/S. He showed me a new building material which he has designed with illustrations of how it had been used together with Storyline. Arvid explained: "The notches on the blocks also fit together mathematically. Two blocks with 3 notches make 1 block with 6 notches. In this way, mathematics is practiced on both a practical and theoretical level. This, in turn, helps a child's understanding of mathematics. Two Storyline booklets written by Merethe Fagernaes have also been produced called "The Viking Farm" and "The Loghouse Village". Percolo Playwood is used in both Storylines where mathematics is the leading subject for Ages 6-13."
Visualisation plays and important part in the methodology and it is obvious that this material is yet another creative option for teachers.
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Norwegian Educational Journal Norway page
Larger image - put mouse over to see backJanne Fausganger, a lecturer in the College of Education in Stavanger, has written a paper in this journal entitled 'Storyline - with Mathematics inside or outside?' She presented an outline of her paper at The Golden Circle seminar in Iceland in May and it was enthusiastically received by the participants. She gives very clear examples of the variety of ways in which Storyline can provide the context for the teaching of mathematics - either within the story or on the periphery.
The Journal is published in Norwegian by Universitetsforlaget,
ISSN 0029-2052 and is dated 4/2002

More informationCan Storyline be used in a
Technical High School?
Thirteen members of staff from Haram Vidaregåande skule (Haram Upper Secondary School) from Brattvåg, Norway, visited Glasgow to attend a one-day Storyline course with Steve Bell on Monday 1st October. They were accompanied by three representatives from the business community of their home area. The school is particularly engaged in preparing students for careers in the engineering and technical fields and are interested to know if Storyline can be adapted as an approach that would fit effectively into their system. This would be another 'first' since I am unaware of Storyline being used elsewhere in a technical high school like this. I look forward with great interest to see what may develop.
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Criticism of Storyline in Norwegian Journal
Link to WebsiteA lively debate has been stimulated by a paper written by Nina Goga, published in the Teachers' Journal, Norsklæreren No 1 2001. In it she details her rather critical views of the Storyline approach. This has encouraged a lively debate that has resulted in two further articles being published. The first written by Knut-Rune Olsen of Vestfold College of Education, in Norsklæreren No 2 2001, in which he argues against the negative points raised in the first article and his views are then supported by Liv Torunn Eik, another colleague at Vestfold in Norsklæreren No 3 2001.

Click for larger imageA New Book
A new Norwegian book has just been published which describes Storyline as experienced by members of staff at Ringstabekk skole in Bærum, Oslo. Ringstabekk has been a Project school since the early 70s and it is only in recent years that they have been experimenting with Storyline as a strategy for their teaching. The book is published by Universitetsforlag, is entitled "Moderne Pedagogikk" and is written by six members of staff - Bjørn Bolstad (editor), Elin Bonde (headteacher), Inger Haugerud, Ingrid Jacobsen, Ellen Raaum and Knut Aage Teigen. ISBN: 82-518-4044-9

Save the Children publication
Click for a larger imageKnut-Rune Olsen and Liv Torunn Eik, have written this Storyline teaching material about the Save the Children organisation in Sri Lanka and Ethiopia. All children have the right to go to school!
That is the message they want to get across and in their opinion Storyline designs can help to motivate children's learning with the mutual respect that it encourages.

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"Bridging the Gap" impresses Norway!
Can Storyline help bridge the gap between the generations? The answer is most certainly,'Yes! This was impressively demonstrated when teachers from Ringstabekk skole in Norway last Monday met up with Pip Tench and Ged Stanton at St. Thomas Moore High School in Newcastle, England.

Click for larger imageWe got to see several examples about how young pupils were mixed with elderly people to encourage learning through Storyline. One Storyline was about Trench Warfare, another was named "A Town for the Future." The oldest persons contributing were 101-years old! Meeting three students who were part of this Storyline experiment confirmed the impression of how this approach can help to build self-esteem. The students were so excited when talking about their work. Intergenerational learning is in many ways unexplored territory and the visit to Newcastle gave many ideas about how it can be done effectively.

Thanks to Pip and Ged for being so generous! Knut Aage Teigen, Marit Loekke and Inger-Elisabeth Haugerud , Ringstabekk skole, Bærum, Oslo, Norway.
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Storyline Courses in Vestfold College of Education
Larger imageThis leaflet has been produced in Norway by a Storyline team in Vestfold College of Education to inform about the principles behind Storyline and giving the reasons for using it as an educational strategy. It is also used to advertise the variety of Storyline courses being presented by members of staff at the college.

Vestfold, which is situated in Toensberg, south of Oslo, will also be the venue for the second meeting of the Norwegian Siver Circle Seminar in September this year.

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Intercomprehension in Language Teacher Education Norway page
Larger imageBritt Ulseth of Østfold College of Education, Norway is the coordinator of a Lingua-A project under the Socrates programme Intercomprehension in Language Teacher Education. 'From Language Teacher to Teacher of Languages' aims at offering tools to enhance pluralinguilism in the foreign language classroom. Intercomprehension is a key notion and the development of language and cultural awareness an ultimate objective. She and her colleagues consider Storyline as a strategy to reach their aims.

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Norwegian article in Danish Journal Norway page
Link to websiteThe title of the article is "Reflection makes us wiser - Experiences at Ringstabekk school in Norway". The main point in the article is to describe how the teachers at Ringstabekk learned about Storyline and how they have integrated Storyline into their own work. First of all two teachers attended a course about storyline with Steve Bell in Norway. Then they had to share this experience with the rest of the staff. Secondly, some teachers working in a teaching team, tried out Storyline in their own classes. They saw it was good.
The staff then decided to go to Edinburgh to learn more. They had a wonderful design course with Steve. All teams then had to try out the Storyline they had written at the course. At our staff meetings the teams shared their experiences. Of course this led to many discussions, even disagreements, but the main thing is that they learned from each other. In this way Storyline was implemented as an important learning strategy at the school and became a method all teachers used.

The authors of the article are Elin Bonde (Headteacher), Ellen and Knut Aage Teigen. Pædagogisk Orientering is a Danish pedagogical journal which is published six times a year.
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Storyline in Toensberg Norway page
TØNSBERGS BLADS  news articleToensberg, situated to the southwest of Oslo, used to be a whaling harbour. The penguin sculpture, which decorates the harbour walk, is a reminder of the town's link with the Antarctic. This attractive seaport has now become a centre for Storyline education. A very active team led by Liv Torunn Eik and Knut Rune Olsen of Vestfold College of Education, organised a morning conference for 150 students
and teachers on Wednesday 18th September 2002. On the afternoon of the same day the Norwegian Network of Storyline Teachers (Silver Circle) started a two-day seminar to share their experiences of working with this strategy. This event was organised by the same team together with Knut Aage Teigen of Ringstabekk school in Oslo. Steve Bell was delighted to be invited to speak to both groups.

Conference, Norway Norway page
Holmenkollen Park Hotel Rica, September 2002
larger imageLarger image400 delegates attended this three-day conference on the Early Registration of Language Difficulties. The participants, mainly educational psychologists and speech therapists, were treated to a variety of presentations from prominent keynote speakers and given opportunities to choose from a menu of workshop/seminars. One of these was a Storyline course for 56 participants entitled 'Storyline as an interventionist approach to language difficulties'.

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Pupils write about storyline in 9th grade Norway Norway page
From Knut Aage Teigen, Ringstabekk school, Oslo,Norway
Click for larger image and linksIt was a cold morning in November. The residents of Rainbow Street were in shock. "What had happened during the night in this peaceful street? Who would do such a terrible thing?" On the window of the grocer's big red painted letters were screaming "Immigrants = Parasites". In the days to come suspiciousness ruled the street. During this storyline of the daily life and incidents in Rainbow Street the pupils of class 9B at Ringstabekk skole in Norway are confronted with common attitudes, challenges and prejudices of our modern multicultural society. In their article for Klikk, a magazine published by the Norwegian Board of Education two 15-year-old students Marianne Hessan and Ole Bolstad tell in a lively way about the storyline from the perspective of the pupils. They tell about the incidents, the concert they gave and what they learned from it.

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