Norwegian version

Public defence: Gro Mathias

Gro Mathias will defend her PhD in Educational Sciences for Teacher Education with her thesis entitled "Psychosocial Knowledge and Therapeutic Culture. Epistemic Inquiries into Norwegian Education Policy and Teacher Education".

Trial lecture

The trial lecture will be held from 10-10.45.

Title: "What does the ‘psychosocial environment’ replace/displace historically in Norwegian schools, and how can we understand this shift?"

Public defence

The candidate will defend her thesis at 12.15.

Online streaming 

The trial lecture and public defence will also be streamed live via Zoom (

Meeting ID: 627 3081 9042 

Passcode: 190424

Ordinary opponents

Leader of the public defence

Sølvi Mausethagen, Vice-Dean of Research and Development, Faculty of Teacher Education and International Studies, Oslo Metropolitan University 


How to oppose ex auditorio

Please inform the leader of the defense if you wish to oppose ex auditorio during the break, before the second opponent begins. 

For questions regarding the trial lecture and public defense, contact the PhD administration at the faculty via e-mail.

Publication of the approved PhD thesis

Request a PDF-copy of the PhD thesis by e-mail. Please include the name of the PhD candidate. 

  • Summary

    The study provides a descriptive and analytical account of the emergence of the interdisciplinary term psychosocial in Norwegian education. Exploring the psychosocial as a category of knowledge, Mathias examines the epistemic practices, objects, and processes of the psychosocial in educational policy and teacher education, and in relation to the dynamics of contemporary knowledge societies. One contemporary phenomenon highlighted in the study is therapeutic culture, where ideas and theories from the field of psychology spill over its disciplinary boundaries into a range of different social fields. 

    The main research question for the thesis is twofold: How does the psychosocial emerge as a category of knowledge in Norwegian education (as demonstrated in educational policy and teacher education), and how does it relate to therapeutic culture and the dynamics of contemporary knowledge society?

    The thesis presents a comprehensive view of the psychosocial as a category of knowledge that blends expertise with popular culture as well as instrumentalism and emotionalism. It argues that the psychosocial shapes teachers’ professional mandates towards therapeutic cultural characteristics, practices, and values. It also critically discusses how the psychosocial as a category of knowledge contributes to the fragmentation of teachers’ shared knowledge base through its ambivalence and boundlessness, its internalisation and individualisation of knowledge, its emotional style, and its importation of knowledge from disciplines traditionally concerned with patients rather than pupils. 

    Overall, the dissertation contributes to the growing literature that explores and critically engages with therapeutic culture in education and the study of teachers’ knowledge in relation to the dynamics of contemporary knowledge societies.

Contact the PhD administration

Contact the PhD administration via e-mail.