Norwegian version
Portrait of Anna Sethne in two different colours

The Anna Sethne Honorary Lecture

The Anna Sethne Honorary Lecture is an annual guest lecture intended to inspire the integration of education and research with an emphasis on diversity, sustainability and interdisciplinary aspects.

The lecture’s target group comprises academic staff, particularly from teacher education institutions in Norway and abroad, our partners from the field of practice and other interested parties.  

The first Anna Sethne lecture was organised by the Faculty of Education and International Studies in 2022. 

The Anna Setne Honorary Lecture 2022: Richard Sennett: The Open City

About Anna Sethne

Anna Sethne (1872–1961) was a teacher, headmistress and trade union leader. She was a trailblazer for new educational methods in the Norwegian elementary school system. 

Sethne wanted to release children's creative energy by building on their natural interests, and she was a keen advocate of the "activity school" and activity pedagogy. 

The progressive education movement is a collective term for a range of 20th-century educational reform movements that shared a critical attitude towards the goals and methods of traditional education. Progressive education also entailed a strong belief in children's potential for development and creative abilities. Anna Sethne is considered to have introduced the progressive education movement to Norway. She engaged in progressive education experiments inspired by John Dewey and Charlotte Bühler. It was her opinion that all school reform should be based on scientific research.  

Sethne’s position was further strengthened by her political work relating to the teaching profession. She was one of the founders of the Norwegian Association of Women Teachers (Norges Lærerinneforbund) and worked hard to promote equality between male and female teachers in the Norwegian school system. Anne Sethne was made an Officer of the Order of St. Olav for ‘distinguished services to the development of the Norwegian elementary school’. 

The Faculty of Education and International Studies’ main building at Pilestredet 42 is named Anna Sethnes Hus in her honour.