Bjorn Nordtveit is Guest Professor at Zhejiang Normal University

Bjorn Nordtveit was recently appointed to a two-year term as a guest professor at Zhejiang Normal University (ZJNU), located in the city of Jinhua about 3 hours from Shanghai.  In April 2018 Professor Nordtveit spent 10 days there giving guest lectures to students and faculty.


Bjorn commented that the students were talented and enthusiastic about their work, participating actively in the classroom.  He said students were interested in learning new research methods that went beyond traditional historical and descriptive data to include more interactive, qualitative approaches to gathering data. His teaching included discussions of more experimental and critical approaches to research to supplement the current emphasis on numerical data and statistical analysis.


In addition to teaching classes, Bjorn worked with four junior faculty members associated with the Center for Comparative and International Education at the university, helping them develop their skills in research design and reporting the results in articles that could be published in international journals.  He also worked with faculty members and advanced graduate students in academic writing for publication.


Zhejiang Normal (library pictured left) has about 25,000 students of whom nearly 10% are from various countries around the world.  About 1,000 of them are from Africa as part of a growing linkage between the university and countries in Africa. ZJNU currently is managing a teacher training project with Tanzania as part of a World Bank funded project. 


Bjorn views his work there as an opportunity for CIE UMass to reach out and build linkages with universities in PRC. He hopes that in the future the two universities can undertake joint projects, and plans to return to ZJNU once or twice a year to continue building the relationship.