Paul Thomas


Faculty of Humanities, Sports and Educational Science
Department of Educational Science
Campus Drammen (4220)
I have a PhD in Education from King's College, London. I have taught in schools in the UK (Qualified Teacher Status) and Norway. My research interest spans the gamut of the manner in which multicultural categories (e.g. religion, gender, language and ethnicity) intersect with formal education in countries as diverse as Ghana, UK, Ethiopia and Norway. In addition, I have taught pedagogy and international education (oriented towards the Global South) on undergraduate and postgraduate levels.


  • As professor of pedagogy, my main work revolves around teaching and supervision of students enrolled in the International Teacher Education for Primary Schools (ITEPS) which educates students to become teachers in international schools worldwide. I also teach courses in the Norwegian Teacher Training Degree Program (5-year Masters). In this regard, I have also supervised several undergraduate and postgraduate students. 
  • I also co-lead the research group "Minorities and Education" at USN. 
  • Reviewer: Among others, Cambridge Journal of Education; Whiteness and Education; Social Compass – International Review of Sociology of Religion. 
  • Member of the adjudication committee for doctoral examination (University of Oslo), 2nd opponent. Master Emmanuel Wilson Walla at the Department of Education will be defending the thesis "HIV/AIDS, TRADITIONS AND EDUCATION IN SOUTH SUDAN" for the degree of Phd. 
  • Opponent, PhD defence: School of Governance, Law and Society, University of Talinn, Estonia. Doctorate student Mohammed Abdullai, thesis entitled "Cultural Barriers and Enablers of Integrating Educational Migrants from the Global South: The Case of Graduate Students in Europe". 


PhD in Education: King's College, London (University of London). Doctoral thesis: The Creation-Evolution Debate: An Islamic Perspective (2012) supervised by Dr Philip Barnes and Professor Alister McGrath (Andreos Idreos Professor of Science and Religion, University of Oxford). 

MPhil in Multicultural/International Education. Oslo University College. Thesis: Tolerance in religious education : a comparative study of three junior secondary schools in Kumasi, Ghana (2009)

Allmennlærerutdanning/four-year Teacher Training Programme with an integrated Bachelor in Education. Oslo Mteropolitan University (2008). 

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for teaching in maintained and non-maintained schools in England (2012). 



Thomas, P. (2021). The discourse of international standard-setting: PISA tests and Norway, a critical discourse analysis. Education in the North, 28(2) pp. 6-23. 

Thomas, P and Alhassan, ARK (2021). Challenging Antisemitism: A Pedagogical Approach in a Norwegian School. In Lange, A., Mayerhofer, K., Porat, D., & Schiffman, L. H. (Eds.). Comprehending and Confronting Antisemitism: A Multi-Faceted Approach. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. In press (In print, May, 2021). Level 2 publication (NSD). Part of the research group "Minorities and Education". 

Paul Thomas, Abdul-Razak Kuyini Alhassan & Anne Liv Kaarstad Lie (2020) Bunad, minorities and belonging in Norway, National Identities: Critical Inquiry into Nationahood, Politics & Culture (Routledge) DOI: 10.1080/14608944.2020.1851669. Part of the research group "Minorities and Education". 

Thomas, P. (2019). Delegitimizing Multicultural Education: Populist Politicians in Norway and the Weaponizing of the Autobiographical Genre. European Politics and Society (Routledge/Taylor & Francis/). Article DOI. 10.1080/23745118.2019.1683984. 

Thomas, P. (2019). Shadow Schools – Tamil Educational Success in Norway. Other Education: The journal of educational alternatives.

Thomas, P., Alhassan, A.R.K. (2019). Religious education, antisemitism and the curriculum in Norway. THEO WEB. Zeitschrift für Religionspädagogik. Academic Journal of Religious Education. The official publication organ of the German Association of Religious Education Scholars. Universität Wien 

Thomas, P., Hennum, Ø. (2019). School Absenteeism and the New Ten Percent Ruling in Norway: A Case Study. Power and Education (Sage Publications Ltd). Published Online first 31.05.2019. 

Thomas, P., Seehawer, M., & Fylkesnes, S. (2019). Arenas of empowerment? Case study of a ‘multicultural’ high school in Oslo, Norway. In Habib, S., & Ward, M. R. M. (2019). Youth, place and theories of belonging. BSA/Routledge: Sociological Futures Series. Level 2 (Cristin).

Thomas, P., & Skinstad van der Kooij, K. (November 2018). The history syllabus in post-genocide Rwanda: Implications for teacher education. ​Cogent Education. Taylor & Francis, 5(1). 

Thomas, P. (May 2018). Whose Vision 2020? The World Bank’s Development and Educational Discourse in Rwanda. Development Studies Research. Taylor & Francis. doi. 10.1080/21665095.2018.1469422.

Thomas, P. (2017). The Call for Muslim Schools in Norway: The Political Debate. Nordic Studies in Education, Vol. 37, 3-4, pp. 166-182. ISSN 1891-5914. Universitetsforlaget.  

Thomas, P., & Røthing, Å. (2017). Exploring feminism in a multicultural classroom: using Bend it Like Beckham as a tool in a high school class. Intercultural Education, 1-19. Level 2 article in CRistin /NSD.

Thomas, P. (2017). The portrayal of non-westerners in EFL textbooks in Norway. Cogent Education4(1), 1275411. 

Thomas, P. (2016). Norwegian-Somali parents who send their children to schools in Somalia. Cogent Education3(1), 1229520.

Thomas, P. (2016). Exploring Anti-Semitism in the Classroom: A Case Study Among Norwegian Adolescents from Minority Backgrounds. Journal of Jewish Education82(3), 182-207.

Thomas, P. (2016). “Papa, Am I a Negro?” The Vexed History of the Racial Epithet in Norwegian Print Media (1970–2014). Race and Social Problems8(3), 231-243.

Thomas, P., Changezi, S. H., & Enstad, M. (2016). Third space epistemologies: Ethnicity and belonging in an ‘immigrant’-dominated upper secondary school in Norway. Improving Schools19(3), 212-228.

Thomas, P., & Breidlid, A. (2015). In the shadow of ‘Anglobalization’: national tests in English in Norway and the making of a new English underclass. Journal of Multicultural Discourses10(3), 349-368.

Thomas, P. (2015). Managing Religion in a Global World: The United Nation's ruling against Norwegian Religious Education. Politics, Religion & Ideology16(2-3), 201-217.

Thomas, P., & Selimovic, A. (2015). “Sharia on a Plate?” A critical discourse analysis of halal food in two Norwegian newspapers. Journal of Islamic Marketing6(3), 331-353. Winner of the 2016 Emerald Literati Awards

Thomas, P. (2012). Religious education and the feminisation of witchcraft: A study of three secondary schools in Kumasi, Ghana. British Journal of Religious Education34(1), 67-86. Level 2 article in CRistin /NSD. 

Click here for Google Scholar list.

Popular science production: lectures, media etc.

Romerikes Blad (05.15.2021). Evnen til å leve med forskjeller. 

(10.06.2020). Opinion piece. "Gjør Jesus svart igjen!". Vårt Land. 

(2020). Opinion piece entitled “Hvilke krefter får ungdom i Norge til å velge enten bunad eller nikab?". Aftenposten 

(2018). Opinion piece "Bashe Musse svikter unge somaliere" (Bashe Musse lets down Somali youth) is published in Nettavisen and critiques a representative of the Somali community who I argue has been sending conflicting signals in the media about the integration of Somali youth. 

(2018). Speaker for the pedagogy panel (18-22 February 2018) for conference themed, "An End to Anti-Semitism" organized by The Institute for Jewish Studies at the University of Vienna. 

(2018). NrK Radio 22.04.2018. Ytring. Participant in the debate about Somali children who are sent to Quran schools in Somalia. 

(2017). “Koranskoler gir traumatisering” (Quran schools traumatize). Article in Utrop, Norway’s first multicultural newspaper. 

(2017). Interview with Nettavisen journalist, Thomas Paust. «Barn sendes på ‘koranskoler’ i Somalia : For dårlig disiplin i norske skoler». (Children sent to Quran schools in Somalia: poor discipline in Norwegian schools). 

(2017). Speaker: IPED seminar. University College of Southeast Norway. “Norwegian-Somali parents who send their children to schools in Somalia”. 15.12.17. Kongsberg, Norway.

(2016). One of two keynote speakers at a seminar arranged by The Norwegian Association of Religious Education Teachers (23 April 2016). Theme: Challenges in the classroom.

(2016). Aftenposten. «Vi trenger mer flerkulturell forståelse enn noensinne» (We need more multicultural understanding than ever before). 

(2014). Parents-Teachers pilot project at Hellerud high school, east Oslo (December 3, 2014). Responsible for one of two classrooms which comprised part of the ‘Parents-Teachers project’. The objective was to liaise closely with parents (for under 16 year old students) for a year and evaluate results on several indices.

(2013). Aftenposten. Er Norge et egoistisk land? Et svar til norgeskritiker Eshan Fadakar (Is Norway an egoistic country? A rejoinder to Eshan Fadakar). 

(2012). Dagsavisen. "Multikulturalisme - en menneskerett" (Multiculturalism – a human right».