Public Defence: Kjersti Draugedalen

Kjersti Draugedalen will defend her PhD degree in Pedagogical resources and learning processes. The thesis is about strengthening of teachers’ safeguarding against harmful sexual behaviour in school through interdisciplinary cooperation.

10 May

Practical information

  • Date: 10 May 2023
  • Time: 10.00 - 15.30
  • Location: Drammen, A2503 og på Zoom
  • Download calendar file
  • Link to digital participation (Zoom)


    10.00 Trial lecture: Safe places for children: How should we safeguard children from adults in schools and other institutions?  

    12.00 Public Defence: Teachers As Human Rights Defenders - Transforming Teachers’ Safeguarding Role Against Harmful Sexual Behaviour 

    Evaluation committee

    • First opponent: Professor Simon Hackett, Durham University (Storbritannia)
    • Second opponent: Senior Lecturer Cecilia Kjellgren, Linnaeus University (Sverige)
    • Administrator: Associate Professor Marta Magdalena Stachurska-Kounta, USN


    • Principal supervisor: Professor Audrey Osler, USN 
    • Co-supervisor: Professor Thomas Moser, UiS

    The Public Defence is lead by Dean Per-Ludvik Kjendlie, USN

Any questions?

Kjersti Draugedalen is defending her dissertation for the degree philosophiae doctor (PhD) at the University of South-Eastern Norway.

The doctoral work has been carried out at the Faculty of Humanities, Sports, and Educational Science within the PhD Program in Culture Studies.

Title of thesis: Teachers As Human Rights Defenders - Transforming Teachers’ Safeguarding Role Against Harmful Sexual Behaviour 

Link to download thesis (

You are welcome to follow the trial lecture and the public defence.

Link to digital participation (Zoom)

Kjersti Draugedalen. FotoSummary

Teachers are often uncertain what to do or who to turn to when they come across harmful sexual behaviour among young children. Some find it hard to recognise that primary school-aged children engage in sexual behaviour, either harmful or unharmful. Other teachers recognise a problem with harmful sexual behaviour but don’t know where to turn to for help. They may be uncomfortable about approaching agencies such as school health services. These are the findings of Public PhD candidate Kjersti Draugedalen in her study entitled: 

Teachers As Human Rights Defenders - Transforming Teachers’ Safeguarding Role Against Harmful Sexual Behaviour

Draugedalen surveyed 159 primary school teachers and followed this with six focus group discussions to find out the barriers to teachers taking action. She also interviewed six other professionals from services including public health, child welfare, police and other services for children and young people. 

Draugedalen worked with Professor Audrey Osler, an expert in children’s human rights at USN to consider how Norway’s strong commitments to the UN Convention on the Rights of the child might support teachers in protecting and safeguarding children. She was also a visiting scholar at Durham University, England, and Barry University, Florida, USA to better understand and explore emerging approaches to harmful sexual behaviour in schools. 

This is the first study in Norway to consider the challenge of addressing harmful sexual behaviour among such young children. There is some international research addressing this problem in school, but this study extends the Nordic evidence base.

Kjersti Draugedalen is a public PhD candidate in Tønsberg municipality and has received funding from the Research Council of Norway. Draugedalen is a primary school teacher by profession with a masters’ degree in multicultural and international education and advanced studies in sexual abuse and pedagogical tutoring.