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Department of Education

Professor Stein Dankert Kolstø

Professor in Science Education

Stein Dankert Kolstø is a Professor of Science Education and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. After taking a master’s degree in physics, he completed his Ph.D. in science education at the University of Oslo in 2001.

His research interest covers two main areas. The first area is teaching for democratic participation in socio-scientific issues. This includes research on how students use science in their own argumentation and decision-making and how students read and analyse multimodal science-related media texts.

The second area of interest is dialogue, argumentation, and inquiry in science education. He is particularly interested in how the use of dialogue and inquiry might enhance students’ productive disciplinary engagement, and the role of inquiry in developing environmental awareness.

Currently, he is principal researcher in the Argument-project ran by the municipality of Bergen in cooperation with the University of Bergen and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and involving science teachers at three lower secondary schools.

Kolstø has teaching experience from upper secondary school and has taught pre-service science teachers at the University of Bergen for over 20 years. He is on the Editorial Board of Nordic Studies in Science Education.

View his website.



Gjerde, V., Gray, R., Holst, B., & Kolstø, S. D. (2021). The Covid-19 shutdown: when studying turns digital, students want more structure. Physics Education, 56(5), 055004.

Gjerde, V., Holst, B., & Kolstø, S. D. (2021). Integrating effective learning strategies in basic physics lectures: A thematic analysis. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 17(1).

Kolstø, S. D. (2020). Teaching Robust Argumentation Informed by the Nature of Science to Support Social Justice. Experiences from two Projects in Lower Secondary Schools in Norway, Chapter 10 In H. Yacoubian and L. Hansson (Ed), Nature of Science for Social Justice. Cham: Springer.

Gjerde, V., Hoist, B., & Kolsto, S. D. (2020). Retrieval practice of a hierarchical principle structure in university introductory physics: Making stronger students. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 16(1), 6.

Kolstø, S. D. (2018). Use of dialogue to scaffold students’ inquiry-based learning. NorDiNa, 14(2), 154-169.

Johansen, G., Jónsdóttir, G., & Kolstø, S. D. (2018). Enacting Citizenship in Ordinary School Science Through Deliberative Communication. In K. Otrel-Cass, M. K. Sillasen, & A. A. Orlander (Eds.), Cultural, Social, and Political Perspectives in Science Education : A Nordic View (pp. 113-132). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Doksæter Sivle, A., & Kolstø, S. D. (2016). Use of online weather information in everyday decision-making by laypeople and implications for communication of weather information. Meteorological Applications, 23(4), 650-662.

Mestad, I., & Kolstø, S. D. (2016). Characterizing Students’ Attempts to Explain Observations from Practical Work: Intermediate Phases of Understanding. Research in Science Education, 1-22.

Bjønness, B., & Kolstø, S. D. (2015). Scaffolding open inquiry: How a teacher provides students with structure and space. NorDiNa, 11(3), 223-237.

Hauan, N. P., DeWitt, J., & Kolstø, S. D. (2015). Proposing an evaluation framework for interventions: focusing on students’ behaviours in interactive science exhibitions. International Journal of Science Education, Part B, 1-18.

Mestad, I., & Kolstø, S. D. (2014). Using the concept of ZPD to explore the challenges of and opportunities in designing discourse activities based on practical work. Science Education, 98(6), 1054–1076.

Sivle, A. D., Kolstø, S. D., Hansen, P. J. K., & Kristiansen, J. (2014). How do Laypeople Evaluate the Degree of Certainty in a Weather Report? A Case Study of the Use of the Web Service Weather, Climate and Society, 6(3), 399-412.

Hauan, N. P., & Kolstø, S. D. (2014). Exhibitions as learning environments: a review of empirical research on students’ science learning at Natural History Museums, Science Museums and Science Centres. NorDiNa, 10(1), 90-104.


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