Hennie Kesak

Hennie Kesak

Department of Pedagogy and Learning Faculty of Social Sciences
Save contact Download image

Since the autumn of 2019, I work as a lecturer in pedagogy at the Department of Education and Learning. But already one year earlier, I started at 20% alongside being a manager within the education administration in a medium-sized municipality. Within the framework of the managerial position, I had operational responsibility, personnel responsibility and budget responsibility for a unit for multilingualism with responsibility for mapping newly arrived students, organizing mother tongue teaching and study guidance in mother tongue.

I graduated as a teacher in 1982 in the Netherlands and worked there for two years at a primary school before coming to Sweden in 1984. Here I resumed my teaching career in 1989 after working for a few years as a purchasing assistant/secretary at a medium-sized company with several international contacts.

The school's compensatory assignment has always interested me as the school can and should make a difference for those students who face slightly greater challenges in their schooling. The compensatory assignment and my interest in people with different cultural backgrounds, languages and experiences sparked my interest in leadership and organization. Newly arrived students and learning, especially from an organizational perspective, have in recent years become of particular interest to me.

The interest in organization and leadership has led to a master's degree in Intercultural Pedagogy with a focus on intercultural leadership, as well as a master's degree in Pedagogy with a focus on educational leadership.


I work at the Department of Education and Learning within courses in Pedagogy in working life, education and everyday life as well as in several leadership courses. I also teach in special education programs and preschool programs. In addition, I work with assignments concerning school development projects.


My master's, which I wrote within the framework of the research project 'School success for new arrivals: opportunities, obstacles, identities and collaboration', shows how the work situation for different professional teacher categories, collaboration between different professional categories, as well as between different professional categories and students and guardians can be both an obstacle and an opportunity in the practical work with newly arrived students. The results also show that the work situation for teachers and the interaction between different categories affect the production and reproduction of students' identities during educational activities in school. During these activities, a "we" and "they" positioning between actors in the context of upper secondary school is constructed and reconstructed. This positioning is analyzed in the study as both an obstacle ("we" – "they" in relation teacher – student or in relation mother tongue teacher – other categories of teachers) and an opportunity (jointly "we" in relation teacher – student or in relation mother tongue teacher – other categories of teacher – student). The study's results also show the importance of upper secondary school's context-bound discourses, attitudes, committed leadership and the right competence of the teachers as important dimensions for future development work in relation to professional actors who practically work with newly arrived students.

Within the framework of the same project, I continue to research the conditions for newly arrived young people in school in order to be able to participate in the common democratic society as an adult.


Conference paper (Refereed)

Other (Other academic)