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Ann Quennerstedt

Title: Professor School/office: School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences


Phone: +46 19 303656

Room: F3208

Ann Quennerstedt

About Ann Quennerstedt

Last updated 2019-01-04



Ann Quennerstedt is a professor of education. Quennerstedt worked as a primary school teacher in Swedish compulsory school between 1993 and 1998. In 1999 Quennerstedt started her doctoral studies in Education, and she finished her dissertation (PhD) in 2006 with a thesis titled ‘The municipality – a participant in educational policy?’ 

In 2007 Quennerstedt was appointed Senior Lecturer in Education at Örebro University, and shared her time between teaching and researching. In 2009, and continuing until 2013, Quennerstedt took up a full time position as Researcher in Education at the university. In 2010 she was appointed Associate Professor, and in 2015 Professor.

Post-doc visits

  • Visiting Research Fellow at Children’s Issues Centre, College of Education, University of Otago, New Zealand: 01 October 2008 – 28 April 2009.
  • Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Education, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Australia: 01 November 2011 – 7 December 2011.
  • Invited research visit at the University of Brighton, United Kingdom, 28 April – 2 May 2014.
  • Visiting researcher, Queensland university of Technology, Nov-Dec 2018.


Research interests

Quennerstedt's main area of research is children’s rights in education. Her present work centres children’s rights both generally and more specifically concerning meanings of the human right to education. Issues of particular interest are perspectives of the child as a holder of human rights, and the role and responsibility of early childhood education and school for children’s and young people’s human rights. Drawing on own and others work, research interest has lately been more intensely directed towards the educative role of education in relation to rights and Human Rights Education. An earlier established research interest in education policy and curriculum theory with a specific focus on issues of governing the education system and of promoting democracy through education (and of the relation between them) connects well to issues of children’s rights. Theoretically, Quennerstedt uses an approach that combines rights theory, sociology of childhood and the philosophy of education developed by John Dewey.


Concluded research

Quennerstedt has participated in two larger research projects, both funded by the Swedish Research Council and led by Prof. Tomas Englund at Örebro University.

‘What about equivalence?’ 2003-2005.

In the project, the use and role of the concept equivalence (Swedish: likvärdighet) in Swedish education policy was analysed from different perspectives and angles. The project is reported in a number of publications, including Quennerstedt’s thesis The municipality – a participant in education policy? Quennerstedt’s research activity in the project was 80% during the three years.

Education as a citizenship right – parents’ right, children’s right, or...? 2006-2008

The project aimed to analyse the increasing tendency to discuss education in terms of rights, and to study the issue of possible tensions between parents’ and children’s rights concerning education. The results are reported in international journals and in a summary project report 2011 (in Swedish). Quennerstedt was 50% research active for three years in the project.

The post-doc project ‘Children’s rights in education’ 2009-2014 financed a four year full time research position. The overall aim of the project was to expand knowledge about what the rights of the child mean in education. The different studies included in the project raised questions about the human right to education, as well as questions concerning the rights of the child in and through education, departing from the following main questions:

  • How is the child constructed as holder of rights in early childhood education and in school?
  • How is the responsibility concerning the rights of the child held by educational institutions (EC-centre or school) constructed?

By analysing how our society perceives the “preschool child” and the “pupil” as holders of rights, and what perceptions there are concerning how early childhood centres and schools should act and organise their activities from a perspective of children’s rights, the project has contributed to the body of knowledge on children’s rights in education.


Current research

Education as greenhouse for children’s and young people’s human rights 2015-2018

This project is recently finished, and the last remaining work will be concluded during 2019. It was funded by Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Research Council) with 6,6 million SEK. The project iwas led by Quennerstedt and the research team consisted also of Britt Tellgren, Örebro university, Sara Frödén, Örebro university, Nina Thelander, Karlstads university and Lotta Brantefors, Uppsala university. 

The project investigated what it means to educate children and young people in relation to human rights. The research interest is didactic, directing the attention to how the content of teaching and learning give possibilities or constrain children’s and young people’s growth as holders and practitioners of human rights. To identify, clarify and discuss the learning potential of the content, the project posed the following questions:

- What is the content in teaching and learning in, through and about human rights?

- How are children and young people, through this content, given possibilities to grow as holders and practitioners of human rights?

The research was conducted through fieldwork in educational practice, in all ages in the education system – pre-school to secondary school. 


Research group

Quennerstedt is a member of the research group SMED (Studies of Meaning Making in Educational Discourses) - a cross-university research group in the field of didactics and educational science. SMED conducts theory and method development in educational research, taking point of departure both in research on learning and curriculum theory to analyse meaning making in different educational discourses. The group includes doctoral students and senior researchers and has well-established international networks. Researchers in the group publish extensively in national and international peer-reviewed journals and books.


Supervision of doctoral students

Quennerstedt is main supervisor for the following doctoral students:

Lisa Isenström, since 2013

Maryam Bourbour, since 2016

Maria Fredriksson Sjöberg, since 2016

Hanna Thuresson, since 2017


External grants

2008-2009 The Swedish Research Council. Postdoctoral grant for guest researcher visit to New Zealand, 27 000 €

2009-2013 The Swedish Research Council: The Rights of the Child in Education. Four year research grant, 384 000 €

2011 STINT (The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education). Initiation Grant (for guest research visit ACU) 8 150 €

2014-2017 The Swedish Research Council: Education as a greenhouse for children’s and young people’s human rights. Three year research project, in total 746 000 €


University grants

2011 Örebro University: Vice Chancellor’s Promising Researcher Grant, 2012-2014 135 000€

2011 Örebro University: Vice Chancellor’s Supervisor Grant for the financing of doctoral student, 2012-2015, (appr.) 200 000€

2013 Örebro University: Faculty’s grant for publications 1840 €

2014 Örebro University: Faculty’s grant for publications 3000 €

2015 Örebro University: Faculty's grant for publications 1600 €

2016 Örebro University: Faculty's grant for publication 3 600 €

2017 Örebro University: Faculty's grant for publication 2200€

2018 Örebro University: Faculty's grant for publication 1400 €


University assignments

2006-2008 Responsible for term 1 Teacher Education Program, Örebro University, 400 students.

2009 - Member of research faculty (forskningskollegium) of Education at Örebro University.

2010-2011 Member of working group for the development of teacher education programs at university.

2013-2014 Head of Research, Eduaction, Örebro university.

2014-2016 Member of the University Board.

2015-2017 Chairman for the University's Board for Equal Treatment


Invited presentations/lectures

2011 Invited speaker at ACU Early Childhood Research Symposium (Dec 6 2011), Australian Catholic University, Melbourne Campus.

2015 Keynote speaker at the conference CREAN (Children’s Rights Erasmus Academic Network) Children’s rights and the aims of education. Université de Genève, 2 juli 2015.

2016 Invited speaker at the conference Children's Rights: origins, normativity, transformations and prospects. Linköpings universitet/Vadstena 6-9 juni 2016.


Conference coordination

2006 Scientific coordinator for NERA (Nordic Educational Research Association) annual congress in Örebro, March 2006 (700 delegates).

2007 Coordinator for the conference ‘Curriculum theory’ (Läroplansteori) at Örebro University (40 delegates).

2013-2017 Co-convenor for the European research conference network Research in Children's Rights in Education. EERA/ECER

2017-  Link-convenor for the European research conference network Research in Children's Rights in Education. EERA/ECER 

Editorial work

2006 – 2012 Member of Editorial Board for the journal Utbildning & Demokrati. Tidskrift för didaktik och utbildningspolitik [Education & Democracy].

2011 - Member of Editorial Advisory Board for International Journal of Children’s Rights.

Research Projects

Research Teams

Research Teams



Articles in journals |  Books |  Chapters in books |  Collections (editor) |  Conference papers |  Doctoral theses, monographs |  Manuscripts |  Reports | 

Articles in journals

Isenström, L. & Quennerstedt, A. (2020). Governing rationalities in children's human rights education. International Journal of Educational Research, 100.
Robinson, C. , Phillips, L. & Quennerstedt, A. (2020). Human rights education: developing a theoretical understanding of teachers’ responsibilities. Educational review (Birmingham), 72 (2), 220-241.
Frödén, S. & Quennerstedt, A. (2019). The child as a gendered rights holder. Childhood.
Quennerstedt, A. , Robinson, C. & I'Anson, J. (2018). The UNCRC: The Voice of Global Consensus on Children's Rights?. Nordic Journal of Human Rights, 36 (1), 38-54.
Öhman, M. & Quennerstedt, A. (2017). Questioning the no-touch discourse in physical education from a children's rights perspective. Sport, Education and Society, 22 (3), 305-320.
I'Anson, J. , Quennerstedt, A. & Robinson, C. (2017). The International Economy of Children's Rights: issues in translation. The International Journal of Children's Rights, 25 (1), 50-67.
Quennerstedt, A. (2016). Children's Human Rights at School - As Formulated by Children. The International Journal of Children's Rights, 24 (3), 657-677.
Arneback, E. & Quennerstedt, A. (2016). Locations of racism in education: a speech act analysis of a policy chain. JEP: eJournal of Education Policy, 31 (6), 773-788.
Quennerstedt, A. (2016). Young children's enactments of human rights in early childhood education. International Journal of Early Years Education, 24 (1), 5-18.
Quennerstedt, A. , Harcourt, D. & Sargeant, J. (2014). Forskningsetik i forskning som involverar barn.: Etik som riskhantering och etik som forskningspraktik.. Nordic Studies in Education, 34 (2), 77-93.
Quennerstedt, A. & Quennerstedt, M. (2014). Researching children's rights in education: sociology of childhood encountering educational theory. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 35 (1), 115-132.
Quennerstedt, A. (2013). Children's rights research moving into the future: challenges on the way forward. The International Journal of Children's Rights, 21 (2), 233-247.
Quennerstedt, A. (2011). The construction of children's rights in education: a research synthesis. The International Journal of Children's Rights, 19 (4), 661-678.
Quennerstedt, A. (2010). Children, but not really humans?: Critical reflections on the hampering effect of the "3 p's". The International Journal of Children's Rights, 18 (4), 619-635.
Quennerstedt, A. (2010). Den politiska konstruktionen av barnets rättigheter i utbildning. Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, 15 (2/3), 119-141.
Quennerstedt, A. (2009). Children's rights in education - transforming universal claims into New Zealand policy. New Zealand journal of educational studies, 44 (2), 63-78.
Englund, T. & Quennerstedt, A. (2008). Linking curriculum theory and linguistics: the performative use of 'equivalence' as an educational policy concept. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40 (6), 713-724.


Hägglund, S. , Quennerstedt, A. & Thelander, N. (2013). Barns och ungas rättigheter i utbildning (1ed.). Gleerups Utbildning AB.

Chapters in books

Quennerstedt, A. (2019). Klämd mellan mänskliga rättigheter. In: Anette Olin, Jonas Almqvist, Karim Hamza, Lisbeth Gyllander Torkildsen, Didaktisk utvecklingsdialog: Lärares och skolledares professionella utveckling (pp. 164-166). Lund: Studentlitteratur AB.
Öhman, M. , Segolsson, J. , Quennerstedt, A. , Lennqvist Lindén, A. & Tolgfors, P. (2017). Fysisk beröring mellan lärare och elev i utbildningssammanhang. In: Jonas Almqvist, Karim Hamza, Anette Olin, Undersöka och utveckla undervisning: Professionell utveckling för lärare (pp. 155-171). Lund: Studentlitteratur AB.
Quennerstedt, A. (2015). Education and children's rights. In: Vandenhole, Wouter; Desmet, Ellen; Reynaert, Didier & Lembrechts, Sara, The Routledge International Handbook of Children's Rights Studies (pp. 201-215). New York: Routledge.
Quennerstedt, A. (2012). Transforming children's human rights: from universal claims to national particularity. In: Michael Freeman, Law and childhood studies (pp. 104-116). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Quennerstedt, A. (2011). Barns och föräldrars rättigheter i utbildning: en balansakt i Konventionen om barnets rättigheter. In: Tomas Englund, Utbildning som medborgerlig rättighet: föräldrarätt eller barns rätt eller … ? (pp. 53-78). Göteborg: Daidalos.
Wahlström, N. & Quennerstedt, A. (2011). I mellanrummet mellan universell rätt och nationell lag: en teoretisk inramning. In: Tomas Englund, Utbildning som medborgerlig rättighet: föräldrarätt eller barns rätt eller… ? (pp. 129-141). Göteborg: Daidalos.
Quennerstedt, A. (2011). Relationen mellan barns och föräldrars rättigheter gällande utbildning i den svenska barnrättspolitiken. In: Tomas Englund, Utbildning som medborgerlig rättighet: föräldrarätt eller barns rätt eller -? (pp. 169-196). Göteborg: Daidalos.
Quennerstedt, A. (2008). Kommunal skolpolitik i likvärdighetens namn. In: Tomas Englund, Ann Quennerstedt, Vadå likvärdighet?: Sstudier i utbildningspolitisk språkanvändning (pp. 36-56). Göteborg: Daidalos.
Englund, T. & Quennerstedt, A. (2008). Likvärdighetsbegreppet i svensk utbildningspolitik. In: Vadå likvärdighet?: Studier i utbildningspolitisk språkanvändning (pp. 7-35). Göteborg: Daidalos.
Jarl, M. , Kjellgren, H. & Quennerstedt, A. (2007). Förändringar i skolans organisation och styrning. In: Jon Pierre, Skolan som politisk organisation (pp. 23-47). Malmö: Gleerup.
Quennerstedt, A. (2007). Kommunens ansvar och inflytande på skolområdet. In: Jon Pierre, Skolan som politisk organisation (pp. 49-65). Malmö: Gleerups.

Collections (editor)

Englund, T. (ed.) & Quennerstedt, A. (ed.) (2008). Vadå likvärdighet?: Studier i utbildningspolitisk språkanvändning. Göteborg: Daidalos.

Conference papers

Quennerstedt, A. (2018). The UNCRC - the voice of global consensus on children's rights?. Paper presented at The European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2018), Bolzano, Italy, September 3-7, 2018.
Quennerstedt, A. (2017). Teaching and Learning Children’s Human Rights in Grade 2: What? Why? and How?. Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2017), Copenhagen, Denmark, August 22-25, 2017.
Quennerstedt, A. (2017). Teaching and Learning Children's Human Rights: Why? What? And How?. Paper presented at The Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference, (AARE 2017), Canberra, Australia, November 26-30, 2017.
Quennerstedt, A. (2016). Utbildning - ett växthus för barns och ungas mänskliga rättigheter. Paper presented at Vetenskapsrådets resultatdialog 2016, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden, November 21-22, 2016.
Quennerstedt, A. (2016). Young children's enactment of human rights in early childhood education. Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2016), Dublin, Ireland, August 22-26, 2016.
Quennerstedt, A. & Öhman, M. (2015). Questioning the no-touch discourse in Physical Education from a children’s rights perspective. Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Education and Transition. Contributions from Educational Research, Budapest, Hungary, September 7-11, 2015.
Quennerstedt, A. (2014). The Swedish refraction: children’s and young people’s human rights in Swedish curricula. In: European Conference in Educational Research (ECER). Paper presented at European Conference in Educational Research (ECER), The Past, the Present and Future of Educational Research in Europe, Porto, Portugal, September 2-5, 2014.
Quennerstedt, A. (2013). Children’s constructions of themselves as holders of human rights. Paper presented at ECER 2013, Istanbul, Turkey..
Quennerstedt, A. (2012). Shapes of freedom: in rights theory and educational practice. Paper presented at ECER, Cadiz Sep 2012.
Quennerstedt, A. (2011). Transforming children's rights in education from universal claims to national particularity. Paper presented at NERA, Jyväskylää, 10-12 mars 2011.

Doctoral theses, monographs

Quennerstedt, A. (2006). Kommunen - en part i utbildningspolitiken?. (Doctoral dissertation). Örebro: Örebro universitet.