HCAS People Contact Information

    Fabianinkatu 24 (P.O. Box 4)
    00014 University of Helsinki

    Tel. +358 2 941 21735



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Kirsi Tirri

PdD (Education), University of Helsinki

Room 245

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Tel +358-(0)2941 29836
Email kirsi.tirri (AT) helsinki.fi




Research interests

  • Teaching and learning
  • School pedagogy
  • Intelligence
  • Moral education

Current research

Changing Mindsets about Learning: Connecting Psychological, Educational and Neuroscientific Evidence (CoPErNicus)

In this research project we examine students', teachers' and parents' mindsets about learning. Our research project is motivated by the impact mindsets have been shown to have on students' school achievement. According to Carol Dweck, mindsets are individuals' beliefs about their most basic qualities, such as intelligence and abilities. People with a growth mindset believe that basic qualities are malleable. By contrast, people with a fixed mindset believe that basic qualities are static and unalterable. A fixed mindset inhibits individuals fIrom reaching their fullest potential by creating a fear of failure, and avoidance of challenges. Instead, growth mindset enhances students' academic resilience and achievements. In this project our aim is to collect psychological, educational, and neuro-scientific evidences on influences of mindset on learning. The ultimate goal is to synthesize and construct a research based pedagogical mindset program that could be used to create growth-oriented learning environments in schools.The empirical part of the research is a mixed method longitudinal study in three schools in Helsinki. At the beginning of the study, the participants will be 1st to 3rd-grade students (N=500), their teachers (N=27) and parents (N=750). Our project has national relevance to Finnish society as well as global value to other educational systems by demonstrating with a long-term research design how to increase understanding of the role of mindsets in learning.