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Risto Hotulainen is professor of educational assessment and director of the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA. Risto is responsible for the operations of the centre; for determining guidelines for both research and development projects, as well as for carrying out individual projects in cooperation with our researchers. His research interests encompass the development and assessment of skills and attitudes, as well as the research-based development of various assessment tools. Risto also holds a docentship in special education from the University of Eastern Finland.
Raisa Ahtiainen, PhD (Ed.), is a postdoctoral researcher and principal investigator (PI) at the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA. In her research, Raisa focuses on educational change, school development, and leadership in education. Raisa has contributed to the establishment of the Leadership in Educational Contexts research and training group (LeadEd) at the Faculty, and she is the coordinator of the LeadEd research seminar. At CEA, Raisa manages projects falling under the theme of leadership, and one of her responsibilities is to plan, implement and coordinate research in them. Raisa is inspired by new research ideas, and she collaborates with a number of researchers from different universities in both Finland and abroad. In addition to her research efforts, Raisa supervises doctoral students and takes part in the planning, development and implementation of education at the Faculty.
Jarkko Hautamäki is professor emeritus of special education and the first director of the centre. His research focuses on school development, with the goal of creating a school for everyone that meets the needs of developing the society of the future and the survival of the Finnish nation. Jarkko believes it all boils down to the continuous development of flexible thinking as part of the life cycle: the ability and willingness to consider the reality without getting depressed about it or about useful mistakes. In terms of a scientific perspective, Jarkko’s strengths lie in educational psychology sensitive to aspects of developmental psychology.
Lauri Heikonen works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA. Currently, he investigates teachers’ and principals perceptions of school leadership and collaborative school development in the #Uuttakoulua project. He is a member of the Leadership in Educational Contexts research and training group (LeadEd). In his doctoral dissertation, Lauri examines early-career teachers’ learning in the classroom. He is interested in how teachers learn and develop their work in the classroom, how they develop schools together as professional communities and what is the role of leadership in supporting such learning and development.
Ninja Hienonen PhD (Ed.), works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA and in the Research Group for Education, Assessment and Learning (REAL). Ninja is interested in the different levels of the education system and how they are related to the student performance and learning related attitudes. In her research, she has recently focused on class size and class composition, as well as on the learning and schooling support system. Currently, among other projects, Ninja works on the Tuettu-project funded by the Academy of Finland, where the main aim is to investigate effect of placement focusing on students with special educational needs by comparing the placement in regular and special classes and on the PISA study led by the Finnish Institute for Educational Research in the University of Jyväskylä. Ninja also teaches quantitative methods in the Master’s Programme in Education.
Marja-Liisa Kieksi works as a project secretary at the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA. She handles the day-to-day running of the office and is responsible, among other things, for processing invoices and fees, completing orders and serving as secretary in meetings. In addition, she coordinates the maintenance of the reader list of the e-Erika online journal. Marja-Liisa also contributes to activities that support research, such as coding research data and translating materials. She is happy to help in questions pertaining to visiting the centre and other general enquiries.
Selja Koponen works as a project planning officer at the Centre for Educational Assessment. Selja is involved in the planning and implementation of the Cultural, Worldview and Language Awareness in Basic Education project KUPERA project. She is particularly interested in themes of inclusivity and equality, as well as the strengthening of pupil agency in comprehensive school. Selja is writing a doctoral thesis on boosting the moral agency of pupils.
Laura Kortesoja works as a doctoral student at the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA. Her doctoral dissertation is focused on the interconnections between adolescents’ sleep, learning and digital media use. She is particularly interested in how the circadian rhythm and sleep develop in adolescence and what links they have to the motivation and learning of young people. Laura also teaches quantitative methods in the Master’s Programme in Education.
Sirkku Kupiainen in an officially retired but still active special adviser at the Center for Educational Assessment CEA. She has participated in the Centre’s learning to learn assessment and research ever since the first piloting of the instrument. Sirkku was also actively involved in the European Union Learning to Learn Pilot project in 2008 and was responsible for writing its final report. Sirkku was also actively involved in the Finnish implementation of PISA 2006 and the responsible researcher in the Vantaa Digital Learning Follow-up Study in 2015–2018. Together with Ninja Hienonen, Sirkku has expanded the Centre’s research interests into school choice, class size and class formation in the Finnish Basic School. Her recent research interests encompass upper secondary education, the Finnish matriculation examination and the selection of students to tertiary education.
Esko Lindgren works as a technical assistant at the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA. He is involved in a number of projects, carrying out a range of tasks. Among the most common ones are the technical design of surveys and the distribution of data from the centre to students, as well as concluding agreements with them. In addition, Esko shoots and edits video material and provides graphic design input for projects, which is also a topic of interest for him outside work.
Meri Lintuvuori, PhD (Ed.), works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA and also contributes to the Research Group for Education, Assessment and Learning (REAL). In her research, Meri focuses on support for learning and school attendance, the education policy of basic education as well as equality in education. At the centre, she has contributed to the national surveys on support for learning and school attendance in the KELPO project (2010–2011), the VALAISE project (2012–2013), in a governmental analysis, assessment and research project (2018), a project on support for language acquisition and school attendance (2019), as well as a project on the municipal-level differences in the provision of learning and schooling support (2020). Meri participates in the PISA study conducted by the Finnish Institute for Educational Research of the University of Jyväskylä from the perspective of support for learning and school attendance as well as equality in education. She has also contributed to assessments of learning to learn. In her doctoral dissertation (2019), she examined the system of support for learning and school attendance, as well as related official statistics.
Pia Mikkola, MSSc, works as a communications specialist at the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA. She plans, develops and carries out communications in close cooperation with the researchers and experts of the centre. In addition, Pia is responsible for the layout and visual image of the e-Erika online journal. Pia is particularly interested in popularising and visualising information to increase the impact of research.
Laura Nyman works as a doctoral student at the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA. Her research is focused on the interconnections between the beliefs, time used for completing tasks and skills that impact the motivation of students who receive support for learning and school attendance. She also tutors students writing their master’s thesis on the use of qualitative research methods at the method clinic (Metodiklinikka). At the moment, Laura is working in the Technology-enhanced assessment and training of 21st century skills project, in which she is investigating how data on the time spent by pupils to complete tasks can be utilised in the research-based development of assessment tools. In addition, Laura is contributing to the Research Group for Education, Assessment and Learning (REAL).
Heidi Rautionmaa works as a project planning officer at the Centre for Educational Assessment. Heidi is involved in the planning and implementation of the Cultural, Worldview and Language Awareness in Basic Education project KUPERA project. She is particularly interested in promoting a dialogue-based operating culture, and transformative and experiential learning. For more than 20 years, Heidi has worked in the interreligious dialogue movement, and is now carrying out doctoral research on interfaith dialogue in education.
Irene Rämä, PhD (Ed.), works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA. Her key research interest and expertise is in special education, specifically regarding pupils on the autism spectrum. In the different CEA research projects, her focus has been on the educational paths and need for continuous support of students with special needs, transitions from compulsory schooling to vocational special education, practices in special education, and curriculum research. In addition to research reports, Irene writes popular texts on her research topics. She is also an active member of the editorial board of the e-Erika online journal. Irene’s professional interests include the appropriate use of the written Finnish language in scientific texts.
As a project planning officer, Visajaani "Visku" Salonen is responsible for carrying out development that makes methods adaptive and technically versatile at the Centre for Educational Assessment CEA. He is tasked with testing and developing solutions that increase the efficiency and depth of analyses and reporting carried out by different researchers. In addition to projects active at the centre, he contributes to other Faculty of Educational Sciences projects, from gaze tracking (Mathtrack) to intensive survey data (Bridging the Gaps, PIRE: Crafting optimal learning in science environments) and physiological measurements (GAPS Physiological). Visku is also working on a doctoral dissertation on the utilisation of matching methods in nationally extensive datasets.
Marja Tamm works as a project manager at the Centre for Educational Assessment. Marja coordinates cooperation agreements, financial management, the drawing up of funding applications and the processing of invitations to tender at the centre. In addition, she is responsible for the planning and reporting of several projects. Marja also works as the project manager of the National Network for Developing Assessment Literacy (KAARO). In her research, Marja examines assessment literacy and practices.
Helena Thuneberg, PhD (Education), is docent of special education and works as a university researcher at the University of Helsinki in a research group focused on science education pedagogy. At the Centre for Educational Assessment, she has been contributing to analyses and reports on learning to learn. In addition, Helena supervises master’s and doctoral theses on curriculum and school development (especially from the perspectives of learning and school attendance). Helena’s research interests pertain to motivation, pupils’ self-regulation and mental wellbeing as well as science education. Helena is specialised in quantitative methods (multivariate methods, such as structural equation modelling, multilevel modelling, cluster analysis, self-organising maps) and software (e.g., AMOS and MIWin).
Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen works as associate professor of learning and instruction at Tampere University. She leads the Research Group for Education, Assessment and Learning (REAL), which operates at Tampere University, Centre for Educational Assessment CEA of the University of Helsinki, and University of Jyväskylä. Her background is in educational psychology and special education. She has worked on large-scale international, national and local assessments at the CEA since early 2000s. Her research focusses on the development of learning to learn and thinking skills as well as educational support.
We also work in close cooperation with the following faculty members and their research groups:
Maria Ahlholm, University Lecturer, Department of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences Education Research Community
Arto Kallioniemi, Professor, Department of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences Education Research Community
Patrik Scheinin, Professor, Department of Education
Liisa Tainio, Professor, Department of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences Education Research Community