Researchers and research communities

The Faculty of Educational Sciences has many types of research organisations, including research units, centres, projects and groups. The faculty's umbrella organisation for all other groupings includes eight research communities.

Researchers’ profiles, publications and contact information can be found on the University of Helsinki People Finder.

The centre for educational assessment (CEA) at the University of Helsinki was established in 1996 to develop an instrument for measuring learning to learn as the key transversal skills vital for lifelong learning. Today, the CEA works in collaboration with schools and municipalities, as well as with the National Board of Education and Ministry of Education and Culture concerning educational assessment and other strands of educational research and development.

Contact person of the research community is Risto Hotulainen.

Educational studies and teacher education is a research community formed around research focused on diversity, multilingualism, minority perspectives, and social justice in education and teacher education. Racialisation, ethnicity, gender, social class special needs and sustainability are prominent components in our research. Our research spans from early childhood to youth and adult studies.

We use a variety of research methods ranging from ethnography, discourse analysis, quantitative analysis to video and photography. Our research community is closely connected to the Nordic Centre of Excellence in education Justice through Education (JustEd)  (2013–2018) and to the early childhood teacher education, primary education and secondary teacher education programs in Swedish as well as university pedagogy. 

Contact person of the research community is Gunilla Holm.

  • Website
  • Research portal – research groups, researchers, projects and publications

The research community Education and society is based on the sociology of education, education policies, cultural studies, and on social justice and multiculturalism. The unit is multi- and interdisciplinary, and its focus ranges from early childhood education to primary school, higher education and adult education as well as working life. Our common goal is to strengthen perspectives from the social sciences and socially relevant research, to develop inspiring ways to teach and to take positions in societal debates.

Contact persons of the research community are Markku Jahnukainen and Kristiina Brunila.

  • Website
  • Research portal – research groups, researchers, projects and publications

The research community Education, teaching and teacher education is interested in issues related to education, teaching and teacher education. The following topics are central: the foundations of education and training, school pedagogy, instruction design, questions of implementation and assessment, curriculum studies, students in teaching–studying–learning processes, the ethics of teaching, multi- and intercultural education, media education and professional teacher development based on basic, induction and continuing education, early childhood education, preschool and elementary instruction, skills and arts education, research on arts and culture, new learning environments and ICT.

Contact persons of the research community are Riitta JyrhämäSeija KairavuoriHeikki Ruismäki and Nina Sajaniemi.

The main foci of the research community Humanities and social sciences education (HuSoEd) are the learning and teaching of subjects related to the humanities and social sciences in early childhood education, comprehensive education and adult education. The subjects include mother tongue and literature, Finnish as a second language, foreign languages, history, social sciences, religious education, secular ethics, philosophy and geography. The research topics cover teaching and learning, teacher education, as well as the development of subject didactics in these subjects. Furthermore, the group addresses questions linked to social, societal, historical and cultural factors affecting the teaching and learning of these subjects. The research community works  closely with the subject faculties. The HuSoEd community is comprised of five research groups each specialising in studies of their own subject-specific areas: Language and Literature Education; Social Studies Education; Foreign Language Education; Religious Education Ethics and Philosophy Education; and Geography and Environmental Education.

Contact persons of the research community are Sirpa Tani and Jukka Rantala.

Learning, culture and interventions (LECI) is a research community devoted to advancing high-quality research as well as research-based teaching and societal interaction at the Faculty of Educational Sciences. It offers a conceptual home to all academics at the faculty whose research rests on socio-cultural and/or activity theoretical perspectives, with a specific interest in reciprocal interaction between theory and practice.

Contact persons of the research community are Kristiina Kumpulainen and Anu Kajamaa.

The research community for Learning research and educational psychology investigates learning and learning-related interactions, regulation of learning, diverse pathways of learning, engagement, and development in varying contexts, including technology-mediated processes. Motivation, emotions, and well-being are in the focus. They may be seen as either promoting or hindering learning. We use a rich variety of mixed methods, new innovative and authentic ways of data collection and systemic designs. Our intention is constant research-based improvement of educational practices and human growth in the society across the life-span.

Contact person of the research community for Learning research and educational psychology is Elina Ketonen.

  • Website
  • Research portal – research groups, researchers, projects and publications

Maker culture, design learning and technology (Maker @ STEAM) is a research community whose members’ research interests focus on fostering student learning and participation and school development. Research projects focus on integrating maker culture, design learning, and innovation pedagogy in schools within subjects such as biology, chemistry, craft, home economics, mathematics, and physics. Research interest areas include subject-specific education, sustainability, technology and out-door education, and digital tools in learning as well as students’ engagement, well-being, equity, inclusion, learning difficulties and assessment. Several projects are organized as educational design research with teacher-researcher partnership.

Contact persons of the research community are Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen and Markku Hannula.