Primary, subject and special teacher education

Read more about our on-going projects.
Connected Classrooms Nordic (CCN)

Connected Classrooms Nordic (CCN) studies the changes brought by digitalisation policies and what they mean to teaching quality. CCN is a research project within The Nordic Centre of Excellence «Quality in Nordic Teaching» (QUINT), led by Professor Kirsti Klette from the University of Oslo. The aim of CCN is to explore what constitutes quality in teaching in relation to digitalisation of education, through bringing together researchers, professional teachers and students in collaborative video based, longitudinal investigations of contemporary teaching in digitally rich classrooms in the Nordic countries. The project is designed as a three-year longitudinal study, where the same teachers and students are followed with video recordings from each school year.

Project time: 2018-2024

Funding: NordForsk

Project team (HU): Anna Slotte, Jenny Högström, Fritjof Sahlström, Kirsi Wallinheimo, Sara Sandström, Linda Helaskoski, Andras Vallander.

Contact: Anna Slotte

Cooperation, Supervision and Social Support in the Finnish-Swedish School (SAMS)

The research project Cooperation and Social Support in the Finnish-Swedish School (SAMS) aims to establish a cooperation model between the Swedish teacher education at the University of Helsinki and its partner schools in the capital region. The goal of the SAMS project is to, through research-based methods, identify and develop the need for social support both in school and within teacher training. Within the framework of the project, we strive to anchor various initiatives that increase social support in its various forms, for example by developing a mentorship model.

Project time: 2021-2023

Funding: Svenska kulturfonden

Project team (HU): Solveig Cornér, Erika Löfström, Ellinor Lindholm, Lina Lindström, Lovisa Back, Catarina Keil, Laura Kiuru

Contact: Solveig Cornér

Digital Literacy in Development (DigiLi)

Within the research project Digital Literacy in Development (DigiLi) (in Swedish: Digital litteracitet i utveckling), changes and didactic implications related to an increasingly digitized teaching are examined. Both distance education and digital practices in local education are of interest. The focus is on teaching in grades 5–9 in Swedish-language schools. As a collaboration with the research projects Connected Classroom Nordic, (CCN within the research center QUINT) and DISKO, Digitization and distance education in Swedish-language schools in Finland, material collected within these projects is mainly analyzed. The material consists of video recordings and interviews with teachers. DigiLi is based on the following questions: What new digital literacy practices emerged and were used during distance learning? What do digital literacy practices mean in terms of student participation in teaching and democracy in the classroom? What do digital literacy practices mean with regard to linguistically sensitive teaching? What is the significance of collaborative teacher cooperation in a digitized school?

Project time: 2021–2023

Funding: Svenska kulturfonden

Project team (HU): Anna Slotte, Martina Aaltonen, Jenny Högström, Pia Mikander, Kirsi Wallinheimo, Olivia Kåhre

Contact: Anna Slotte

Diversity and Collaboration (MångSam)

The project Diversity and Collaboration (MångSam) investigates, develops, and strengthens approaches and working methods that strengthen the school's work for diversity, multilingualism and social justice. MångSam is a collaboration project between the Swedish teacher education at the University of Helsinki and its partner schools. During the project’s first phase (1.4.2023-30.8.2024) the project researchers, with help of teacher students and by methods within collaborative action, visit the schools for tight collaboration with the involved teachers. The aims are to identify schools’ development needs in relation to the profile areas of teacher education: diversity, multilingualism and social justice test; develop and anchor new forms of cooperation between teacher education and partnerschools on a more general level; develop trainingand teaching methods in grades 1-6 within the themes diversity, multilingualism and social justice. And finally, make visible and deepen the link between theoretical and practical knowledge in the learning process in grades 1-6 for student teachers, school teachers and teacher education staff. The project is structured in work packages related to social engagement, collaborative problem-solving, multilingualism, digital resources, safe classroom conversations, art subjects and sustainability pedagogy.

Project time: 2023-2024

Funding: Svenska kulturfonden

Project team: Anna Slotte, Raisa Ahtiainen, Mari Bergroth, Solveig Cornér, Ida Hummelstedt, Hannah Kaihovirta, Tanja Linnavalli, Pia Mikander, Marjo Savijärvi, Birgit Schaffar, Hanna Viitala, Kirsi Wallinheimo, Ellinor Lindholm, Mandira Halder, Ville Haliseva  

Contact: Anna Slotte

Diversity and Differentiation in Primary Schools (MÅDIG)

Diversity and differentiation in primary schools (MÅDIG) focuses on what can be done to deal with the possible segregation between the Swedish-language schools, especially in the capital area and more generally in the whole of Swedish-speaking Finland. This study will contribute to international research on social justice in education, policy and practice regarding ethnic and social mix in basic education, mixed level grouping and learning outcomes, as well as on positioning and categorization practices and teachers' pedagogical solutions in Swedish-speaking Finland.

Project time: 2021-2024

Funding: Svenska kulturfonden

Project team: Sonja Kosunen, Ida Hummelstedt, Gunilla Holm, Birgit Schaffar, Pia Mikander

Contact: Sonja Kosunen, Ida Hummelstedt

Literacy, Sustainability and Science in Multicultural Schools (LISMUS)

Literacy, Sustainability and Science in Multicultural Schools (LISMUS) is a research project that started in 2018 and studies the use of language and communication in science related education in culturally diverse schools. The goal of this project is new knowledge about children’s learning in various learning environments. The focus is on the role of language and communication in shaping belonging and a profound understanding of the world. By linking theoretical and analytical frameworks from both language education and science education, we create new insights about the learner’s sensitivities and understanding. Simultaneously, we study the communication and interaction in multilingual settings. The empirical studies have hitherto taken place in primary schools in Finland and Sweden. These studies include observation in classrooms and other learning contexts, interviews and discussions with teachers and pupils, and analyses of various learning materials.

Project time: 2018-2025

Contact: Lili-Ann Wolff

Pedagogy of Hope for the Future (FRAMTIDSHOPP)

Pedagogy of Hope for the Future (in Swedish: Framtidshopp) aims to develop and evaluate a new pedagogy of hope for children and youth. The inequality between children with different socioeconomic backgrounds is growing and there are differences in the chance to learn and pursue education. Children from families below the poverty level and other adversities in their home might be lacking the mental space for hope and dreams and feel more often excluded. Framtidshopp aims to develop and evaluate a new pedagogy of hope for children and youth. The solution is applicable for teachers and other professionals working with children from early education to pre-primary and primary education and in social work. Framtidshopp won the first price in Svenska Folkskolans Vänner’s competition “SFV START!” 

Project time: 2022-2024

Funding: Svenska Folkskolans Vänner

Project team: Mirjam Kalland, Erika Löfström, Jan-Erik Mansikka, Sonja Kosunen, Anna-Leena Riitaoja, Lovisa Snårbacka, Lina Lindström

Contact: Mirjam Kalland

Quality in Culturally Diverse Classrooms (QuiCC)

Quality in Culturally Diversed Classrooms (QuiCC) is a small-scale qualitative project which aims to explore what constitutes quality in teaching in relation to culturally diverse/plurilingual students in Nordic classrooms. The study makes use of existing data produced by projects within the QUINT research centre, mainly video data from LISA Nordic  Study (Linking Instruction & Student Achievement”. The group is interested in following: How are teachers making use of multiple languages that students bring to the classroom as their mother tongue? ​How are multiple languages presented by teachers in the classroom? ​How are plurilingual students supported in their learning?  ​What does scaffolding mean in multicultural classrooms? ​How does the classroom environment stimulate the student as a language learner (additional language)?

Project time: 2020-2024

Funding: NordForsk

Project team (HU): Anna Slotte, Maria Ahlholm, Kirsi Wallinheimo

Contact: Anna Slotte

Study with Strength

The aim of the research project Study with Strength is to contribute to new findings on the effects of a positive psychology intervention course on the well-being and study capacity of general upper secondary school students in Finland. The project is a collaboration between the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki and the Research Center at the Folkhälsan Foundation.

Project time: 2019-2024

Funding: Svenska kulturfonden

Project team (HU): Monica Londen, Nina Hongell-Ekholm, Stefania Fält, Pehr Jacobsson

Contact: Monica Londén

Societal Security after COVID 19 (INSPECT)

The aim of the Inquiring Societal Security after COVID 19 - Inquiring Nordic Strategies, Practices, Educational Consequences and Trajectories (INSPECT) project is to understand the medium to long-term consequences of COVID 19 and to develop knowledge and prepare the Nordic schools to ensure societal security going forward. INSPECT conducts comparative studies of the varied responses (strategies and approaches) applied in different national, regional, and situational contexts across the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. Furthermore, based on a multidisciplinary, mixed method design, INSPECT investigates the medium and long-term-consequences of COVID 19 as they take form in an interplay between responses and student characteristics. Finally, the project collects systematic knowledge about and conducts a research-based overview of the lessons learned from alternative learning situations that have been applied during the pandemic. The project’s knowledge is brought into practice through various dissemination channels and through co-creating innovation seminars. You can find the project's data protection notice here in Swedish and in Finnish.

Project time: 2023-2026

Funding: NordForsk

Project team (HU): Anna Slotte, Raisa Ahtiainen, Ville Haliseva

Contact: Anna Slotte

Tween Democracy

The purpose of Tween Democracy is to study how children aged 9-12 years imagine democracy and active citizenship. In the study, we focus on which political issues engage and are perceived as most meaningful to the participants. How do children collaborate to think together on issues of democracy and future challenges? We are particularly interested in what possibilities children see for the future and the role of democracy in it. During the spring of 2023, similar workshops will be held in Finland and Norway, and the results will be analyzed together. During the workshops, the children receive tasks that encourage conversations about global decision-making. We collect audio recordings of the children's group discussions and document images that the children create together. This age group in question has rarely been the focus of social didactic research. Our study therefore contributes to the development of social studies didactics particularly for young students. Tween Democracy cooperates in Finland with the project Uni Junior.

Project time: 2023-2024

Contact: Pia Mikander


UniJunior is a project in Swedish-language science education at the University of Helsinki that started in autumn 2021. UniJunior offers five scientific workshops in spring 2023 and a summer camp in early summer 2023 for children in grades 3-6. Within UniJunior's activities, children get to experience research in a new, interesting and exciting way. In each workshop, a question or problem is introduced. The children then explore the problem together with researchers and other supervisors from different scientific perspectives.

Project time: 2021-2024

Funding: Svenska kulturfonden, Brita Maria Renlunds minne

Project team (HU): Gunilla Holm, Pia Mikander, Martina Aaltonen

Contact: Gunilla Holm