The Research Group for Educational Psychology at the University of Helsinki aims at bridging between education, psychology and interdisciplinary research on learning.

We study processes related to student and teacher learning, motivation, engagement, emotions and well-being at different levels of education aiming to improve educational practices on this basis. We are responsible for running a teacher education program with educational psychology as the major. We promote innovations in teacher education by developing new forms of collaborative learning supporting the gradual development of student agency and involvement in their own learning (e.g., phenomenon-based studying). The Director is Professor Kirsti Lonka.

The Research Group for Educational Psychology is part of the Research Community for Learning Research and Educational Psychology.

Our current and past projects


DigiConsumers - Improving young people's financial skills in a digitised consumer society (Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland, 2019-2025)

A multidisciplinary research project for identifying solutions to improve the economic and consumer skills of young people between the ages of 13 and 25 especially in digital environments. Actions to promote digital and economic skills require a comprehensive understanding of young people’s consumption habits and economic behaviours, as well as the factors that influence them in digital environments. The aim of the study is to find practical solutions to improve young people’s economic and digital skills and to promote sustainable consumption.

From the perspectives of educational and developmental psychology, the research focuses on factors that may affect how young people learn digital and financial skills. The aim is to bridge the gap between the skills developed in school and the skills required after or outside school.

Growing Mind

Educational transformations for facilitating sustainable personal, social, and institutional renewal in the digital age (Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland, 2018-2023)

The youth are our most important resource for future sustainable development. The Growing Mind -project aims at producing means for the renewal and development of schools, teachers and students on the personal, social, and institutional level. The project aims for societal impact and brings to the forefront the challenges arising from digitalization on the social, personal and institutional level. The project activities are done in cooperation between school practitioners and academic research. The activities support the aims of the new core curriculum, students’ 21st century skills and teachers’ professional development.

Bridging the Gaps

Bridging the Gaps – Affective, cognitive, and social consequences of digital revolution for youth development and education

A four-year (2017-2021) research consortium funded by the Academy of Finland.

GAPS team with five leading interdisciplinary professors (developmental science, cognitive neuroscience, educational psychology, medicine) examine longitudinally digital revolution and its consequences for affective, cognitive, brain, and social development and education among adolescents in Finnish and global context. Moreover, in Finland we examine longitudinal fMRI, experience sampling by smartphones, biomarkers of cortisol and sleep, and social networks including social sensors.

Phenomenal Teacher Education

Phenomenal teacher education – Engaging learning environments (Ministry of Culture and Education, 2017-2019).

Engaging learning environments combine physical spaces, digital and mobile solutions and modern pedagogical theories as well as theories of motivation and interest. In this project, we are developing study modules that help future and present teachers to learn not only how to utilize new learning environments, but also how to build these environments themselves. The objective is to follow the Engaging Learning Model (Lonka, 2012) for creating a hybrid learning environment that will make use of the latest technology and research. The first step is to develop a prototype of a course (5 credits), where students learn to steer phenomenon-based projects and foster the transversal competencies introduced in national Finnish curricula in 2016 (21st Century Competencies)

Learning 2 Be

”Learning to be” is an EU Érasmus+ funded project and research collaboration between Lithuania, Latvia, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia. The purpose of the project is to develop and execute an intervention for Social, Emotional and Health Learning (SEH) in the participating countries. Outcomes of the intervention are investigated and evaluated at the University of Helsinki, Finland.