Professor Arto Kallioniemi is the professor in the didactics of religion at the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the University of Helsinki. He has completed his doctorate in 1997 with his thesis on the professional identity of teachers of religion. During his career, Kallioniemi has investigated worldview education and teacher training from a variety of perspectives. Kallioniemi’s research interests include issues related to worldview teaching: the implementation of worldview education in various countries; issues related to the management of education and teaching, including ethical and diversity management; non-discrimination; and issues related to equality. Arto Kallioniemi works actively as the University of Helsinki’s UNESCO Chair in Values, Dialogue and Human rights. He is in his second term as a vice-dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences in charge of international affairs. Kallioniemi is a member of the Finnish Human Rights Delegation functioning under the auspices of the Parliament of Finland. Kallioniemi has worked as the editor of the Ainedidaktiikka journal (2018–2022) and as the chair of the Finnish Association for Subject Didactic Research (2011–2017).
Docent Saila Poulter works as a senior university lecturer in the didactics of religion at the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the University of Helsinki. She received her doctorate in 2013 for her thesis on the relationship of religious education and citizenship as part of a secularising society. Poulter’s research interests include questions related to worldview teaching and education, teachers’ professional identity and worldview reflection, as well as understanding the grief of children from a socio-cultural perspective. She is also interested in academic outreach to small children and has founded a children’s university in her Faculty entitled Pöllö Academy. She supervises many doctoral researchers and participates actively in social debate related to religion in public spaces. Poulter is the editor of the Ainedidaktiikka journal and a programme coordinator for a committee in the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values (ISREV).
Marjaana Kavonius, PhD, MTh, works as a university lecturer in worldview education at the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the University of Helsinki. In her doctoral thesis Kavonius investigated pupils’ experiences of teaching in ethics and worldview education. Kavonius’ current research continues the theme, while her other research interests include cultural and worldview awareness, teacher training, teachers’ worldview reflection, inter-worldview dialogue education and the development of worldview education. She also supervises doctoral theses in the Doctoral Programme in School, Education, Society and Culture (SEDUCE).
In her research, University Lecturer Pia Koirikivi, PhD (Education), has delved into questions of how educational institutions could support young peoples’ experience of engagement and inclusivity. The themes are particularly topical in the world of today, which is characterised by global crises and the increasing polarisation between people caused by these crises. Koirikivi’s central research subjects include the possibilities of school education in supporting the social relations key to the wellbeing of young people as well as in functioning as a meeting place for various values, worldviews and attitudes. On a related note, she has studied the possibilities of educational institutions to support the formation of psychological wellbeing and resilience among children and young people as well as to prevent detrimental trends, such as the violent radicalisation of individuals. Koirikivi has studied these research themes from the perspective of children, young people, teacher students and teachers while utilising a wide range of datasets and methods.
Docent Eero Salmenkivi works as a university lecturer in the didactics of philosophy and ethics at the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the University of Helsinki. He received his doctorate in 2010 for his thesis on Plato’s epistemology entitled Knowledge through Discussion – An Interpretation of Epistemology in Plato’s Meno. Salmenkivi’s research interests include issues related to the teaching of philosophy and worldview subjects, with a particular emphasis on the matriculation examination, ethical and human rights education as well as questions related to the concept of worldview. In addition, he investigates the role of knowledge in teaching by participating in international research in powerful knowledge in the KOSS research network, comprising the University of Helsinki, Karlstad University and University College London.
Salmenkivi was appointed a founding member in the University of Helsinki Teachers’ Academy in 2013. He has served as a specialist in ethics and philosophy in the Finnish National Agency for Education in all basic education and general upper secondary education national core curriculum reforms in the 2000s as well as in the development of assessment criteria and various support materials. Salmenkivi is serving his second term (2016–2018 and 2022–2024) in the matriculation examination board and is the chair of the board’s philosophy and ethics divisions. In 2022, Salmenkivi collaborated with Vesa Åhs in writing the Report on the current state of instruction in different worldview education and need for reform for the Ministry of Education and Culture and is a permanent specialist member in the development group of worldview education reform of the Finnish National Agency for Education (2022–2024).
Niina Putkonen, MTh, works as a doctoral researcher at the Doctoral Programme in School, Education, Society and Culture (SEDUCE) in the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the University of Helsinki. She studies the Islamic religious education. In her doctoral study, Putkonen investigates, how the diversity in Islam is manifested in the Islamic religious education in comprehensive schools and the cooperation between home and school. Previously, Putkonen worked as a subject teacher in religion at school and a project planner at the University of Helsinki’s Cultural, Worldview and Language Awareness in Basic Education (KUPERA) project. She participates actively in the work of the academic Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies (IDIS) network and is a Fulbright Finland alumni (2022–2023).