Invitation to a LECI expert group research seminar (19th of October)

Postdoctoral Researcher Jaakko Hilppö (Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki) and Professor Reed Stevens (Northwestern University, Chicago, US) will give a talk titled: Productive deviations: learner agency and interest. They will give their talk on Friday 19th of October, from 10:00 to 12:00, at Siltavuorenpenger 5A. The invited discussants of the presentation will be Associate Professor Sami Paavola and Senior university lecturer Anna Rainio (Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki).

Warm welcome to the next Learning, Culture and Interventions ( (LECI) expert group research seminar, where postdoctoral Researcher Jaakko Hilppö (Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki) and Professor Reed Stevens (Northwestern University, Chicago, US) will give a talk on Friday 19th of October, from 10:00 to 12:00, at Siltavuorenpenger 5A, (Minerva building, room K108). 

The invited discussants of the presentation will be Associate Professor Sami Paavola and Senior university lecturer Anna Rainio (Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki).

The title of the talk is: Productive deviations: learner agency and interest 


Researchers studying interest agree that the learning pathways learners follow into their interests are highly personal and tailored (Renninger, Nieswandt, & Hidi, 2015). Learners fashion these pathways not only from existing resources and opportunities provided to them by more knowledgeable others, but importantly also by going beyond them. These extensions mark pivotal moments in interest development as the learners, through their agency, create new learning opportunities for themselves related to their interest and pursue them. In this study, we conceptualize these extensions as productive deviations (e.g., Rajala & Sannino, 2015; see also Azevedo, 2006) and engage in a comparative analysis of various productive deviations we have identified in our year-long ethnographic study of seven different FUSE Studios—an alternative infrastructure for learning in schools (Stevens et al., 2016). Our analysis shows that the deviations can vary from short term excursions to semester long projects and can also become the focus of other students’ interests. In all, our works shows that allowing students to follow their interests to new and sometimes unexpected directions can lead to more enriched learning experiences not just for them, but also for other students.

Everyone interested is very welcome to join the seminar!