Research

The specialist group of ​Maker@STEAM​, situates to the research interest areas of education, society, culture, learning and interaction, within the Faculty of Educational Sciences. It focuses on maker culture, design learning as well as education in STEM areas and special education. The research community covers aspects related to craft and design, teaching and learning of home economics, management of everyday life, technology, sustainable development and well-being. Steam focuses on teaching, engagement and learning in school science, mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry, computer science, technology, sustainability and outdoor education. 

The members of Maker@STEAM operate in the following research groups and projects

Research in Craft Studies covers broadly different areas of craft, such as:

  • designers and makers of craft products,
  • designing and making processes and product development,
  • machines, tools and materials used in crafts.

Craft Studies is a multidisciplinary field of research. A research object can be approached from a psychological, physiological, social, cultural, economical or technological point of view. Craft studies analyses creative and productive activities of human beings.

Craft Education investigates teaching and learning crafts, and educational systems. Research focuses on teaching and learning skills, interaction and collaboration in craft.

Research themes are:

  • designing and making craft products
  • virtual collaborative designing
  • craft as a cultural activity
  • future of craft
  • craft skills and knowledge
  • teaching and learning crafts

The research group is directed by Professor Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen and Professor Erja Syrjäläinen.

The research group, Food, culture and learning, focuses on subject-didactic questions related to the teaching and learning of home economics within various cultural settings and school levels, ranging from comprehensive school to higher education. We are especially interested in formal teaching and learning situations, such as in the classroom, but also within informal learning environments such as homes or NGOs.

Teachers’ practical mastery of food preparation skills is key for obtaining a high level of professionalism. Without having one’s own foundation of strong practical skills, the home economics teacher will be unable to focus on pedagogical issues within the learning environment, and provide individual support for their students build a safe and equal learning environment where the students feel free to experiment and learn new things. Home economics teachers in higher education must find a balance between cultivating generic skills (i.e., being reflective and critical) and subject-specific skills (i.e., having practical skills and knowledge of sustainable choices in everyday life).

The whole research group has actively promoted national and international research co-operation, participated in discussions on our latest research findings, consulted, and tutored young researchers, as well as organized expert meetings, seminars, and symposiums. The HEED-team, led by university lecturer, PhD Hille Janhonen-Abruquah, is raising important issues related to home economics education: pedagogical themes such as diversity, gender and equality in schools; transnationality, culturally responsive education, and multicultural education in schools are key issues when putting the new Finnish national curriculum into practice.

The research group is directed by Professor Päivi Palojoki

Read more about this research project in Finnish.

The aim of our research is to develop sufficient measures and novel knowledge on the social visual attention in the field of mathematics teaching and learning. Classroom interaction has been explored on macro-level throughout decades. Our purpose is to move on to the micro-level of evidence and broaden the results received with momentary physiological measurements back to the field of educational discourse.

Our research project, MathTrack, is funded by the Academy of Finland and conducted in the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. The MathTrack project is a study of classroom interactions, which aims to take into full consideration the complexity of social and embodied processes of learning. We use multiple mobile gaze trackers to study the visual attention of four students and their teacher in realistic classroom settings. Using multiple mobile gaze tracking provides us with a view of how the students’ and teachers’ visual attention shifts in real classrooms.

STEAM education research group conducts research and development work in both research areas of the Faculty of Educational Sciences, or education, society & culture and learning & interaction, especially in research on teaching, engagement and learning in school science, mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry, computer science and technology,  also in the framework of creativity, innovation and sustainable development. The group has many research projects financed by external funding. Many of the projects are conducted in the frame of Design Based Research.