Members of our team
Dr. Kirsi Tirri is a full Professor of Education at the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki and a visiting Professor at St. John's University, New York, USA. Professor Tirri has been the President of ECHA (European Council for High Ability) for the years 2008-2012 and the President of the SIG International Studies at AERA (American Educational Research Association) for the years 2010-2013. She served as a President of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters for the years 2016-2017. She was Research Director at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies for the years 2017-2019.
Her research interests include school pedagogy, moral and religious education, gifted education, teacher education and cross-cultural studies. She has published 13 monographs and numerous journal articles related to these fields. She serves in 13 Editorial Boards of educational journals. She has supervised 26 doctoral dissertations in education and theology and mentored many postdoctoral students who are now professors and researchers in education. She has led the Finnish team in many national and international research projects.
Dr. Elina Kuusisto is a Docent of Education at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her academic writings deal with: moral and religious education, more specifically:
- moral sensitivities such as ethical sensitivity, intercultural sensitivity, interreligious sensitivity
- purposeful teaching and life purposes
- talent development and growth mindset
Tel:+358 2941 29865, +358 504487031
Dr. Khalil Gholami currently is an Associate Professor at the Department of Education, University of Kurdistan, and a Docent at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki. He conducts research on teaching and teacher education and currently he is working on teachers professional identity and agency. His ongoing article is about "construction and deconstruction of student teacher's identity". In addition, he is a pedagogical expert in higher education; his recent project on land use planning of higher education institutions in the province of Kurdistan aims at developing a road map for higher education in this province.
Source of funding: sabbatical grant, University of Kurdistan
Tel: +358 401949659
Academy Postdoctoral Researcher, Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University
Fields of expertise: Multicultural education, religions and worldviews in education, teachers' intercultural competencies, growth mindset pedagogy
Research topics: Malleability beliefs and diversity beliefs as part of teachers' intercultural competencies, teachers' mindsets and growth mindset pedagogy, Muslim inclusion in schools, Islamic religious education
Topic of the thesis : Comparative studies on the Finnish and Chinese science curriculum
Description of thesis: The doctoral thesis is an article-based one to investigate how aims for scientific literacy and 21st century competencies are implemented in National Primary Science Curricula in Finland and China. Further empirical research would be done based on the analysis results of the intended curriculum.
Funding: Funding from China Scholarship Council for doctoral studies
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Topic of Thesis: Morality in Iranian schools
Description of thesis: As an article based thesis this study investigates Iranian students’ life purposes and purpose profiles. Further moral dilemmas in Iranian schools from teachers’ and students’ point of view are studied using both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Tel: +358 294129811, +358 503180309
Topic of Thesis: Social services students’ life purposes – a case study from Finland
Description of thesis: This exploratory mixed methods case study aims to find out what kind of self- and other-focused life purposes Finnish social services students identify themselves with and how service during their studies affects their life purposes and helps them to develop their professional interactional competence.
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Topic of the thesis: Teachers' and students' mindsets in learning.
Description of thesis: Empirical research on mindset has indicated that mindset could predict individual multiple achievement including academic, cognitive, motivational, affective and even socioeconomic through the mediation of social-cognitive approaches. In the light of the current research, we hypothesize that both students’ and teachers’ mindsets have an impact on students’ learning outcomes. This research aims to illustrate 1) review of current research for teachers’ and students’ mindsets in learning, 2) whether mindset in learning is culturally bound by comparing mindsets both in different backgrounds,3) cross-culture predictors to growth mindset in learning.
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Topic of the thesis: Knowledge Integration in Education and Science
Description of the thesis: Core questions of the study are: a) what is integration in education, b) why integration is done, c) what kind of benefits and challenges are expected, d) how it is executed currently in Finnish schools, and d) how integration in schools is parallel and connected to practices of interdisciplinary science.
Funding: Finnish Cultural Foundation (Lauri Järvi Fund)
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Topic of the thesis: Learning gratitude in school environment
Description of thesis: My doctoral thesis aims to exploring gratitude’s meaning and the ways it is promoted by teachers in first grade students in Finland. This is realized through the following research questions: what is the meaning of gratitude in school setting in Finland? What are the different psychological components of gratitude in school environment? What are the educational methods used by teachers to assist students understanding gratitude?
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Topic of the thesis: Political formation of vocational education: A comparative study of Finnish and Estonian vocational education systems
Description of thesis: The emphasis of the research lies on a comparative study of Estonian and Finnish Vocational Education Training systems. The research adopts two methodological approaches: historical comparative approach, and critical policy analysis
Funding: Seed funding from Journal of Vocational Education and Training
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Topic of the thesis: Improved teacher-parent interaction- positive digital communication as a tool
Description of thesis: The aim of this thesis is to build a positive interaction model between teachers and parents based on positive psychology and character strengths- teaching. The main focus is in improving all positive communication between teachers and parents and the tool highlighted in this study is the daily used digital platform.
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Topic of thesis: Changing mindsets about learning among elementary school students
Description of thesis: This article-based doctoral dissertation focuses on researching mindsets related to learning and aims to connect psychological, educational, and neuroscientific data in order to construct and test a mindset intervention program that will improve students’ learning outcomes during elementary school.
Funding: Finnish cultural foundation
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Topic of thesis: Parental engagement to support children’s learning in Finland and Portugal
Description of thesis: This article-based thesis aims to characterize teachers’ and parents’ practices and perspectives on parental engagement in learning, from a cross-cultural standpoint, in Finland and Portugal. This research also explores associations between parental engagement and a growth mindset of teachers and parents.
Doctoral student (Tallinn University)
Topic of thesis: Growth mindset appearing in a didactic relationship
Description of thesis: This qualitative case study examines first grade teacher's growth mindset in teaching. The data includes theme interview, observation and stimulated recall interviews. The final results describes how teacher's growth mindset appears in planning and reflection of teaching and how growth mindset actualize in teaching.
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