Who am I?

I am working as Professor of Education at Department of Teacher education, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki. I am the founding member of the Playful Learning Center (www.plchelsinki.fi) where I lead several research projects focusing on digital creative learning and teaching. I also hold an adjunct professorship at the University of Turku. 

I received my PhD in Education from the University of Exeter after which I have held two distinguished scholarly positions awarded by the Academy of Finland (1997-2005). In the years 2006-9 I directed the national interdisciplinary research network on learning, CICERO Learning at the University of Helsinki. I moved from this position to serve as the Director of the Information and Evaluation Services Unit at the Finnish National Board of Education (2009-11). I undertook the position of full professorship in education at the University of Helsinki in the year 2012. In the past, I have been a visiting professor at the University of Warwick, Institute of Education, UK (2007-9) and at the University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education (2004-6).

I have spearheaded several externally funded research projects examining learning and education from the sociocultural perspective. My research focuses on understanding social, emotional and cultural dimensions of learning and development. In my publications, I have been interested to develop new knowledge about social interaction in learning, illuminating the ways in which participation, agency and knowledge are situationally negotiated across space and time. I have also addressed methodological questions in the analysis of social interaction across settings and contexts. In the recent years, I have also focused on visual, participatory research, children’s and young people’s wellbeing, resilience and creativity, as well as formation of learner identities in the digital age.

In sum, my core research themes are:

  • Social interaction and learning
  • Sociocultural theories
  • Social ecologies of learning and development
  • Cognitive, social and emotional processes
  • Socio-emotional wellbeing
  • Informal and formal contexts of learning
  • Agency and resilience
  • Children, media and digital literacies
  • Children’s engagement and voice
  • Positive pedagogy
  • Creativity and co-creation
  • Transitions
  • Participatory research methods
  • Visual research

tuhat-researcher database