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Research profile ECEC

Research profile ECEC

Buss Anna, M.A. Education, project manager
My research is about practicum as a central part of early childhood teacher education. Especially how students view their development during their practicum and how we develop the mentoring of our students.


Eriksson Linda, M.A. Education, doctoral researcher
My research concerns religious and worldview education, more precisely children’s possibilities to develop religious and worldview literacy in ECEC contexts. As a researcher, I am grounded in a relational ontology and I adopt a holistic view of humans. The research is connected to ResECEC, a project that concerns how various dimensions of resilience is expressed in children´s daily life in ECEC.


Furu Christin, EdD, title of docent, university researcher
My research concerns sustainability issues in early childhood education and care with a special focus on the importance of nature connectedness in supporting resilience among children and staff. I am the project leader of the ResECEC project on how to support resilience within ECEC. In addition, I am involved in research on collegial professionalism and professional development as well as operational cultures in ECEC. My research is founded in relational ontology, and I adopt narrative and arts-based approaches to research and education. I am a member of national and international research groups in sustainability education. Some of my current research projects are LIVE PLAY LEARN, PROSUS (Promoting sustainability within Finnish ECEC) and SUSTE – on multimodal storytelling and sustainability in ECEC.


Hansell Katri, Research leader, PhD, title of docent
My research concerns linguistic diversity and multilingualism in educational contexts focuings especially on approaches that promote language-aware teaching for everyone, language learning and cross-language cooperation, e.g., tandem language learning. I am also interested in developing models for cooperation between researchers and practicians. More information on my current research projects, mainly in Swedish, on:
Meningsfull interaktion på finska (language-enriched teaching from ECEC to primary education), Språköpedagogik (pedagogical characteristics of Swedish-medium education in language islands from ECEC to basic education) and Tandem på spel (virtual tandem pedagogy


Heikkilä Mia, professor in early childhood education
My research interests include different aspects of children’s participation and influence as well as how early childhood education can be organized in order for children to be actively included. Questions about how power is materialized in educational contexts have interested me for a long time and the interest in power includes clear traces of how social justice in pedagogical contexts is understood. For this reason, I have often included analyzes of gender, ethnicity, age or functionality in my research since how these identity categories are operationalized in contexts affect children’s and students’ ability to be fully part of the educational context. Societal norms around such identity categories often prevent teachers and staff from including all children equally in the activities, and as a researcher wanting to contribute to change that is a strong driving force. Therefore my research also includes studies of educational organizations and of how development work is organized and implemented. Current projects: Stjärnklart, Övningsdaghem, GATE and am a co-researcher in various article projects.


Hirvi Johanna, M.A. Education, doctoral student
My research focus is within the field of teacher’s professional development within STEM teaching. I also have an interest in how ECE teachers during in-service training supports children’s mathematical learning through interdisciplinary science projects.


Kvist Maria, M.A., doctoral student
My ongoing research concerns the use of different languages and how linguistic diversity is expressed in pictures and text s in Finland-Swedish picture books published in the 2000­–2015. Focus is on how the linguistic landscape is expressed in intraiconic text, but also on how ECEC teachers perceive and handle multilingualism when reading picture books with elements in other languages than the matrix language of the book.I am also involved in research projects within language immersion and Swedish as second language.


Nordin Pia, M.A. Education, doctoral student
My research area is pedagogical leadership in early childhood education. The focus is on analysing the conditions for pedagogical leadership, shared leadership and collegial learning. Part of the research is conducted within the project Framtidens småbarnspedagogik – ledarskap. In addition, research around multilingualism and multi-identity interests me.


Staffans Eva, PhD
My research interest lies within special education and how it is implemented in early childhood education and care. A specific focus is on special education teacher’s role and work, and how they directly or indirectly support children with special educational needs. Children’s participation and teachers’ views on transitions for children in need of support are currently in focus. In addition to special education, I am also interested in creative aesthetics and participate in a project named “Sluga Slöjdare”. Furthermore, I collaborate in several research networks in a Nordic context.


Still Johanna, EdD
My research focuses on music, cross-language activities and pedagogical documentation in early childhood education. In the music project, Make more music (https://www.abo.fi/projekt/musicera-mera/), I will study children’s conditions for developing their musical competence, and what inspires teachers to new creative forms of music activities.


Svanbäck-Laaksonen Mikaela, PhD (Education)
My research concerns children´s movement activities, pedagogical leadership and pedagogical documentation in early childhood education. I am also active within the project Framtidens småbarnspedagoik – ledarskap. In the research, the focus is on pedagogical leadership, shared leadership, collegial learning and leader´s change and development processes.


Tjäru Sofie, M.A., doctoral student
My research interest is literature didactics and children’s literature in early childhood education and pre-primary education. I am currently working on my doctoral thesis on read-aloud sessions in pre-primary education. I am part of the Nordic Early Literacy network where researchers from Norway, Sweden and Finland research early literacy and working with reading and writing in early childhood education and pre-primary education.

Updated 8.9.2023