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Research profile ECEC

Research profile ECEC

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

Donner Patricia, M.A. Education, project assistant
The qualitative research project I am working in is called “Stjärnklart”, “Starlit” in English, which affects children’s socio-emotional development and consists of two different studies. The first study focuses on visible expressions in children’s free play, where skills in emotional and social development are important. The free play has been studied with an ethnographic approach where video observations have been carried out in children’s natural daycare environment in the Swedish speaking parts of Finland. The second study is about analyzing web education as a method for developing staff’s knowledge of socio-emotional development among children. The purpose is to contribute with knowledge about how different methods for supporting children’s emotional and social development in early childhood education work in practice. The educational training uses the learning model “collegial learning” and the staff groups are studied through interactive follow-up research where qualitative interviews are conducted at different stages during the training period.

Furu Christin, EdD, project 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. In addition, I am involved in reserach on childhood and corona, 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, PhD, project researcher
My research concerns multilingualism in educational contexts. My focus is especially on approaches that promote language-aware teaching, 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 infomation on my current research projects, mainly in Swedish, on:

https://blogs2.abo.fi/tandem/ (Tandem language learning)

http://blogs2.abo.fi/allasprakmed/ (Cross-language cooperation on different educational levels)

https://blogs2.abo.fi/multiped/ (Early introduction on second language)

Heikkilä Mia, associate 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, SAGA and am a co-researcher in various article projects.

Hirvi Johanna, M.A. Education, doctoral student
My research focus is within the field of childrens early mathematical development. I also have an interest in how ECE teachers during in-service training (LUMA2020) supports childrens 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.

Staffans Eva, M.A. Education, doctoral student
My research focus is on special education and how it is implemented in early childhood education (ECE) and pre-primary education. Role, work and responsibilities for special education teachers is of special interest. Another focus is how personnel support children with different challenges during their time in ECE or pre-primary education. Present research focus on different contexts, different types of language challenges among children and what support they receive.

Still Johanna, EdD
My research focuses on music, cross-language activities, learning areas and pedagogical documentation in early childhood education. In the music project, Make more music, I will study children’s conditions for developing their musical competence, and what inspires teachers to new creative forms of music activities. I am also the project manager for the sub-project, cross-language in early childhood education, which is part of a larger project that researches in early childhood education, primary schools and upper secondary schools. When it comes to teachers’ understanding of learning areas, the staff’s development and change processes are in focus for research. I also collaborate with the University of Gävle in purpose to write articles about pedagogical documentation.

Sundstedt Margita, Master in Political Sciences, doctoral student
My research area is the process of sexual development in children and young people, with a focus on especially girls’ body image, self-esteem and the relationship to their own body. The research area has connections to networks in developmental psychology https://www.abo.fi/en/study-subject/developmental-psychology/ as well as child and youth science https://www.abo.fi/en/study-subject/youth-research-minor-subject/

Svanbäck-Laaksonen Mikaela, M.A. Education, doctoral student
My research focuses on children’s fundamental motor skills (FMS) from different perspectives. I’m interested in children’s spontaneous exercise of FMS, change and development work around learning environments that support children’s FMS and how teachers plan and work to support children’s FMS in early childhood education. I collaborate with teachers at the University of Gävle, our area of interest is pedagogical documentation. In the LÄROPUSSEL 2.0 project, the development and change processes of early childhood education staff are in focus for our research.

Tjäru Sofie, M.A., doctoral student
My research interest is the use of children’s literature in pre-primary education in general, but also with special focus on bilingual children. 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 10.11.2020