Research profile

Research at the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki focuses on human growth, development, behavior and learning. Researchers examine their topics from various perspectives, including the social, communal and individual. Research objects are educational systems, learning environments and learners. Our research aims towards the realization of cultural and social possibilities for the wellbeing of an individual and a society in a changing world.

Researchers and research groups are involved in many development programmes, projects and networks in addition to conducting academic research. Discover more about networks and development projects.

The Faculty of Educational Sciences is committed to carrying out outstanding scientific research with high societal impact. In specific terms, eight cross-disciplinary Research Communities have been established to co-construct scholarly expertise. The researchers of the Faculty conduct cutting-edge international research with a strong societal link to sustainable and equitable development.

The intention is to gain multiple perspectives from education sciences, and further from sociology, psychology, philosophy, brain and cognitive sciences, and computer science. By cross-disciplinary perspective we introduce new ways of thinking about the foundations and dynamics of education, human learning, and human behavior, across the human lifespan. Using multiple methods, we have combined societal analysis of policy and organizations with findings on individual learning and wellbeing.

Some news about societal impact of research

Education, society and culture

Research topics in the research focus area Education, society and culture include Finnish schools and education policy, schooling and education, work, organizations and development, action, agency and inclusion, equality, gender and global responsibility, skills, design and art in variable forms.

Learning and interaction

Research topics in the research focus area Learning and interaction include curriculum design, learning, teaching, learning environments, learning how to learn, learning difficulties, development, interaction, innovative methods, discipline-based learning or subject didactics, community learning and expertise.

The Faculty of Educational Sciences has had an international Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) since 2020. The purpose of the SAB is to support the strategic development of the Faculty towards the cutting-edge of international educational research and teaching. SAB serves as support for the Faculty’s management and critical partner in developing the Faculty’s activities.

As a rule, the term of office of the SAB members is four years. Four to six experts with faculty-relevant expertise in both educational research and education, as well as assessment and leadership roles in the field are invited to the SAB Group.

The members of the SAB for the period 2020–2023 are:

  • Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy, Associate Dean for Policy Sharon Lynn Kagan (Columbia University, Teachers College)
  • Professor of Vocational Education and Work, Pro-Director of Research and Development Alison Fuller (University College London)
  • Professor of Educational Sciences, Chair of the Department of Educational Research and Development Wim Gijselaers (Maastricht University)
  • Professor, Head of Department of Education Ola Erstad (University of Oslo)
  • Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Education Lin Goodwin (University of Hong Kong)

The University of Helsinki defines quality as expedient operations and high-quality results.

In the latest research assessment of the University of Helsinki the scientific quality of research at the Faculty of Education was assessed "Excellent", societal impact of research "Excellent, even outstanding" and research environment and unit viability "Very good to excellent".