Goals and Activities

The Science Education Centre studies, develops and carries out multidisciplinary science education of children and young people as well as related teacher training, based on the latest research in the field as well as the internationally acclaimed integrated models of basic teacher education which have been researched and developed since 2003.

The Science Education Centre collects related expertise from the different disciplines of the University. The Centre also cooperates with partners outside the University, such as the municipalities and schools in Uusimaa, the Finnish Science Centre Heureka, organisations, companies and nearby institutions of higher education (e.g., Aalto University).

The Science Education Centre represents the University of Helsinki in the LUMA Centre Finland network of science and technology universities and is responsible for the administration of the network during the period 2017–2019.

It is involved in global cooperation with other academic experts and organisations in science education.

The science education activites since 2003 are presented also in the book Collaborative Science Education at the University of Helsinki since 2003: New solutions and pedagogical innovations for teaching from early childhood education to universities.

The Centre helps support the University’s reputation as a creative and international environment for learning and top research that is internationally attractive and which uses multidisciplinary research questions and cooperation between units to increase the impact of research in society.

University of Helsinki Strategic Plan 2017–2020 »

The Centre supports research-based (subject) teacher education integrated with science education at the University of Helsinki.

The Centre promotes the connections of the University’s subject teacher education to employers and society at large.

Science education requires more connections between disciplines/subjects and a broader approach encompassing several disciplines towards phenomena, topics and concepts. The new national core curricula for basic and upper-secondary education also emphasise integrated teaching and phenomenon-based learning.

As the Centre continues to operate, the versatile concepts for science education, developed and tested over several years and integrated into (subject) teacher education, will gradually spread to different disciplines at the University.

The Centre’s continuing education promotes lifelong learning among teachers from kindergartens to upper-secondary schools as well as interaction between various institutions, such as universities.

The Centre promotes, coordinates and produces research and reports that support subject teacher training and the expertise of subject teachers.

The Centre also disseminates information on events, phenomena and research relating to the work of subject teachers.

The activities of the Science Education Centre provide teachers and other students at all faculties of the University of Helsinki with excellent opportunities to gain experience in non-formal teaching in various disciplines. The Centre informs University students of supervision opportunities, training sessions and courses through the University’s internal communication channels and social media.

The Centre promotes the University’s student recruitment through novel multidisciplinary approaches.

Studies indicate that science education supports the development of students’ interest and motivation and inspires interest and enthusiasm from early childhood onwards.

Cooperation between different fields of science develops new, motivating solutions for the study and teaching of mathematics and natural sciences, which many pupils consider challenging but which are crucial for many University of Helsinki degree programmes. At the same time, the traditionally strong foundation of language skills among Finns is crumbling, which makes it important to use new approaches to motivate young people to study languages.

The new national core curricula for basic and upper-secondary education emphasise the importance of cooperation between institutions of higher education with earlier levels of education. Extensive cooperation will also facilitate student recruitment.