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Faculty of EducationUniversity of TampereFaculty of Education

Research Focus Areas of the Faculty of Education

The research focus of the Faculty of Education is on educational knowledge, activities and institutions that shape personal growth, learning and competency development during childhood, youth and adulthood.

Educational knowledge refers to interpretations regarding personal growth, learning and competency development that justify and serve as the basis for educational activity, and the ways in which these can be influenced. The Faculty of Education analyses existing educational knowledge and its processes of formation, the content of educational knowledge, and the didactic and pedagogic practices of learning in a changing sociocultural context and produces new educational knowledge.

Educational activities are studied within the structures and practices of policies, educational and learning environments, and civic and working life. The Faculty’s research is further profiled by the child, youth and adult educational institutions that have been created to implement education in society.

Research focusing on the main areas is conducted both at regional, national and international levels. Systematic integration of approaches within the School and with the university’s other fields of research creates a distinctive educational research profile for the University of Tampere.

The Faculty of Education also conducts speech technique and vocology research. The practical speech and voice training traditions is combined with multidisciplinary research and thus serves the needs of professions within the field of education and beyond.

Four focus areas of research

The Faculty of Education’s research profile is defined according to its educational orientation by the following four focus areas:

1) Increasingly international learning and operating environments

The increasing internationalisation of education and the labour market and the transnational mobility of people result in new kinds of learning and operating environments, which overreach geographical but also political, social and cultural borders. Research on learning and operational environments carried out with a subject-didactic perspective is a part of this focus area.

Research focuses on intercultural interaction and questions of learning in different multicultural contexts. The research examines formal and informal learning as well as the pedagogic and social challenges brought on by internationalisation.

2) Educational policies, cultures and structures

Research in this focus area examines the discourses, operators and institutions of education, as well as their interaction. The research focuses on the level of operation from the local to the global, and the research subjects could include the following:

  • the local adaption of transnational educational policies
  • institutional practices within education
  • national level decision-making or
  • globally outlined discourses of educational policies.

Research is carried out from the perspectives of education policy and sociology as well as comparative educational research in the context of different countries. The research covers the entire field of education from early childhood education to adult education.

3) Expertise, work and learning

The research focuses on professional learning and the psychological, social and cultural and historical perspectives of vocational learning and multi-professionalism, the development of expertise and global networking. The research examines individual, collective and organisational change processes related to lifelong learning and professional growth in different cultural, historical, social and societal contexts.  Furthermore, the research is interested in the changing field of civic activity.

The central themes are the changing meanings of equality, participation and agency as well as the questions of well-being in the context of civic activity and working life. The connections between education, the economy and politics as well as culture and nature are subjected to critical examination in the research in this focus area. 

4) Curriculum research

The research in this focus area examines teaching and curriculum cultures as well as their changes as a part of the operations of communities.  The curricula are understood, based on the curriculum studies tradition, as target-oriented, dynamic processes, which contain historical, cultural and political layers. In addition to this, curricula research is a way of understanding the daily life of education: what is taught and how. It can also be used to examine the development work of education and the operators that regulate it. The curricula research targeted at basic and upper secondary education is also a part of this focus area.

The importance of the research is based on the guiding role that curricula have in educational policy and increasingly also in the education of higher education institutions. At the same time, curricula reflect the political and cultural change trends in society at the different levels of the educational institution.


Each research group specialises in at least one target area of research, while researchers and teachers are free to participate in several groups and work in a range of focus areas. Professors and research group leaders are responsible for building mutual connections between the focus research areas of the Faculty.

Faculty of Education
Ã…kerlundinkatu 5, FI-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
tel. +358 (0)3 355 111
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Last update: 23.10.2018 10.30 Muokkaa

University of Tampere
+358 3 355 111

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