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Faculty of EducationUniversity of TampereFaculty of Education

Marita Mäkinen

  • Professor of Educational Sciences, in the field of teacher education
  • graduated originally as a teacher
  • has been a school teacher half of her working career
  • from the beginning, teaching and researching felt close to each other
  • initial push to research came from a need to find more information to support her own teaching

Researcher's Corner

A reseacher gets to be creative

- Being a researcher is extremely creative and interesting. The “creative madness” is comparable to a theater production process, where you advance towards the idea with the support of your colleagues and follow it.

The above description of a research process comes from Professor Marita Mäkinen, for whom to be a researcher came very naturally through her work as a teacher. The initial push to start on a dissertation and become a researcher came from the urge to know more as a teacher. The most interesting aspect of educational sciences is the connection between theory and praxis, the potential in it. A good theory has its foundation in praxis, says Professor Mäkinen.

At the time of this interview Professor Mäkinen was occupied with students of the secondary school teacher education program, wanting to find out, what kinds of things strain the students and what helps them to cope with the workload they are facing. Especially dear to heart to Professor Mäkinen are learning environments - the learning that takes place in them and the various ways in which learning environments and communities can be developed.

- It is interesting that the Y-generation doing their studies now will change the university and working life more than the university can change them. So, from the perspective of research, it is essential to consider, what generations can learn from each other.

In general, professor Mäkinen wants to engage in research, which contributes to development of teaching and school practices.

Professor Marita Mäkinen

Research is a journey

To Professor Mäkinen, research is a journey, where you need to overcome difficulties, immerse yourself in the subject of the research and feel thrilled about the perspectives that it offers.

- A researcher needs to be able to tolerate the initial chaos of a research process. A researcher needs to be rich with ideas and work with perseverance and intensity. In addition, researcher is also a writer, he or she needs to know how to express things clearly and concisely.

The work is so intensive that it turns into a life habit. At the same time, research can be extremely, even frustratingly slow.  That is why research is also stressful work and needs something to counterbalance it. Anyone who decides to become a researcher, is sure to have an interesting and unique work.

- The best thing about working as a researcher is the possibility to change your own preconception and thought. At the end of the journey, you'll understand something in a completely new way.

Text: Terhi Meriläinen
Translation: Päivi Svärd
Kuva: Jonne Renvall

Faculty of Education
Åkerlundinkatu 5, FI-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
tel. +358 (0)3 355 111
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Last update: 24.7.2014 13.09 Muokkaa

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+358 3 355 111

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