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Faculty of EducationUniversity of TampereFaculty of Education

Toni Saarivirta

  • University lecturer, a fixed term professor of education for the year 2014
  • Attracted to research while still a student
  • Accordingly ended up being a researcher
  • The best part of the work is combining teaching and research
  • Research topics include innovation research, societal meaning of education, learning, competency and future orientation

Researcher's Corner

Following the path of research

- How I became involved with research was mostly affected by a chance and the outcome was a sum of many factors. Already as a student, I was interested in knowing where the research results came from, says Professor of Education, Toni Saarivirta.

The first summer job of professor Saarivirta during his studies introduced him to the world of research. After that a possibility to take on the career of a researcher started to intrigue him and sure enough, while working on his master’s theses, the idea of applying for a right to postgraduate studies started to seem like a good choice to make. After graduating from the educational science and having written a master’s theses in political economy as well, professor Saarivirta became interested in combining this two disciplines in his research.

Following the path of research so to speak, professor Saarivirta has spent almost his entire working career engaged in research, and there is no change in sight.

- You can never get tired of researching a topic, because you can never tell, what you are going to find. You may have different assumptions, but you can never be sure.

There are several projects going on right now, involved with education politics, learning, getting to be admitted to an educational institution and university profiles.

Toni Saarivirta

Researcher needs to have an open mind

Researchers need to be interested in things, they need perseverance and be able to manage large and complex entities. According to professor Saarivirta, an important property of today’s researcher is international experience: a researcher has to belong to international networks and have experience of working abroad, and be able to learn from others as well as communicate his working methods to them. Indeed, research is no longer the domain of lone riders but collaborative working in research groups. A researcher needs to have an open mind and be social, says professor Saarivirta.

According to Professor Saarivirta, the best part of his work is combining teaching and researching. He finds it easy to tell about his research to students, and getting feedback from them is an appreciated bonus. On the other hand, time management is a challenge while engaged in both research and teaching.

- I suppose research is a vocation at some level, because as a researcher and teacher I can put everything on the line and help others. That is what I find so appealing about this work.

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

Faculty of Education
Ã…kerlundinkatu 5, FI-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
tel. +358 (0)3 355 111
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Last update: 28.7.2014 8.48 Muokkaa

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