Open Day at JustEd’s Summer School on 19 August 2014 – Welcome to join!

A total of 35 doctoral students from all Nordic countries will come together in Helsinki in August for the first JustEd Summer School on “Methodological Approaches to Justice through Education”. The programme is full of highly recognized speakers and in order for as many as possible to be able to take part of the gathered expertise Tuesday 19th August will be an open day. During this day everyone interested is welcome to Hanasaari to listen to the lectures.

The space is limited so please register through the link below!


11.00-12.00 Video research on teaching and teacher learning
Prof. Hilda Borko, University of Stanford

12.00-13.00 Lunch

13.00-14.00 Researching policy flows and policy learning: Implications for justice
Prof. Nafsika Alexiadou, Umeå University

14.00-15.00 Photography as a research method
Prof. Gunilla Holm, University of Helsinki

15.15-15.30 Coffee

15.30-16.30 Critical ethnography
Prof. Lois Weis, University of Buffalo

Registration for the Open Day

The Summer School is held at Hanasaari – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre in Helsinki/Espoo.


Heteronormativity, ethnicity and social hierarchies under scrutiny in recently published doctoral dissertations

Several JustEd members have successfully defended their doctoral dissertations in the last couple of weeks. Jón Ingvar Kjaran defended his dissertation “Queering the Icelandic upper secondary schools: Heteronormative discourse and the experiences of queer students in Icelandic upper secondary schools” at the University of Iceland on 3 June 2014. In his dissertation, Kjaran focuses on the experience of queer students and examines and describes the discursive factors that contribute to the heterosexist ideology that exists within the upper secondary school. A conclusion is that an institutionalized heterosexism, either subtle or overt, is interwoven into the school culture and social interactions of faculty members and students. This leads to a marginalization of those students that do not conform to the dominant discourse of either gender or sexuality.  

Mira Kalalahti has been focusing on the boundaries and limits that society, families and schools set for educational achievements in her doctoral thesis “Muuttuvat koulutusmahdollisuudet – Nuorten sosiaaliset hierarkiat ja koulumenestys” (Changes in equality of educational opportunity – social hierarchies and school achievement of the young). More specifically she has been researching how definitions of equality of opportunities change with time and how school achievements are connected to social position and experiences of social security in homes and schools. In her thesis Kalalahti concludes that school achievements in many ways are associated with social hierarchies. The odds of a young person having good school grades is tightly linked to the education level of his/her family, but a positive attitude towards school also requires strong social resources; i.e., a socially safe position to grow and develop. Mira defended her thesis on June 5 at the University of Helsinki.  

Chia-Chien Chang’s dissertation “Highly Educated Taiwanese Women Seeking a Self-Acceptable Social Position in Finland” was defended at the University of Helsinki on 13 June. Chang has conducted life-story interviews with Taiwanese women who have immigrated to Finland and draws on findings in employability, underemployment and mothering. Her study shows the common pattern of downward social mobility for first generation immigrants. In order to secure and maintain a better position for their children, the highly educated women raise their children as Finnish children by distancing themselves from their Taiwanese cultural heritage and espousing Finnishness. The stories of these women disclose how the intersections of social class, gender and race/ethnicity (re)produce inequalities in a Finnish context.

Links to the articles from Jón Ingvar Kjaran’s dissertation: article 1, article 2, article 3

Link to Mira Kalalahti’s dissertation (abstract in English)

Link to Chia-Chien Chang’s dissertation


PhD workshop on Cultural and Feminist Methodology in Educational Sciences

University of Helsinki, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, 15-17 October 2014 (5 credits)

This workshop provides PhD students with theoretical and methodological insights into cultural and feminist studies on education. The target of the studies is the (de)construction of differences (e.g. gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, (dis)abilities) in education and the possibilities for educational equality. Students are given tools for analyzing processes of social inclusion and exclusion.

The main emphasis is on the individual PhD projects of the participating PhD students. The ongoing work of students will be commented on by the experienced teachers and by the co-students of the course, with the aim to support the process of analysis.

The course consists of an opening lecture, two workshop sessions, where students present their methodological reflections; one day for students’ independent work between the sessions, where their work will be further developed based on comments received in the first workshop session.

Wednesday 15 October

9-12 am., room K218, Minerva-building
13-17 pm., rooms OKLSH 107R, Minerva KOK435 tdk, Minerva K219, MInerva K220

Friday 17 October
9-12 am Minerva Plaza K222.2, K227, K228, K229
12-14 pm Minerva Plaza K232

1. Applications with a 100-150 word abstract of the paper by 30 August 2014. Applications should be sent to

2. All students should deliver a  paper of 10-12 pages, including a description (table of contents) of the dissertation project. The paper should be focused on methodolological questions (examples on data and analysis are preferable). Deadline 30 September 2014.

Reading of pre-assigned literature and the other PhD students’pre-delivered materials.

Gaby Weiner, (visiting professor, Department of Education, University of Sussex)
Elisabet Öhrn, professor, Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg
Sirpa Lappalainen, University lecturer; Docent of Social Research in Education, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki.
Reetta Mietola, post doc researcher, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki.

The workshop is organised by the research network KOUKERO, JustEd team4 and the research centre Agora.