Research Projects

Engaging in disciplinary thinking: historical literacy practices in Finnish general upper secondary schools (research consortium funded by the Academy of Finland from 2016-2020)

Literacy is a basic prerequisite for full participation in society. Future citizens are expected to work with wealth of information and various multimodal texts, posing new challenges for literacy in school context. These challenges are particularly visible in study of history, where texts and language play a significant role. Historical knowledge is based on documents, but knowledge production and communication, too, take place through texts. This project focuses on disciplinary literacy practices at Finnish general upper secondary schools and will pay special attention on students with Finnish as second language. The project aims both at examining and developing the mastery of historical literacy through multidisciplinary approach involving linguists, historians, and experts on education. By advancing learning, teaching and assessing historical literacy we aim at answering challenges rising both from the national policy level and from classroom practices.
Consortium parties: PI Minna-Riitta Luukka, University of Jyväskylä (294487), Simo Mikkonen, University of Jyväskylä (294490), Jukka Rantala, University of Helsinki (294491)

HistoryLab for European Civic Engagement: Open E-toolkit to Train History Teachers on Digital Teaching and Learning (funded by Erasmus+ from 2021-2023)

The objectives of the project are:
– To create a joint curriculum document with a common framework of transversal contents which allow for an approach which is multicultural and inclusive in terms of social and gender equality.
– To create a library of digital resources and 35 teaching and learning units on European history, employing active learning methods, emerging technologies, and an approach which is multicultural and inclusive in terms of social and gender equality.
– To create four online modules to train history teachers in the use of digital resources and new teaching methodologies. Module 1 will contain training activities on emerging technologies. Module 2 will contain activities on active learning methods. Module 3 will contain activities on planning teaching and learning units. Module 4 will contain activities on learning assessment.
– To design and validate the effectiveness of HistoryLab e-Toolkit. We will evaluate the effectiveness of the e Toolkit via its use in an educational intervention among history teachers in initial training and practicing history teachers in secondary education. A common collaborative framework will be created to ensure the sustainability of the project. (Najat Ouakrim-Soivio)

The Construction of Finnish Teacher Education

In this study the historical construction of Finnish teacher education from the beginning of the 20th century to date is scrutinized. Finnish teacher education has been constructed quite coherently. Especially from the 1960s academization and research-orientation have strengthened. Thus, the change in the culture of teacher education has affected teacher educators, teacher students not to forget teachers working in the field. The goal of the study is to research policies made in teacher education (made especially by teacher educators) and to understand reasons behind those plans and effects of those decisions. Also, concrete repercussions of these ideas for teacher’s daily routines are researched. (Jari Salminen, Janne Säntti, Mikko Puustinen, Anna Koski, Ari Vuorio)

Supporting disciplinary thinking and personal genealogy with the help of DNA tests: How teachers can acquire and use disciplinary knowledge in their teaching

In this study, we examine student teachers’ perceptions regarding their own family trees, the origins of Finns, and the effects of personal DNA tests in their knowledge management. The aim of this research is to gain information through the results of personal DNA tests, in addition to multidisciplinary instruction in students’ ways of explaining their personal genealogy and Finnish lineage. Furthermore, we examine how students’ readiness towards disciplinary-based integrative instruction will develop during this project. (Jukka Rantala, Hannu Salmi, Marja Pirttivaara, Helena Thuneberg)