June 2024

Sharing Outcomes


VISLU Researchers present research outcomes at the conference  REIMAGINING TEACHERS AND TEACHER EDUCATION FOR OUR FUTURES

Upcoming articles:

Cornér, S., Savijärvi, M., Kaihovirta, H., & Löfström, E. (2024). Profiles of professional identity among student teachers.  In Teacher Development. Under review.

Cornér, S. & Kaihovirta, H. (2024). Visual Methods as Student Reflections on Teaching Practice A Reimagined Pedagogical Resource.  Paper presentation at Reimagining teachers and teacher education for our futures University of Helsinki, June 2024. In progress.

Kaihovirta, H. & Cornér, S. (2025). Enhancing Teacher Professional Identity Through Pecha Kucha: A Collaborative Exploration. In progress.

Updating Course Design for Academic year 2024-2025

VISLU production of updated online course material, learning assets and support for student teachers in visual methods and methodologies for courses in Qualitative Research Approaches. Course material design focuses on BA and MA Thesis studies in Educational Sciences. Course Design made in collaboration with MA student Tintin Rosvik at Visual Communication Design  (VCD) Studies at Aalto University.



May 2024

Dialogues, Mobility & Networking

VISLU in research dialogue with student teacher Minette Bäckblom on methodological considerations on visual documentation of art interventions in K-12 classrooms.

VISLU Researchers visit V!LD at Aalborg University, Copenhagen.

VISLU Researchers Hannah and Solveig at National Library of Finland making use of the efficiencies at the university in busy May! Using pockets of time at the library for analysis, article writing and future planning.

April 2024


Harriet & Seija in action!

Research Seminar Presenters & Topics 

PhD Docent Harriet Zilliacus: Från marginalen mot spännande framtider: Visuella metoder i pedagogisk- och samhällsvetenskaplig forskning.  The presentation was based on the upcoming publication:

Holm, G., Sahlström, F., & Zilliacus, H. (in press). Arts-Based Visual Methods. In Leavy, P. (Ed.) Handbook of Arts-Based Research (Second Edition). Guilford Press.

PeD Docent Seija Kairavuori: Omakuvia opettajuudesta.  The presentation was based on the upcoming publication:

Kairavuori, S., Maaranen, K, Kaihovirta, H. (Eds) (In press). Omakuvia opettajuudesta. Näkökulmia opettajaksi kasvun ja lapsuuden tutkimuksiin. Helda Open Access.

PhD Docent Hannah Kaihovirta & PhD University Lecturer Solveig Cornér: VISLU Research project presentation.

Student Teacher Minette Bäckblom: Konstinterventioner i lärmiljö, MÅNGSAM. Visuella metoder och aktionsforskning i skolan.

Visual Artist Linn Hurtta: BLIVANDE – BECOMING: Visual video essay as a visual method on pre service teachers internship in schools.






March 2024



To become a future-ready teacher! 

Visual artist Linn Hurtta, Konstfack MA student in Arts Education in dialogue with researcher Hannah Kaihovirta.

Artists’ practice is about shifting perspectives, making alternative realities, and expanding the space for sharing experiences and collaboration. Artistic processes often contain akin to play where intuitive creativity can generate possibilities to re-imagine ingrained patterns.

When doing educational research, artistic processes aren’t necessarily the first choice as research method and the outcomes are neither necessary the ones expected. However, artistic processes entail perspectives central for learning, and learning is a school ontology.

In November 2023 the VISLU researchers Solveig and Hannah met artist Linn at a café in Helsinki. One unexpected outcome from the meeting was a turn in the VISLU research approach. In the original VISLU research design still photos taken by student teachers in their final internship were planned to be analyzed through visual methods. When meeting Linn, we decided to add a further layer of analysis and asked her to contribute to VISLU with an art-informed interpretation of the data.

Linn was positive to our suggestion, and VISLU invited her to generate an interpretation through a visual video essay. In the VISLU research blog March 24 we share the dialogue Linn (L) and Hannah (H) had on the ongoing process:

H Dear Linn! I’m excited to hear about your process. In November we invited you to be part of a very open ended process and challenged you to make brave and independent artistic decisions in a creative process working with still photo data we shared with you.

L It has been great. The photos sparked something in me, and I’ve been pouring myself into the material ever since I’ve got it. I also started my own video diary during my internship that is going on alongside when I’m working with the video essay.

H I think it is crucial, and I also think it is impressive and ambitious of you to channel your working process into your own learning during your internship. How do you feel about combining your own experiences with the interpretation process of the still photos from the student teachers?

L It’s been a bit of a balancing act, to be honest. I’ve found myself questioning how much of my interpretation should come from the students’ photos of their identity construction versus my own experiences. My intuition says that I should trust my artistic impulse and follow what feels right for me.

I’m delighted to hear that. You are right in to the core of the dilemma and possibilities of combining artistic ambition, research goals and educational intentions. Educational research aims to be generative. Your artistic process is unique to you, and it’s essential to honor. While the initial inspiration from the photos is valuable, what matters most in the visual video essay is how you shape your story.

I’ve been experimenting with different approaches. I also discovered that there is a great sense of humor to be used for creating an atmosphere in the video. I feel like I’m starting to find my way.

H  That’s wonderful. Humor is often underused as a learning resource in school. For example, carnivalism and clowning are essential parts of creative work. Humor can generate completely unexpected ways to rethink school and learning experiences and your future teacher identity.

Humor is necessary in school! Students bond with each other through humor. During my internship I have seen a lot of the students’ meaning making worlds emphasizing humoristic underlining.

Thank you for sharing your insights with us. Your reflections are substantial when exploring what visual literacy can provide teacher education.

L  It’s really rewarding and validating to know that I’m on the right track with my artistic process.

Keep on exploring, experimenting, and staying true to yourself! I have no doubt that you’ll produce something unique.

L  I’m excited to see where this takes me and how I can continue to develop as an artist and a future art teacher.

Finally, doing research together with an artist follows the inner logic of art and its possibilities for learning. VISLU research turn is about to go beyond standards and together with an artist approach research themes beyond the expected. We are honored of being in a process that corresponds to the artistic ambition and vision of Linn and surely excited to move forward on creating research spaces where we can state that the combination of art, visual literacy research and education is about to touch the future.


February 2024

VISLU Friendly Images as Education

During the first weeks of this year VISLU research has focused on grasping the ontology and epistemology of visual research. We have been occupied with visual research methods and visual methodologies.  We have communicated on research ethics, talking through the set of considerations when collecting and analyzing data, and recognized that the set of ethical considerations on research outcomes and their presentation needs another framing.  

The first look at the data reveals that the visuals perform Friendly images.  Warmth and empathy in education are the main themes pictured. Emotional meaning making, inclusivity and diversity, social justice, imagination and creativity also appear as central themes.

Whether the images are shared in media, social platforms, teaching materials, documentaries, or through art, the Friendly images deal with connection and solidarity in education.

February 14th.


January 2024 About and Profile

Welcome to VISLU blog!

VISLU research project is conducted by PI, PhD Hannah Kaihovirta and leading project researcher PhD Solveig Cornér.

The project is facilitated within the field of research in Diversity, Multilingualism and Social Justice in Education at the University of Helsinki and started in August 2023 when the new curricula and teaching programmes 2023-2026 at the university were published.

VISLU research project has several phases. In the first phase, funded by Faculty of Educational Sciences and Teachers Academy, we focused on collecting data and developing course curriculum/course content on visual methods, visual practices and visual literacy in teacher education and student teacher practice.

In January 2024 the project turned into the second phase with focus on data management, data analysis, research article production and presentations of research outcomes at seminars, conferences and in researcher networks.

Why a blog on VISLU?

We have two initial blog visions:

  • To establish the blog as a window, and a display for VISLU research articles, outcomes and ideas.
  • To apply the blog as a key for unlocking and opening doors for research contacts, networks and opportunities.

The blog serves as a platform for sharing monthly VISLU updates and for creating space for layers of knowledge and online researcher dialogues on visual literacy learning and visual culture in education and society.