My research foci include individual, family, and teacher factors contributing to children’s academic learning and motivation in preschool and early school years. In particular, I have been interested in developmental trajectories of young children’s reading and math skills and the effects of motivation, teacher-student relationships and teacher-parents partnership to child’s learning. I am involved in interventions for supporting literacy skills development by computer games and iPad apps and also teacher interventions supporting teacher-child interaction, motivation and engagement in classrooms. I have developed and published research-based tools for teachers in literacy learning and motivation of young children.
I act as one of the leading researchers in the First Steps Study following up children from pre-primary age to grade 9 and in projects applying innovative technology solutions in young children’s learning. I also act as a part-time visiting professor at Tallinn University, co-coordinator of EARLI SIG 5 Learning and Development in Early Childhood, and at editorial board of the journal Frontline Learning Research. I have extensive experience of acting as an invited expert at the international and national level (e.g. curriculum for pre-primary and comprehensive school).
University of Jyvaskyla, Department of Teacher Education, Finland
Phone number: +358 40 7638432
My main research interests focus on how motivation, home environment, and teacher-student relationships influence young children’s skill development in the areas of language, social skills, self-regulation, reading and math. In particular, I have been interested in the paths of children with risks for learning problems and factors that help them to achive against the odds. I have been involved in intervention studies, e.g., Family School - intervention for families of young children with overactivity and self-regulation problems, and currently teacher intervention for supporting students’ active engagement and motivation in the classroom.
I have acted as one of the leading researchers in the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia following up children from birth to early adolescence, and also in the First Steps Study following up children from pre-primary age to grade 9.
My expertise focuses on two major fields, that of Developmental and Child Psychology, and Early Education. I received my PhD from the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota.
Department of Teacher Education, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
My doctoral dissertation (2014) concerned teachers’ pedagogical practices and teacher–child interactions and their contribution to classroom process quality in the context of Finnish preschool classrooms (for 6-year-olds). My broader areas of interest in research include quality of ECEC, teacher–child interaction within different age groups (especially in toddler groups), and teachers’ role for children’s learning and development. Methodologically I’m interested in using qualitative methods and conducting mixed methods research as well using structured observational tools such as the CLASS and ECCOM in exploring the process quality in classrooms.
Recently I’ve been involved to the following research projects: First Steps study (2006–2017) and Preventing disengagement in classroom context: Classroom processes fostering student engagement (SkidiKids, 2013–2015). I’m also currently a JURE coordinator of EARLI SIG 5 – Learning and Development in Early Childhood.
Department of Teacher Education, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Jyväskylä. My main research interests include student engagement, motivation, and role of social context in students’ motivation and learning. In particular, I have been interested in developmental trajectories of students’ engagement and motivation across major school transitions and classroom processes that support or prevent student engagement and motivation.
Recently I’ve been involved to the following research projects: as a coordinator in Preventing disengagement in classroom context: Classroom processes fostering student engagement (VUOMO-study, 2013–2015); and as a researcher in First Steps study (2006–2017). I have also developed research methods. Together with seniors I have recently developed a new research instrument (InSitu mobile tool) to measure situation-specific engagement and motivation in classrooms. I am also trained to use CLASS-S observation measure.
My research interests concern curriculum development. In addition my current studies focus on issues of parents and teachers collaboration, social interaction, and partnership in pre-primary and school contexts and factors contributing children’s transition from pre-primary context to school context. I have been researcher in the FIRST Steps study and Children’s socio-emotional wellbeing and daily family life in a 24-h economy, both of the studies include cultural comparison.
University of Jyväskylä, Department of Education, Finland
Telephone: 358 40 8054023
My main research interests concern development and learning in early childhood education settings from the cultural-historical and activity theoretical perspectives in particular. Over the years, I have participated actively in Nordic and in cross-European research projects and networks on topics such as relational approaches in early childhood education, children’s play, quality issues in early childhood education, development of learners’ communities, and children up to three-years of age in day care centres. My current research is focusing on issues of emotional wellbeing of the younger children in day care groups, especially from the viewpoints of participation, social relationships and teachers’ role in joint activities. Furthermore, I have a long history and extensive experience in teaching and developing early childhood education both in Finland and abroad). For instance, I have been a full-time visiting professor in Free University Berlin for two years, and have acted as a local coordinator in EECERA (European Early Childhood Education and Research Association) for years. Currently I am the co-coordinator of EECERA SIG on Play, and a member of the board of ICCP (International Council for Children’s Play) as well as a member of the editorial board of Nordic Early Childhood Education Research (Nordisk Barnehageforskning) journal.
My main research interest is the role of parents and teachers in children’s learning, motivation, and adjustment. I am also interested in longitudinal modeling.
In CARE project, my interest is in the relation between quality of learning environment and children’s outcomes.