Teachers’ Strategies Matter – Unknown Resource for Buffering School Differences in Student Learning and Well-being

2016 – 2020

The study focuses on exploring the complexity of transactional mechanisms between strategies used by the teachers, occupational well-being and student adjustment in terms of school-level differences. Moreover, it intends to add to previous research on the relationship between learning and well-being:

- by providing an understanding of the mechanism through which learning and well-being are interrelated
– by analysing the development of and key determinants for teachers’ and students’ well-being based on a large-scale, multilevel longitudinal empirical design
– by identifying the kinds of collective action strategies contributing to both students’ and teachers’ well-being at the school level
– by analysing the collective resources adopted in the school community for managing the external and internal stressors caused by low neighbourhood SES

PI-group: Janne Pietarinen (UEF), Kirsi Pyhältö (OU, HU) & Tiina Soini (UTA)

Projects financial administration is placed in University of Eastern Finland. The Project is scientifically led By the PI-group, which also makes desicison regarding the use of funding in cooperating universities UEF, HU, OU and UTA.

From Student Teacher to Experienced Teacher:
Learning an Active Professional Agency

2012 – 2016

The study focuses on exploring teacher learning in terms of teachers’ professional agency. It intends to extend previous research on teacher learning:
– by providing understanding on teacher learning and effects of professional transitions for teacher learning based on a large scale longitudinal empirical design
– by introducing an instrument for exploring different ingredients of teacher learning in a variety of contexts, including teacher training and school
– by comparing learning patterns of beginning and experienced teachers and different teacher groups and
– by introducing an integrative concept professional agency for analyzing complexity of teacher learning.

PI-group: Kirsi Pyhältö (HU), Janne Pietarinen (UEF), Tiina Soini-Ikonen (UTA) & Auli Toom (HU)

Project’s financial administration is placed in the University of Helsinki, Department of Teacher Education. The project is scientifically led by the PI group, which also makes decisions regarding the use of funding in cooperating universities HU, UTA and UEF. The teacher education units of these universities act also as sites of research.


School matters. Towards a research based school development

2013 – 2018

The national research project concentrates on developmental processes in the large scale school reform, with a particular focus on preconditions and processes accumulating learning, increasing well-being and supporting agency in every actor level of the school system (from national administration to area and local level, schools and eventually to pupils experiences in comprehensive schools around Finland). The project is linked with the implementation of the national curriculum reform effecting teaching and learning in every school district and individual school in Finland.

PI-group: Tiina Soini-Ikonen (UTA), Kirsi Pyhältö (Hu) & Janne Pietarinen (UEF)


Learning, agency and pedagogical well-being in comprehensive school

2009 – 2014

The large-scale research project explores learning and well-being in the Finnish comprehensive school. The main empirical focuses are 1) the development of students’ school experiences (sense of agency, belonging and pedagogical well-being) and school engagement, and 2) changes in teachers’ pedagogical well-being and professional development in the context of school development.

Project’s administration: Project’s financial administration is divided into three universities; HU, UTA and UEF. The project is scientifically led by the PI group, which also makes decisions regarding the use of funding in cooperating universities.

PI-group: Janne Pietarinen (UEF), Kirsi Pyhältö (HU) & Tiina Soini (UTA)


Research group’s doctoral students have individual grants for their dissertation projects, which are linked to larger project presented above. Current funders are Finnish Cultural Foundation,  Finnish Academy of Science and Letters/Eino Jutikkala Fund, Wihuri Foundation and funded doctoral programs of Universities of Tampere and Eastern Finland.