GERIF researchers

Crystal Green, PhD (education), is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California Los Angeles in the Social Sciences and Comparative Education (SSCE) Division of the Department of Education. Her work is funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Green’s current research investigates approaches to social justice, equity, and nondiscrimination in teacher education.

Heidi Henriksson, doctoral student at the Department of Sociology at Åbo Akademi University, is working on her PhD research about global education in the context of NGO-school cooperation in Finland. She is interested in how NGOs wish to influence the school world, how they legitimize their involvement and how the NGOs’ agendas are negotiated with other actors in the educational field. The ongoing doctoral research includes three main areas of focus: 1) NGO-advocacy related to curriculum reforms and textbooks, 2) NGOs in teacher education and 3) NGO-school cooperation in secondary schools.

Tuija Kasa is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki’s doctoral programme School, Education, Society and Culture. She researches human rights education as part of Democratic education and political polarization in the era of global crises (DEMOPOL) -project 2021-2024. Multidisciplinary PhD research combines educational sciences, moral philosophy and human rights law. Research portal: 

Selja Koponen is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki’s doctoral programme School, Education, Society and Culture (SEDUCE). In her participatory action research she studies moral agency and socially sustainable future. The research focuses on lower secondary school pupils and peace education. Research portal:

Vihtori Kylänpää is Ph.D in Education Sciences, Educational Specialist in Non-Military Service Centre (Siviiilipalveluskeskus), and human rights and global educator. Kylänpää’s dissertation (2022) concerns the possibilities to get young adults to undertake actions for human rights. Researcher profile:

Elina Lehtomäki, Ph.D. in Education Sciences and Professor of Global Education at the University of Oulu, Finland, leads the research team Education, diversity, globalisation and ethics. Her research interests include global education and learning, social meaning of education, equity and inclusion in and through education, cross-cultural collaboration, and internationalisation in higher education. More information: researcher profile.

Oona Piipponen has a PhD in Education from the University of Eastern Finland. She is currently working as a primary teacher in an international school. Her research focused on developing theory and methods for promoting intercultural learning in primary school. The design-based research project has applied child perspective methods to advance children’s knowledge, participation and culture in the education field.

Hanna Posti-Ahokas, PhD (education), Docent (intercultural teacher education), is a senior researcher at University of Jyväskylä, Faculty of Education and Psychology. Her current research focuses on global education pedagogy in higher education and on internationalization of higher education through North-South collaboration and international degree programmes. Researcher profile.  

Iida Pyy is a Postdoctoral Researcher of the DEMOPOL project in the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki. Before her postgraduate studies, she studied at the University of Oulu and the University of Melbourne, Australia, with intercultural education as her major subject. Previously, Iida has worked as a bilingual class teacher and a special class teacher as well as at UNICEF Finland. In addition to research, she is involved in activities associated with antiracism and social responsibility.

Antti Rajala, PhD, is Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher at the School of Educational Sciences and Psychology, University of Eastern Finland. Rajala’s research interests include dialogic pedagogy, global education as well as learning, agency and activism in education. Currently, he leads the project Pedagogy of concrete utopias: Promoting youth climate activism in formal education (2020-2023, funded by Academy of Finland and Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation). Rajala is Associate Editor in Frontline Learning Research; Co-Editor in Mind Culture and Activity and Outlines: Critical Practice Studies. List of publications

Riikka Suhonen is a doctoral candidate in the Doctoral Programme in School, Education, Society and Culture (SEDUCE), Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki. In her PhD research, she will examine how global citizenship education is understood and enacted in the context of upper secondary vocational education and training. A particular focus of this qualitative, empirical research will be on exploring the pedagogical potential of controversial issues (eg. extremism, climate change or migration) when developing global citizenship competences among vocational students. Google Scholar profile.