Research and pedagogical expertise

  • critical reflection, transformative learning, edge-emotions
  • theory development
  • learning in contexts: institutional, educational context, everyday context, crisis context
  • cognitive, social and embodied/emotional dimensions of learning
  • pedagogical development and development of pedagogies (e.g. learning-centred, process-based, group-based, phenomenon-based)

My research centers on critical reflection and transformative learning, and more broadly on theories of learning and pedagogy. For the past 10 years, I have actively contributed to the research and theory of transformative learning, involving studies on critical reflection within both educational and crisis contexts, and more broadly on transformative learning especially regarding emotional and embodied dimensions. Currently I also work as the Editor (shared) for Journal of Transformative Education.

The core idea in my research is to analyze and theorize the prerequisites and challenges to critical reflection and transformative learning, and to develop conceptual and practical tools to deal with these challenges – both in the context of learning and teaching, as well as in professional development and everyday life.

I have developed the theory edge-emotions that integrates neurobiological research to educational research. The theory explicates how we can learn to utilize, as source for learning, the way our thinking processes are naturally inhibited by the dynamics of our psychological basic needs and biologically based emotions.

Currently I work in a novel project “How to solve the impossible – Scientific and experiental approach” that supports experts and work communities in developing mindsets and cognitive skills needed in working with increasingly complex and ever-changing environments. Together with scholars from different disciplines and societal partners, we construct knowledge of the untapped potential of the human mind that is currently left scattered in between disciplines. For example, studies on creativity, critical reflection and social change, Nobel laureate and inventor thinking, neuroscience, intuition and the embodied basis of cognitive processes indicate of dimensions of the human mind that have not been fully addressed in the development of expertise and solving complex problems. The project develops conceptual and experiential tools for the purposes of education and working life.  – A Short video of edge-emotions in Finnish