Dr. Kristiina Kumpulainen is an Associate Professor in the Educational Technology and Learning Design program at the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University. Her research focuses on children’s digital literacies, agency and creativity, and learning and teaching practices with evolving technologies in formal education and informal learning environments, including early childhood education centers, schools, homes, museums, science centers, libraries, outdoors, and in digital and immersive worlds. She has researched and developed pedagogies, learning environments and tools for children’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) learning, multiliteracies, and for children’s environmental and climate change education. Her portfolio witnesses an extensive record of publications and externally funded research projects from highly competitive and distinguished programs in Finland, Europe and Australia. In 2019, she was nominated to become the Fellow of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. In addition to her role in several editorial boards, she serves as the co-editor of the international journal of Learning, Culture and Social Interaction published by Elsevier.
Welcome to SFU Dr. Kumpulainen. Please tell us a little bit about yourself including your academic and professional backgrounds.
My interest and expertise involve the current and historical scholarship in research on interaction. My research focuses on learning and education and theory informed investigations of technological designs to support teaching and learning in early childhood, K-12, postsecondary education and in informal learning environments. I completed my PhD in 1994 at the School of Education, University of Exeter, UK on “The nature of children’s oral language interactions during collaborative writing experience at the computer.” Since then, my research has focused on various technologies and novel designs for learning and education.
I have been involved in different levels of service to faculty, university, and community in Finland and internationally. I worked as a Junior Fellow and an Academy Fellow of the Academy of Finland during the years of 1997-2005. In the years 2006-9, I directed the national interdisciplinary research network on learning, CICERO Learning at the University of Helsinki. I also served the Information and Evaluation Services Unit at the Finnish National Agency as Director from 2009-11. I have worked as a Professor of Education at the University of Helsinki from the year 2012 onwards. I have also been a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB); Gevirtz Graduate School of Education; University of Warwick, Institute of Education, UK and the University of British Columbia (UBC). I have served as an advisory board member for the Finnish National Agency for Education and contributed to educational policy developments of the Finnish education system. I currently serve in the advisory board of IKEA children. I have also established a nationally and internationally recognised Playful Learning Center at the University of Helsinki. The Playful Learning Center offers a purpose-built facility that operates as an international hub for multidisciplinary research, tackling issues around children’s learning and development and social inclusion in the digital age. It conducts multi-disciplinary research on play and learning, develops and shares pedagogical models, learning environments and materials which can accelerate children’s learning processes. The center runs educational courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as professional development of educators. I look forward to building connections between the Playful Learning Center at the University of Helsinki and the Faculty of Education at SFU in my research and educational practice.