Dr. Kristiina Kumpulainen

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education

Research Interests

Dr. Kumpulainen’s scholarship demonstrates a broad mastery of current and historical scholarship in research on interaction, learning and education involving theory informed investigations of technological designs to support teaching and learning in early childhood, K-12, postsecondary education and in informal learning environments. Her ongoing research focuses on children’s digital literacies, digital agency and digital learning practices with evolving technologies in formal education and in informal learning environments, such as homes, museums, science centers, libraries, outdoors, and in digital and immersive worlds. She engages in the design and investigation of technological innovations, novel instructional methods, pedagogies and curricula for learning and educational change. She has researched and developed pedagogies, learning environments and tools for children’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) learning, multiliteracies learning, and for children’s environmental and climate change education. She also engages in interdisciplinary research and development projects with academic, industry and community partners. Her recent design is an open source augmented reality application MyArJulle designed to support children’s mobile and multimodal storytelling.

Research Highlights

Digital mediation of children’s interactions with the more than human world   

Contemporary society is saturated with digital devices that are transforming children’s play activities, their social relationships and their interactions with the “natural” world. This project investigates how children deploy digital devices to interact with the “natural” world and how this influences their literate practices, emotional engagement and identities. These issues are investigated longitudinally across countries, Australia and Finland, and in relation to key contextual issues of social class, material conditions, and pedagogical approach. Through a children’s learning commission on how to use digital devices sustainably, children become researchers of how to mitigate the effects of human activity on the “natural” world. Peter Renshaw, University of Queensland (PI), Ron Tooth, University of Queensland (co-PI), Kristiina Kumpulainen (co-PI), University of Helsinki. Funding: Australian Research Council (2019-2022)

BOOK: Enhancing Digital Literacy and Creativity: Makerspaces in the Early Years

From the Publisher: Enhancing Digital Literacy and Creativity is an exploration of how young children gain digital literacies in ‘makerspaces.’ The international authors investigate how hands-on experimentation with a variety of materials - from traditional arts and crafts to contemporary digital tools like 3D printers and laser cutters - can aid children in their development of play, creativity and storytelling. From museums to libraries, nursery schools to community centres, this research shows how ‘making’ supports the development of creative skills and introduces concepts to be explored in a variety of environments and contexts.

Drawing on examples from around the globe, described by a range of international academics, Enhancing Digital Literacy and Creativity includes chapters on:

  • Virtual reality
  • Museum and library makerspaces
  • Intergenerational making in families
  • Making in schools and nursery settings
  • Assessing learning in makerspaces
  • Links to previous theories
  • Social imagination

BOOK: Multiliteracies and Early Years Innovation: Perspectives from Finland and Beyond

From the Publisher: Multiliteracies and Early Years Innovation: Perspectives from Finland and Beyond brings together internationally renowned scholars to investigate and reflect upon the significance of introducing multiliteracies in the education of children (0–8 years old) and the challenge of enhancing professional development opportunities of early years practitioners.

The book brings together curriculum innovation and reform and the changing media ecology of young children's learning lives in a single volume. It provides insights into Finnish early years education in terms of policy, practice, and research with a specific focus on the enhancement of children’s multiliteracies. Case studies from around the world explore co-developing practices between researchers and teachers, the development of communities and the ways in which different classroom interventions draw on new kinds of teacher knowledge.

iMake

The iMake project addresses digital literacy practices and digital competence development among young learners in the context of school-based makerspaces. Kristiina Kumpulainen, PI. Funding: Academy of Finland (2017-2020)

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