Living Relations research community
Research group information
Research group leader
Research group description
Our community conducts research on teachers’ work, teacher education and multispecies childhoods in changing and living relations of diverse educational communities.
We aim at better understanding education as a relationality embedded in social, historical, political, cultural and material contexts.
The central themes of our research are emotion and affect; transition and change; identity, belonging and participation; power, values and politics in education.
The methods we employ are qualitative and post-qualitative, and include: narrative approaches, ethnographies, and political and theoretical approaches.
The community applies and further develops ideas about relational ethics in educational research.
The history of Living Relations-research community stretches back to the 1990s. Led by professor Leena Syrjälä, the community began to explore teachers’ biographies. The community received its first major research funding for the project “Teachers in Change” in 1997 from the Academy of Finland. The community developed narrative ways of working for peer groups of teachers in the beginning of 2000s. The roots of OSAAVA VERME, teachers’ peer group mentoring, are in this development work. Teachers’ Lives-research community strengthened the position of narrative and biographical approaches in Finnish educational research.
By the end of the 2000s and in the beginning of the 2010s the community expanded beyond educational sciences. At this point, the name of the research community was Living Stories. The research topics included for example the significance of place in education, children's well-being in different educational environments, belonging, values as well as teachers' work and identity.
The research community still further widened in the end of 2010s. Since 2019, the name of the community has been Living Relations. The community conducts research about teachers' work, teacher education and multispecies childhoods in changing and living relations of diverse educational communities.
The research community has several ongoing research and development projects. These ongoing and already finished projects have been funded for example the Academy of Finland, NordForsk, the Finnish Work Environment Fund, Emil Aaltonen Foundation and Thule-institute. Dozens of doctoral theses have been conducted in the community.