Sonja Lutovac

Sonja Lutovac


Postdoctoral Researcher
Identity development in pre-service teacher education


Sonja Lutovac has expertise in research on training and professional development of future teachers with a focus on future teachers’ professional identity formation and affect-related issues with respect to teaching mathematics. With a narrative-based theoretical and methodological approach, she attempts to find ways of how teacher educators can best support the process of becoming a teacher. Her research interests extend to the field of university pedagogy and the themes such as emotions in higher education, coping with student feedback and supervision.

Lutovac's more recent research work evolves around narrative exploration of academic failure and the ways in which it defines and is defined by one's identity.  

Research interests

  • teacher identity and identity work
  • affect and emotions
  • mathematics teaching
  • pre-service teacher education
  • narrative inquiry
  • professional development
  • teaching in higher education

Selected publications

  • Lutovac, S. (2020). How failure shapes teacher identities: Pre-service elementary school and mathematics teachers’ narrated possible selves. Teaching and Teacher education.
  • Pellikka, A., Lutovac, S., & Kaasila, R. (2020). The change in pre-service elementary teachers’ possible selves in relations to science teaching. European Journal of Teacher Education.
  • Lutovac, S. (2019). Pre-service mathematics teachers’ narrated failure: stories of resilience. International Journal of Educational Research, 98, 237-244.
  • Lutovac, S., & Kaasila, R. (2019). How to select reading for application of pedagogical bibliotherapy? Insights from prospective teachers' identification processes. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education.
  • Paradis, A., Lutovac, S., Jokikokko, K., & Kaasila, R. (2019). Towards a relational understanding of teacher autonomy: The role of trust for Canadian and Finnish teachers. Research in Comparative and International Education, 14(3), 394-411.
  • Lutovac, S., & Kaasila, R. (2019). Methodological landscape in research on teacher identity in mathematics education: a review. ZDM Mathematics Education, 51(3), 505-515.
  • Lutovac, S., & Kaasila, R. (2018). An elementary teacher's narrative-identity work at two points in time two decades apart. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 98(3), 253-267.
  • Lutovac, S., & Kaasila, R. (2018). Future directions in research on mathematics-related teacher identity. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 16(4), 759-776.
  • Pellikka, A., Lutovac, S., & Kaasila, R. (2018). The nature of the relation between pre-service teachers’ views of an ideal teacher and their positive memories of biology and geography teachers. NorDiNa – Nordic Studies in Science Education, 14(1), 82-94.
  • Uitto, M., Lutovac, S., Jokikokko, K., & Kaasila, R. (2018). Recalling life-changing teachers: Positive memories of teacher-student relationships and the emotions involved. International Journal of Educational Research, 87, 47-56.
  • Paradis, A., Lutovac, S., Jokikokko, K., & Kaasila, R. (2018). Canadian and Finnish upper-secondary school mathematics teachers’ perceptions of autonomy. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 26(3), 381-396.
  • Lutovac, S., Kaasila, R., Komulainen, J., & Maikkola, M. (2017). University lecturers' emotional responses to and coping with student feedback: a Finnish case study. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 32(2), 235-250.
  • Goldin, G.; Hannula, M., Di Martino, P., M., Jansen, A, Heyd-Metzuyanim, E., Kaasila, R., Lutovac, S., Middleton, J.A., Morselli, F., Pantziara, M., Zhang, Q. (2016). Attitudes, Beliefs, Motivation and Identity in Mathematics Education. An Overview of the Field and Future Directions (ICME-13 Topical Surveys). Springer Open.
  • Lutovac, S., & Kaasila, R. (2014). Pre-service teachers’ future-oriented mathematical identity work. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 85(1), 129–142.
  • Lutovac, S., & Kaasila, R. (2011). Beginning a pre-service teacher’s mathematical identity work through narrative rehabilitation and bibliotherapy. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(2), 225-236.

Research projects

NARRATED FAILURES (Academy of Finland, 2018-2021): Understanding pre-service teachers’ narrated failure in mathematics through identity work        

RELA (Academy of Finland, 2020-2024): Unpacking and Redefining Changing Relationships in Teachers’ Work

Scientific merits

Research groups

  • Post-doc researcher, Living Relations Research Community
  • Post-doc researcher, PROVIDENT (Professional Development and Identity)
  • Post-doc researcher, teacher, University Pedagogy