Research in the Department of Art Education  

The focus of research in the art education unit is on visual art education, covering the areas of art, media, and visual culture as a whole. The salient fields of interest consist of artistic and visual learning, theoretical questions concerning the education of art and visual art, the history and traditions of education, and the societal and environmental significance of visual art education. The research of art education focuses on the content-related issues of the field, such as, the observation of art, teaching of art history, art museum pedagogy, media education, research in visual culture, and special issues in art education.


Doctoral Research

Visual culture and art education of children and youths:

Anniina Koivurova examines the visual culture and social relations of young people within the context of visual art education. This is influenced by the normative-aesthetic principles of education and practises of the school.

Piritta Malinen studies young people’s graffiti culture and art education in comprehensive school.

Mervi Niemitalo examines the aesthetic principles and starting points of the post-modern thinking in art education. She studies the structuring of thought in art education through texts dealing with education of art.

Terhi Sainio examines cooperation between the school and cultural institutions. The study is based on cultural curricula laid down by the comprehensive schools ofOulu . She also develops new, usable modes of cooperation.

Tiina Timlin is interested in art education that seems to have good results among the pupils and students.  She examines what are the particles that built it pleasant. The research is based on 60 essays written by university students about their art education during school years.

Tuula Vanhatapio studies why boys do not take part in the basic teaching of visual art, and she also develops functional education of visual art.


Community- and environmental art:

Maria Huhmarniemi

Timo Jokela uses action research approach to study development opportunities of winter art from a point of view of environmental art and community art. His research is connected to development of art education that emphasizes regional and local aspects in a socio-cultural context, making it noticeable and connecting it to the discipline’s national and international debate.

The doctoral thesis of Tuomo Kivelä is an aesthetic appreciation of the student’s experience of place. He examines the way in which comprehensive-school pupils generate meanings with regard to their surroundings.

Art as part of visual culture:

Ellen Posti studies circus in the context of art.

Minna Soraluoma examines different narrator voices in texts on printmaking.

Asta Sutton examines the connection of surrealism, abstract expressionism and modern art with the subconscious. She studies the picture-forming processes of Dali, Pollock and Kelley, and the nature of the subconscious through psychology, philosophy and cognitive theories.

Marja Vainio examines historical past through the film Ambush (Rukajärven tie) directed by Olli Saarela.