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Pigga Keskitalo. Photo: Kimmo Pallari, Roifoto

Pigga Keskitalo has been appointed as a professor at the Faculty of Education, focusing on Arctic education issues

26.4.2022

PhD Pigga Keskitalo will start to work as professor in education, especially in Arctic issues at the Faculty of Education.

Keskitalo has been a university researcher at the Faculty of Education of the University of Lapland, Finland, since 2019. Before this, she held an assistant professor position at the Sámi University of Applied Sciences, Norway, within the teacher education programme. Keskitalo received her doctorate from the University of Lapland in 2010. She has the qualifications of a class teacher and a Sami language teacher, as well as a master's degree in entrepreneurship education from Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Finland. Keskitalo is an Adjunct Professor (Title of Docent) in education at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and a network researcher at the Migration Institute of Finland.

Keskitalo’s responsibilities include applying for funding for research projects, implementing projects and developing international research cooperation. The professorship is linked to the implementation of the University of Lapland Consortium strategy in the areas of global Arctic responsibility and future services and distance management. From the perspective of the Faculty of Education, the professorship is particularly important in strengthening the operational base of UArctic's thematic network “Teacher Education for Social Justice and Diversity” and Arctic Five in Education network.

– The Arctic region is facing constant, unexpected changes. In addition, long distances, varying conditions and the special nature of the area place demands on education and training that must be taken into account in order to create good conditions for children, young people, families and all people in the North to live, study, work and educate themselves, Keskitalo describes.

According to Keskitalo, inclusive thinking and understanding the meaning of time and place are important when training teachers and providing education for children and young people.

Keskitalo’s goal is to strengthen the understanding of the different logics that affect education and training. The Arctic is home to an abundance of indigenous peoples and speakers of indigenous languages. Increasing the understanding between people, meeting others and reviving languages are topical themes that Keskitalo believes should receive more attention in our diverse world.

Keskitalo’s research has focused extensively on education in the Arctic, sustainable development issues and the education of indigenous peoples. She has collaborated with researchers around the world, including those from Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand.

In her career, Keskitalo has focused on the themes of Sami education and training, as well as the development of digital pedagogical practices in distance learning and teaching. She has been involved in a number of projects related to the export of education, as well as projects promoting language- and culture-conscious teaching and teacher training. Keskitalo wants to deepen the understanding of the history of the Arctic area, its current state and how education and teaching are organised to take into account the specificities of the area and the needs of its learners.

Keskitalo is currently working on a project funded by the Academy of Finland that focuses on researching and developing distance learning in the Sami language in the context of teaching young children (Socially Innovative Interventions to Foster and to Advance Young Children’s Inclusion and Agency in Society through Voice and Story – ADVOST). Indigenous Pedagogy in Teacher Education (IPED) project workshops discuss the current state and challenges of indigenous teacher education.

Keskitalo is from Utsjoki and now lives in Peltovuoma, Enontekiö.

For more information, contact Pigga Keskitalo, pigga.keskitalo@ulapland.fi, +358 40 484 4153.

Check out Keskitalo’s researcher profile.