Heli Muhonen

I conduct my current research at the University of Jyväskylä, Department of Teacher Education. I study primary school and preschool dialogic classroom interactions and diverse factors related to teaching quality. Dialogic classroom interactions describe a range of continuous, cumulative, and reciprocal classroom talk through which the teacher and students explore and build shared knowledge. The importance of classroom interactions has been acknowledged in the Finnish education field. The Finnish National Core Curriculum Guidelines emphasize the importance of teacher-student interactions, shared problem-solving, and the development of argumentation skills for students’ learning. Despite the importance of these interactions, research has shown that they remain scant in classrooms worldwide. The overall goal of my research is to investigate the quality and different factors related to dialogic interactions in order to map how to increase the dialogic interactions and students’ learning through them in Finnish classrooms.

I received my PhD from the University of Jyväskylä in 2018. My article-based PhD dissertation examined educational dialogue regarding teacher scaffolding, shared knowledge-building, and students’ academic performance. Since then, I have continued researching dialogic classroom interactions, investigating their quality, effects, and different teacher- and student-related factors linked with the interactions. In addition, I have investigated teachers’ professional vision utilizing eye-tracking methodology and teachers’ gaze-cued retrospective think-aloud interviews. During my research career, I have worked on the following education research projects: The First Steps -study, Teacher and Student Stress and Interaction in Classroom -study (TESSI), Assessment Study of the Two-Year Pre-Primary Education Trial, and the Right to Belong -consortium. I have also worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the New York University Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. In recent years, my research has been funded by the Emil Aaltonen Foundation and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.