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Educational Sciences

At University of Gävle, research is conducted to understand education, teaching, and learning in the private and in the public sectors. The primary focus is on the formal education system as a whole, from preschool, school, and after-school care to higher education at universities and university colleges

Educational sciences can be seen as a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary field of research on knowledge formation, learning, education, and teaching. Research in the field highlights not only issues related to education and its conditions but also issues related to teaching, learning, learning environments and teaching processes. Research may in such contexts address the historical, societal, social, and political contexts of education, teachers’ working environment, health in education, different forms of subject pedagogy research, as well as the conditions, forms, content, organisation, processes, and outcomes of knowledge, teaching and learning. Research in this area is carried out in the context of teacher education(s), learning in the working life and teaching practice.

Research in educational sciences at the University is primarily concerned with education and its context from a variety of pedagogical and subject specific educational perspectives.


Research in educational sciences is primarily based in the Department of Educational Sciences, although there is expertise in subject pedagogy in other departments within the faculty as well as in the University's two other faculties.

In addition to the overall organisational structure, there are also several councils and networks that play an important role in ensuring the quality of third cycle education. There is a faculty council, a professors’ council, a research council, a supervisors’ council, and a PhD students’ council. Furthermore, there is a senior seminar in educational sciences and several research groups in the field. All these networks and groups help to bring together researchers interested in issues in the field of educational sciences.

Research groups

Within educational sciences, there are several research groups that bring together researchers on various thematic issues. The focus of the research groups is to discuss and produce research and anyone interested in each group’s specific research questions is welcome to join. The groups meet regularly and provide an environment where joint projects, PhD projects and texts of relevance to the group are discussed in depth.

ICT in learning

The research group investigates and develops conditions for the use of digital tools and resources in different educational and learning contexts. Digitalisation processes in society at large, as well as in education and learning contexts, present both challenges and opportunities and lead to a need for skills development. The research group forms the core of the research programme. Digitalisering, teknologier, media och lärande (DTML)

Research on Learning Environments (ROLE)

ROLE investigates educational environments, and the goal of its research is to contribute to improving environments for teaching and learning as well as to social sustainability. ROLE forms the basis of the strategic research programme Morgondagens Lärmiljöer.

Studies in Education for Equity, Democracy and Sustainability (SEEDS)

The research group studies how educational processes and policies are motivated, designed, narrated, and recounted in text and practice with a particular focus on democracy and equity as two central building blocks for social sustainability and good educational environments. SEEDS forms the basis of the strategic research programme Demokrati och Likvärdighet.

Early Childhood Education (ECE)

A research environment that coordinates researchers and teacher educators conducting research and development work related to preschool, pre-school classes and after-school education. The group includes and interacts with practising teachers and focuses on the inner workings of preschools (teaching), professional issues and teachers’ professional development.

Matematikens, naturvetenskapernas och teknikens didaktik

Within the research environment, practice-oriented research is conducted, which can be described as a form of action research based on practical activities. One research focus is investigating how collegial structures and processes in the school organisation can promote student learning. Research is also conducted on the application of problem-based teaching methods and activity-based learning and concept formation.

Book describing its research: :
Ämnesdidaktiska utmaningar – inom matematik, naturvetenskap och teknik

Research within each subject

The field of educational science consists of three subjects: curriculum studies, education, and art education. Subject pedagogy is not a separate subject at the University but is part of curriculum studies

Curriculum studies, including subject pedagogy

Curriculum studies

Curriculum studies is the study of subject content, teaching and learning. Research in curriculum studies at the University focuses broadly on (relationships between) content, teachers, and learners, and on questions such as why teaching is structured as it is, on what objectives and content are selected, on how teaching can be carried out, who the teaching is intended for, and when and where teaching can be carried out. Drawing on research on teaching and/or learning environments, aspects that condition teaching and learning processes are also studied. These may include, for example, historical contexts, social ideas, educational organisations, the physical environment, how teaching can be understood and experienced by different actors, as well as the norms, values, and patterns of action that may determine different choices and approaches.

Silvia Edling, professor Curriculum studies

Subject pedagogy

Subject pedagogy is closely linked to (general) curriculum studies, but subject pedagogy focuses primarily on how subject content can be understood, learnt and taught. At University of Gävle, subject pedagogy research is mainly carried out within the framework of subjects included in one or more of the University's teacher education programmes, such as biology, English, mathematics, religious studies and Swedish. In the context of the subject of Swedish, practical research is carried out with a focus on multilingualism. Other themes are poetry as a didactic tool, young people's reading of texts from literary history and the teachings of grammar. In English, subject pedagogy research is conducted on feedback to students in the classroom when correcting language errors. Another project in English focuses on critical thinking based on curricula and teaching materials. Examples of research issues concerning subject pedagogy in religious studies are the Holocaust as a theme, children’s and young people’s understanding of life, conflict resolution in social science programmes, and the view of Christianity in secondary school textbooks in religious studies. Research in mathematics and biology education has a practical focus. Studies are conducted on peer learning, teachers’ professional knowledge, learning disabilities, and conceptualization. The research also focuses on comparative studies of teacher education in different countries and on the application in Sweden of experiences and methods from other countries.

Mikael Cronhjort (No-ämnen): mikael.cronhjort@hig.se
Peder Thalen (Hum/sam ämnen): peder.thalen@hig.se



Research in education conducted at University of Gävle addresses three levels: individual and group level, activity level, and societal level, all with a particular focus on learning processes. This is manifested in research which has explicit interests in processes, forms, and content of teaching, as well as in learning and in fostering. Projects pay particular attention to social sustainability and social justice, inclusive processes, study and career guidance, special needs education in learning, health education, assessment research, leadership research, learning in working life, studies on identity development, comparative studies, the different conditions of subject studies and educational action plans, and to curriculum theory research. The interest in learning processes thus moves across the different levels, both within and outside the education system, both nationally and internationally, and hence provides exemplifications of how humans are shaped and changed by different social, cultural, and historical contexts.

Erika Björklund, Head of subject

Art Education

Art Education

Art Education is an interdisciplinary subject and field of knowledge in which aesthetic, pedagogical, and theoretical aspects of image communication, image analysis and practical image-making processes are of central importance. The subject explores and problematises the role and place of images in society within education and within a broader societal context. Research in art education takes an interest in visual culture in a broad sense as well as in more subject-specific issues in relation to learning, teaching, and knowledge development in the context of both voluntary and compulsory schooling.

Lena O Magnusson, Head of subject


Within the field, there are faculty members involved in third-cycle education and supervision of PhD students. Currently, there are thirteen principal supervisors and sixteen assistant supervisors. There are ten doctoral students affiliated with other universities.


Anneli Frelin, Ph. D. Professor Curriculum Studies
Silvia Edling, PhD, professor in curriculum theory, Excellent teacher
Guadalupe Francia, Professor Education
Iiris Attorps, Professor matematikdidaktik
Jan Grannäs, Senior lecturer Curriculum Studies
Johan Liljestrand, Senior lecturer Education
Daniel Pettersson, Professor, Education
Björn Haglund, Senior lecturer Curriculum studies
Lena O Magnusson, Senior lecturer Art Education
Annika Elm, Senior lecturer Curriculum Studies
Liya Kalinnikova Magnusson, Senior lecturer Education
Cresantus Biamba, Senior lecturer Education
Davoud Masoumi, Senior lecturer Curriculum Studies

Senior lectures and lectures

Eva Kellner, Senior lecturer Biology
Yukiko Asami-Johansson, Senior lecturer matematikdidaktik
Erika Björklund, Senior lecturer Education
Paula Larsson, Senior lecturer Education
Jörgen Holmberg, Senior lecturer Curriculum Studies
Erika Eriksson, Senior lecturer Education
Tobias Fredlund, Senior lecturer Curriculum Studies
Kristina Walldén Hillström, Lecturer Curriculum Studies
Birgit Lindgren Ödén, Senior lecturer Religious Studies
Stefan Larsson, Senior lecturer Religious Studies
Olov Dahlin, Senior lecturer Religious Studies
Iulian Cananau, Senior lecturer English
Kavita Thomas, Senior lecturer English
Sarah Ljungquist, Senior lecturer Gender Studies
Mikael Cronhjort, Senior lecturer matematikdidaktik
Jonas Boustedt, Senior lecturer Computer Science

Doctoral students

Doctoral students with their subject area and the University where the doctoral student is admitted:

Sonia Blomquist, Curriculum studies, Uppsala University
Nina Begovic, Nordic Languages, Uppsala University
El Mostafa Oubejji, Curriculum studies, Uppsala University
Caroline Sims, Education, Uppsala University
Sara Mörtsell, Education, Umeå University
Catarina Wahlgren, Gender Studies, Uppsala University
Anna Wistrand, Curriculum studies, Uppsala University
Amelie Nebes Education, Umeå University

Senior Seminar in Educational Sciences

To strengthen a holistic approach to issues within the sphere of education, there is a senior seminar for educational sciences. The senior seminar serves the purpose of enabling interaction at the University between researchers focusing on the field of educational sciences. Moreover, the seminar also serves as an important forum for lecturers, students in master’s programmes, doctoral students, and junior researchers. Here, they can receive qualified support in their research generally as well as in their research specialisation.

Innovative learning

One of the University's four strategic research areas, Innovative Learning, is strongly linked to educational sciences, addressing issues of today's and tomorrow's education and learning.

Collaboration for research and education

The University's research and education activities are based on a long tradition of close collaboration with public and private actors in the region.

Development - Learning - Research (ULF)

The University participates in the national experimental activity on practice-oriented research and belongs to the Uppsala node. Within the framework of ULF, a handful of research projects are conducted to which the University has allocated internal research funds to drive business development and practice-oriented research in the region. The Gävle model is one of the research projects conducted within the ULF collaboration. A recently started research school (ROCIT) is another part; here the University collaborates with other higher education institutions in Sweden.

Educational Centre of Development in Gävleborg (RucX)

RucX is an important collaboration body for the link between the University and the region's actors in the field of education. Through RucX, the University collaborates with eleven municipal education providers, independent education providers, teachers’ unions, the National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools, the Halsingland Education Association, and the Gävleborg Region.

Published by: Sara Perttunen Sundberg Page responsible: Sara Perttunen Sundberg Updated: 2023-05-11
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)