Research Projects

CultureNature Literacy

Teachers want and need encouraging visions of the future, not disaster scenarios. Because environmental issues and climate change are often discussed in the context of catastrophes: from species extinction to floods and glacier melting, to virus pandemics and forest fires. In response to future anxiety and climate concerns, the concept of CultureNature Literacy (CNL) focuses on cultural sustainability.

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Developing and enhancing the teaching quality of inclusive education curriculum

The aim of the project was to equip both acting and future teachers with knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to promote inclusiveness and decrease segregation of SEN students. The objective was to enhance inclusive education and promote the development, testing and implementation of innovative practices in the field of teacher training in inclusive education. The project will help to identify and address the causes that prevent teachers from supporting SEN pupils´ integration into regular classrooms and implementing the principles of inclusive education, as well as to strengthen the competencies and capacity of the Estonian universities in this field.

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The effect of using digital materials for learning and teaching in Estonian basic school

There were four main aims. Firstly, to develop a framework for the use of digital learning materials (DLM) based on the review of current theoretical models and research studies as well as observations, interviews and log file data in Estonian basic schools. Secondly, the framework was used to analyse practices of using DLM and to identify how different types are used in the teaching/learning process. Thirdly, to analyse how different uses of DLM create opportunities for development of agency and cognitive and non-cognitive skills for different groups of students. The analysis was based on a study that includes 100 teachers and 1000 students from more than 10 schools. The data from the study was integrated with other relevant datasets. Finally, the ultimate goal was to develop predictive models showing the effects of DLM used on students’ agency and cognitive and non-cognitive skills and formulate recommendations to policy makers and practitioners in close collaboration with them.

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Co-constructing mathematics motivation in primary education. A longitudinal study in six European countries (MathMot)

The primary objective of the FINNUT programme is to develop new high-quality knowledge relevant to the academia, policy makers and practitioners, and ensuring  the promotion of scientific renewal in research knowledge as well as research-based innovation in the education sector. MathMot addresses all these  topics of by identifying factors affecting the development of positive motivation in mathematics of children in primary education from an international viewpoint.

In connection to the defined priority areas within the FINNUT programme, MathMot is highly relevant to the understanding of learning processes, assessment forms, and learning outcomes (priority area A). It studies a construct that is essential for teachers’ professional practice and competence development (priority area B) and students’ participation in the education system as such (priority area D). A major contribution of MathMot to the knowledge in the education sector is related to a more comprehensive understanding how individual, contextual and policy factors affect motivation in mathematics for both boys and girls based on an innovative research design integrating different theoretical and methodological approaches.

MathMot adapts a longitudinal mixed-methods design over a variety of carefully selected countries (i.e. Norway, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Estonia and Serbia), enabling across time (i.e. students in grade 3 to grade 5) and cross-country comparisons. MathMot’s novel design enables us to follow (a) country patterns in the developmental trends in mathematics’ motivation and (b) the effect of organisational differentiation in different education system concerning, for example, existence/absence of transition from class to subject teaching, change of school and/or student groups in each of the countries.

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The Erasmus+ Project Digital Competences in Teacher Education (DiCoTe)

„Digital Competences in Teacher Education“ (DiCoTe) was a co-operation between Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, University of Tartu and University of Graz. DiCoTe promoted the European exchange of experience on the digitisation of teacher education and the active shaping of educational processes against the background of the digital transformation.

DiCoTe focused on the transfer of good practice examples whilst taking into account the previous experiences of all partner universities with regard to digitisation in teacher education. The exchange not only leaded to networking between the participating institutions, but also aimed to improve the organisation, structure, methods and content of the first phase of teacher education. Furthermore, it also indirectly addressed students and active teachers at schools, as the project activities were oriented towards the educational processes in schools under the changed conditions of the digital world. 

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