Anu Kajamaa


Description of research and teaching

Anu Kajamaa, PhD, is Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. She is Vice-Leader of an expert group Learning, Culture and Interventions (LECI) and serves as a member in the Faculty Council and Faculty research committee at the Faculty of Education, Univ. of Helsinki. Anu is currently in an Academy of Finland funded research project "Learning by Making: The Educational Potential of School-Based Makerspaces for Young Learners' Digital Competencies" (iMake). She is also the Institutional Leader in an EU H2020-MSCA-RISE-Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research project, entitled "Improving collaborative working between correctional and mental health services".


Anu is a passionate researcher, supervisor and a pedagogically qualified teacher who loves to carry out research based teaching. Her research focuses especially on organizational learning, change and development via interprofessional working and formative interventions. Anu is an expert in sociocultural- and practice based theories, qualitative research methods and participatory intervention techniques, drawing especially from cultural historical activity theory and the Change Laboratory method. Her current research contexts are primary schools, teacher education, health care and social care, and entrepreneurship hubs/Fabrication Laboratories.


She is a research group member in several national and international projects and consortiums, such as in a project on future hospitals together with Centre for Medical Education and Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, Montreal, Canada and in a project on developing expansive pedagogies with Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, USA. She is one of the founders of the European Centre of Excellence in Qualitative Study and Inquiry in Training and Education, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


Her doctoral dissertation: Kajamaa, A. (2011) Unraveling the helix of change : An activity-theoretical study of health care change efforts and their consequences was chosen as Highly Commended Award winner of the 2013 Emerald and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards in the Healthcare Management category. In 2015, students of the Institute for Behavioral Sciences, Univ. of Helsinki, rewarded her The Adult Educator of the Year.


Her background is in Adult Education and doctoral dissertation is an activity-theoretical study of change management and long-term evaluation of health care change efforts within formative interventions. Over 10 years, she has conducted extensive collaborative research and intervention projects and produced several refereed publications in national and international journals.


Anu has been a visiting researcher and teacher in many universities and business schools, such as University of California, Berkeley, USA, McGill University, Canada, Columbia University, USA, Nancy-Metz Business School, France, ESSEC Business School, France, University of Technology Chemnitz, Germany, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, University of California San Diego, USA and University of Otago, New Zealand.


Education information

PhD, Docent


Latest publications

  1. Understanding educational change: Agency-structure dynamics in a novel design and making environment

    Kumpulainen, P. K., Kajamaa, A. M. & Rajala, A. J. 29 Jun 2018 In : Digital education review. June 2018, 33

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  2. Exploring the Adoption, Spread, and Sustainability of an Informal STEAM Learning Innovation In Schools

    Stevens, R., Ramey, K., Mayerhoff, P., Hilppö, J. A., Kumpulainen, P. K., Kajamaa, A. M., Rajala, A. J. & Halverson, R. 23 Jun 2018 13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: Re-thinking learning in the digital age. Making Learning Sciences count. 13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2018. London, UK: International Society of the Learning Sciences.. Kay, J. & Luckin, R. (eds.). p. 1203-1210

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

  3. Accepted/In press

    Motive-demand dynamics creating a social context for students’ learning experiences in a making and design environment

    Kumpulainen, P. K., Kajamaa, A. M. & Rajala, A. J. 15 Mar 2018 (Accepted/In press) Cultural-historical approaches to studying learning and development: societal, institutional and personal perspectives. Edwards, A., Fleer, M. & Bottcher, L. (eds.). SAGE Publications Ltd

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

View all (34) »

Latest activities

  1. Opponent for Doctoral candidate Agnes Elmberger, Karolinska Institutet

    Kajamaa, A. (Member of thesis committee / follow-up group)
    27 Apr 2018

    Activity: ExaminationMember of doctoral thesis committee / follow-up group

  2. Invited talk in the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

    Kajamaa, A. (Attendee)
    26 Apr 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  3. International conference on Organisational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities (OLKC) 2018

    Kajamaa, A. (Attendee)
    25 Apr 201827 Apr 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

View all (144) »


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